8 Miles / 500 Feet of Climbing
While short, this route packs a lot into it, with some nice views, fun descents and enough climbing to make it a solid workout - plus an optional monster climb just off the main route!
Potential Route Modifications: This route can be turned into a climbing challenge by turning left at mile 7 and climbing up Shut In Gap Road. The climb gains over 800 feet in less than 2 miles and includes some steep double-digit grades! The climb can be done as an out & back and adds around 6 miles to the route (including the lead-up to the actual climb).
This is a short loop that offers some nice scenery, fun descending, and a good workout without taking too much time. You can start anywhere in downtown Spring City, but we've mapped the ride from Spring City Nature Park, which is only a block removed from downtown shopping & restaurants and offers plenty of parking along with public restrooms.
From the park, ride along Front Street through downtown, with storefronts on your right and the train tracks on your left. This is a classic old-town layout that seems more fitting for a town out West, with the old train depot being the center of the action and the storefronts lined up to greet passengers coming off the train. (The current train depot is actually the third one for the town. The first one was built in 1879 and burned down in 1892. The second one was replaced in 1909 with the one you see today.)
After passing by all the storefronts, Front Street bends sharply to the right. Immediately after this bend, you'll turn left onto Cemetery Street. As the name implies, this road leads to the city's main cemetery. You'll see it on your left after crossing Hwy 68 and riding through a residential area.
Once past the cemetery, the scenery will open up a bit and will feel considerably more rural. Cemetery Road ends at a "T" intersection with Back Valley Road, where you'll turn right. (If you look to your left here, you'll see the Mountain View Raceway on the other side of Hwy 27. It's a dirt oval track offering an interesting variety of races.)
After taking a right on Back Valley Road, you will definitely feel like you're in the country with a cattle farm on your right and a great view of Walden Ridge directly in front of you. The road looks relatively flat here, but you'll actually be going uphill at a gentle grade.
The road bends to the left as you reach the top of this grade and you'll do a little roller coaster before dropping down into the woods. After this fun dip, you'll start a long gradual climb riding through the woods. The climb ends with a steep push before taking you on a fun descent that lasts almost a full mile.
After bottoming out at a little creek crossing, you'll have one last short climb to tackle. As you come over the climb, you'll roll down to a "Y" intersection in the road. Veer left here onto Spring Street. This will run you through a residential area before coming to a "T" intersection at Shut In Gap. If you want a serious climb (800 feet in 2 miles!), take a left. Otherwise, continue on the regular route by turning right and following Shut In Gap to Hwy 68.
Go straight across Hwy 68 and turn left on the shoulder. Then take your first right, which is Jackson Avenue. Follow Jackson Avenue through a residential neighborhood all the way back to Front Street where you'll turn left to reach the park where you started. As you make the left turn onto Front Street, check out the two local restaurants on your left - Spring City Diner and Front Street BBQ - both perfect for post-ride refueling!