35 Miles / 2900 Feet of Climbing
Roll through classic farmland scenery along with deep forest backroads on this gorgeous ride that gives you the right balance of both gravel and tarmac - with the option to get out on the water too!
Potential Route Modifications: This route can be shortened by almost 11 miles by taking a right onto New Station Road at mile 19.7 and following it over to New Stansbury Road where you can pick up the regular route. Taking a left on Wehutty Road at mile 16.4 rather than continuing straight on Kimsey Dairy Road will shave another 2.5 miles off the route.
One of the highlights of this route is the start and finish at Campbell Cove boat ramp. It's a beautiful place for a bike ride and an even better place to launch a kayak or canoe for a post-ride sunset paddle on this scenic 88 acre lake!
The ride kicks off with a bang as you launch onto a steep sustained gravel climb up Campbell Cove Creek Road and Kimsey Mountain Highway for well over two and a half miles. Just know that once you finally make it to McFarland Road the climb is almost over and the downhill is about to begin!
After 6 miles of mostly downhill forest riding, you'll come out of the woods and onto Farner Road. Once you take a left on Farner Road, you'll begin a relatively long section of asphalt riding. Traffic will be light, but it will definitely have a different feel than the deep forest you've been riding in.
Farner Road will lead you to the little community of Farner where you'll take a series of right turns on Duggan Road, Underwood Drive, and Mountain Vista Road. After a little over a mile on Mountain Vista Road, turn left onto Hall Road which will take you over to Hwy 68 where you can take a pit stop at the Kickstart Convenience Store.
After the break, take a left on Hwy 68 and then a quick right onto Runion Road and follow it down to 123. Turn right on 123 and then take your first left onto Kimsey Dairy Road. Kimsey Dairy Road is a beautiful road that will take you through some wooded terrain as well as wide-open farmland.
After a couple of miles on Kimsey Dairy Road, take a left on Rocky Ford Road and follow it almost two miles to Wehutty Road where you'll turn right. Wehutty Road will take you into North Carolina (changing names to Donley Road along the way) before coming to "T" intersection with Pack Mountain Road.
After turning right onto Pack Mountain Road, you'll soon understand where the name of the road came from as you head into the woods and up the mountain! The climb is a little over a mile, and will give you a nice descent on the other dies. When the road starts to bottom out, turn left on the wonderfully named Tater Creek Road and you'll find yourself back in farm country.
After about a mile on Tater Creek Road, you'll come to a "T" intersection, where you'll turn right on Harris Road and head back into Tennessee (changing names to McAllister Road after crossing the border). Once back in Tennessee, look for Burgertown Road (another great street name!) and turn right on it followed by a left on Bethlehem Road.
Bethlehem Road will lead you away from the farms and back into the woods. A little over a mile later you'll turn right on Stansbury Mountain Road. As with the last road that had "mountain" in the name, this one will have you soon have you heading uphill. The climb on Stansbury Mountain Road is over 2 miles, but the grades are not so steep and it has a few flat or downhill sections mixed in where you can catch your breath.
After cresting the mountain and enjoying a mile-long descent, the road will bottom out and intersect with New Stansbury Road, where you'll turn left and follow it three and a half miles to Hwy 68.
Hwy 68 will have fast traffic so use caution as you turn left onto it. Half a mile later, take a right on Stiles Road and follow it another half-mile back to your starting point at the Campbell Cove boat ramp.
As you pedal your way through this beautiful landscape, bear in mind that years ago the area was once a blighted moonscape. The land around the mining towns in the Southeast corner of Tennessee overlooking Georgia and North Carolina was literally stripped bare for 40 square miles. In those days, all you could see were red hills.
The ore smelters and sulfuric acid plants fed by the mines gave the area the name "Copper Basin." The acidic vapors wafted unchecked for better then a generation, poisoning air & water and obliterating vegetation.
But today, as you'll see on this ride, all that has changed. After years of remediation, the clean-up of the mine site is nearing completion and ushering in what is hoped will be a far greener future for what was once one of the most devastated places in North America.
For even more gravel routes, check out TennesseeGravel.com!