Anderson County located in the mountains of East Tennessee, offers a variety of trail experiences for beginners to experts and trails that are both technical and flowy. In addition to our trails, Anderson County has year-round mild temperatures, beautiful scenery and great dining and lodging options that make it the perfect mountain bike get-a-way. Let’s get started planning your trip:
Where to Mountain Bike?
Windrock Bike Park is an uplift access mountain bike park located in the Cumberland Mountains and attracts riders from around the world for its tough, technical trails. Professional mountain biker Sean Leader, along with his colleagues developed the trail system, so it’s no wonder the park is a hit among some of the top riders in the country. The majority of trails are geared toward the more experienced riders, but the park management has been working hard to improve the beginner trails. Coaching and guided rides are available at Windrock Bike Park and rental bikes and helmets are also offered. The park is open 7 days a week with a shuttle available from 10 am to 5 pm. The park holds events throughout the year, so be sure to check their website to see what’s happening. New trail development is ongoing, so Windrock Bike Park is worth visiting again and again.
Norris Dam State Park offers 11 different mountain biking trails that are geared toward beginner to intermediate riders. Many of the trails offer beautiful, scenic views and follow along old roadbeds that serve as a subtle reminder of the families who farmed the ridges and hollows before the Tennessee Valley Authority began constructing Norris Dam in 1933. One popular trail to check out is Elkins Trail. This moderate to strenuous trail is about 2.25 miles in length. The Elkins Trail is located atop the park’s highest point near the rim of the West campground. The trail gradually descends down to the back of a cove on Norris Lake and then ascends back up to the rim. Click here to see a trail map. Maps are also available at the park office.
Haw Ridge Park is located in Oak Ridge and is situated on a scenic peninsula along the Clinch River. Weaving through the park, there are almost 30 miles of singletrack and dirt road trails to mountain bike. There is a multitude of small loops that can be strung together to make as much or as little as you want. Haw Ridge offers something for both the experienced rider as well as the beginner. Some of the inner ridge trails have black diamond traits, while the outer ring has many options for the beginning off-road rider. Be sure to check out the Dirtlab mountain bike skills park while you’re at Haw Ridge. It’s a great place to experiment and develop your skills. You can find a map of Haw Ridge here.
Visitors have so many great trails to ride in the area thanks in large part to the work of the Clinch Valley Trail Alliance. The group is active in supporting trail maintenance and new trail builds. Find out more information about CVTA here.
Where to Stay?
Windrock Park Cabins or Campground is the perfect place to stay if you’re mountain biking at Windrock. The park offers a full campground with V sites as well as tent sites and yurts. They also have rustic and deluxe cabins to accommodate all of your needs. Staying at Windrock would be a great location to enjoy biking at both the park and Haw Ridge.
Norris Dam State Park is another great option for lodging. The park has cabins that offer direct access to the trails. The cabins are surrounded by a quiet, wooded setting so it’s a wonderful place to unwind and relax after a day of riding. The park also offers two campgrounds if you prefer to bring your camper, RV or rough it in a tent.
Another lodging option to consider is a VRBO or Air BnB. There are cabins, condos, homes on the water, and anything else that you may be searching for. Here are a couple of options to look at that offer close proximity to the trails- The Foust Cabin and Cabin by the Creek.
Where to Eat?
Big Ed’s Pizza, located in Oak Ridge, is an old school pizzeria that has been around since 1970. They make their own crust and sauce in house using Big Ed’s original recipes. We recommend trying the Big Ed’s special. You’ll quickly see why it’s a favorite among locals and visitors!
Clinch River Brewing is located just a minute from the trails at Norris Dam State Park and is an absolute must after a day of biking. CRB is a craft brewery that serves a casual creole inspired menu with several delicious options. Checkout their Facebook page for live music and other events happening.
Calhoun’s Oak Ridge is located on the banks of Melton Hill Lake and every seat in the restaurant offers a beautiful water view and view of the Oak Ridge greenway. Calhoun’s offers BBQ, ribs, steaks, burgers, and more, so you’ll be sure to find something for everyone.
Other trails to check out in the area:
Loyston Point Trails – With about 23 miles of trails to ride, it’s easy to choose your distance and level of difficulty on this trail system.
The Norris Watershed offers about 30 miles of trails for biking, hiking and horseback riding. You’ll get great views of Norris Lake, some fun side fun wide open trails as well as some semi technical fun. The trails drain well, so you can expect a great ride almost anytime, even after a rain.