The mountains around Chattanooga offer diverse opportunities for mountain bikers of all skill levels.
Over 100 miles of singletrack cater to more experienced technical cyclists, while off road parks and greenways offer excellent leisure opportunities for beginners and families.
There are three principle types of off-road cycling:
Greenways | Rail Trails
Off road greenways, often surfaced with light gravel, are the best option for families and beginners. They do not require special equipment and can be ridden with most hybrid and kids bicycles.
In the Chattanooga area, the Brainerd Levee/Camp Jordan Loop and Lookout Mountain’s Guild/Hardy Trail are excellent greenways for beginning off road and recreational cyclists.
Forest Service Roads | Two Track
Old forest service roads, sometimes called “two track,” or multi-use off road trails can offer the beginning to intermediate level mountain biker the challenge of varied terrain without the technical expertise needed for singletrack.
Prentice Cooper State Forest on the Cumberland Plateau, the Cloudland Canyon Connector Trail on Lookout Mountain and the Cherokee National Forest, one hour east of Chattanooga, all have an abundance of these types of trails.
Singletrack is usually an 18″ wide trail that requires a higher level of skill and confidence on a purpose built mountain bike. The terrain requires quick reflexes and the ability to ride over logs and boulders, through creeks, and up and down severe elevations.
Photo courtesy of Southeast Youth Corps
Raccoon Mountain, 5 Points, Stringers Ridge, Enterprise South Nature Park, and the Biology Trails, offer beginner friendly to difficult singletrack. Most area singletrack is for the intermediate to advanced level mountain biker.
Outdoor Chattanooga now offers Intro to Mountain Biking Skills Classes and Singletrack Trail Rides.