MOTORCYCLE RIDES IN TENNESSEE
The Best Roads Are Here
What Are The 8 Best Motorcycle Rides In Tennessee?
- Tail of the Dragon
- Cherohala Skyway
- Foothills Parkway
- Natchez Trace Parkway
- Tennessee Route 232
- Newfound Gap Road
- Tennessee Route 421
- Devil's Triangle
Below is our in-depth list of the best Tennessee motorcycle rides & routes! Home to some of the most famous motorcycle roads in the country, Tennessee offers variety from the white-knuckled 'Tail of the Dragon', to the more relaxed and scenic Natchez Trace Parkway. There are plenty of excellent motorcycle rides to be found in this great state. So saddle up - because we’ve got the best motorcycle roads in Tennessee right here! Click on the Tennessee motorcycle map link for the direct Google Maps route.
TAIL OF THE DRAGON
DISTANCE: 12 miles
TIME: 25 mins
Possibly the most infamous route among motorcyclists boasts a whopping 318 curves in just 11 miles. This stretch of U.S. 129 is a beautiful piece of road, perfectly engineered in banking, immaculately paved, and combining a pleasing rhythm of tight turns - the appeal of this adventure is actually just riding it. There are no intersecting roads or driveways to hamper your travel, however he sheer popularity of this road means there will almost always be many riders in front of you and behind you. Still, this Tennessee motorcycle road is truly like no other, and is a definite "bucket list" for any accomplished motorcyclist.
DISTANCE: 24 miles (TN SIDE)
TIME: 35 mins
"A drive among the clouds", this motorcyclist's dream route reaches elevations of over 5400 feet high. Tennessee's portion of this most excellent route starts in Tellico Plains, and continues through North Carolina. The road is full of extraordinary mountainside forest scenery. While the Tail of the Dragon gets most of the praise for its legendary curves, many will testify this TN motorcycle road is more enjoyable. The curves open up and relax a bit more, yet they keep coming one after another with the added dimension of long winding climbs and descents. Stunning long-range views can be enjoyed from overlooks and rest areas along the road.
DISTANCE: 32 miles
TIME: 1 hour
This serene 2-lane road is truly a great motorcycling road in TN, as there are no billboards, homes, or commercial buildings. The Foothills Parkway is as pristine as it gets for a Tennessee motorcycle trip. The southern section is an easy ride, with slight curves, straightaways and panoramic mountain vistas. The northern section gets a bit more technical. Be sure to check out some of the beautiful overlooks along this route.
NATCHEZ TRACE PARKWAY
DISTANCE: 100 miles (TN SIDE)
TIME: 2 hours
This all American motorcycle road has plenty of scenic nature views while you traverse the hills. The TN portion is roughly 100 miles, but the Natchez continues south through Alabama and Mississippi. This road is particularly great for motorcyclists, as commercial traffic is prohibited and there's no stop signs or stop lights! Just cruise among the beautiful scenery and historic sites, and enjoy one of Tennessee's best motorcycle rides!
NEWFOUND GAP ROAD
DISTANCE: 36 miles
TIME: 1 hour
Starting from Gatlinburg, TN, travelers climb approximately 3,000 feet, ascending through pine-oak and northern hardwood forest to attain the evergreen forest at Newfound Gap (5,046′). The ride to the North Carolina border is about 17 miles, then about 19 miles if you're riding down to Cherokee, NC on the other side of the park. Be ready for some cooler weather the higher you go, even in the summer! Newfound Gap is actually the lowest drive-able pass through the park. Not only are there significant altitude changes, but riders will enjoy switchbacks and even a full 'corkscrew' on this road - all on beautifully maintained pavement. It's best to select your riding time wisely, as peak tourist season will make this often a busy road. Early morning and weekdays will be less frustrating for motorcyclists. Despite that, its truly one of the most inspiring motorcycle rides in the eastern United States!
TENNESSEE ROUTE 232
DISTANCE: 14 miles
TIME: 20 min
Dubbed by many as "Tennessee's Baby Dragon", this is a rather short TN motorcycle ride, but nonetheless a worthwhile endeavor. A continuous string of curves and corners, many riders will use this stretch of road to practice for the more technical Deals Gap (route above). There are more sweepers here than tight turns. It's a fun motorcycle route best ridden in springtime or autumn to enjoy Tennessee's best seasonal scenery.
TENNESSEE ROUTE 421
DISTANCE: 23 miles
TIME: 40 min
Known to some as "The Snake Highway", this portion of TN-421 takes you from Mountain City to Holston Valley and will pass through the Cherokee National Forest. It's a beautiful and challenging ride, with tight turns and switchbacks as the the road runs on the crest of the mountain top at 3500ft. Motorcyclists will appreciate the scenic mountains and valleys with great vistas. This road is also very well maintained, making this Tennessee motorcycle road all the more fantastic. In fact, this ride is so great, you'll want to double back and do it again!
DISTANCE: 44 miles
TIME: 1 hour 15 min
The Devils Triangle, in the mountains of the Cumberland Plateau, is made up of some of the most unusual two lane twisty roads in Tennessee. The tight twisting curves are as good as the Tail of the Dragon, but there are even more challenges here; deep rock strewn gullies just off the pavement, ragged, rusty steel guard rails, steep drop offs and rock cliffs leave no room for error. The section of 116 is particularly enjoyable as there are sweeping turns and some tight 180's that keep your attention. The road quality is fairly good, but riders may find some spots of gravel and the route has some patch work in a few areas.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Where is the Tail of the Dragon motorcycle ride?
The world famous Tail of the Dragon motorcycle route begins at the Deals Gap Motorcycle Resort in North Carolina, and winds across the Tennessee state line. It is 11 miles in length.
How do you ride a motorcycle on a curvy road?
Try to go the speed you are comfortable with before entering a tight curve. Avoid using your front brake while in the turn. Mountainside twisties often change in elevation, so if you're not familiar with the road, go slower upon entry. If you think you're losing the curve, don't focus on what you're afraid you'll hit, such as a guardrail or oncoming vehicles. Keep your head turned in the direction you want to be. Don't give up on the curve!
How Do I Find The Best Motorcycle Roads Around Tennessee?
GreatMotorcycleRoads.com is the place to find the best motorcycle roads and rides around Tennessee. Discover great motorcycle rides in states near Tennessee with our route descriptions and Google Maps links!
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Don't see a route here you love? We are adding more routes weekly, but you can send us your favorite TN motorcycle routes, along with your pictures! Email us at [email protected]