Ride 4 - Wears Valley to Pigeon Forge

This ride went up through Wears Valley to Pigeon Forge, then around Gatlinburg and down Little River Rd.

See map here

I had wanted to go cycling through Wears Valley because last time we were at Townsend I recalled it being a nice drive. It's a bit more commercialized than I would have liked, but it is a nice drive. It's not too good of a bike ride though.

Going up Wears Valley from Townsend starts out with a nice little climb, then it's fast and flat or downhill until around Pigeon Forge. The road itself has no shoulder, and the aforementioned commercialization gives it heavier traffic than I would have liked.

It's a nice little valley though, with plenty of fudge stops if you're so inclined. I had intended to take a right onto Lyon Springs Road about 11 miles into the ride, but I never saw it, so I just kept going. I figured eventually I'd hit Pigeon Forge and that I could go back through the park from there. Plus, the wind was behind me and I was cruising along so fast I didn't feel like stopping.

Very much to my surprise and relief, Pigeon Forge actually had something which functioned as a bike lane, though I didn't get the feeling that that was it's intent. Despite not being entirely confident on where I was, I knew that going through Gatlinburg would be messy, but fortunately the signs for the Gatlinburg Bypass were worded obviously enough that I wound up taking it and getting into the park.

A longer than I had wanted uphill and then a quick downhill into the park and a stop at the ranger station. There's a nice climb coming out the ranger station which still had quite a bit of snow aside it.

Going down Little River Rd was less fast than I had remembered it, but I think I had a bit of a headwind. Less fast was still averaging around 26 mph though. No photos from here, as I was having too much fun going downhill.

Going downhill through the park was fun, but Wears Valley was more crowded than I would have liked, and cycling through Pigeon Forge is something I'd really only want to do again through necessity. Certainly not a ride I'll plan on doing next time I'm in the area.

Cycling in Townsend and the Smoky Mountains

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