BALD RIVER

37 mi, 117 ft/mi

 

Developed by Chilhowee Outdoors

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Tellico Plains, TN

Starting and ending near Tellico Plains, Tennessee.  

Stats

37 miles, 4,348 ft elevation gain,  117 ft/mi.  Counter-clockwise direction suggested.

Terrain

Gravel and pavement. Preferred bike rank: Gravel bike, Rigid MTB, Hardtail.

Summary: A great sub-24 hour overnight (S24O) with the main gravel climb on day one followed by a gradual descent on gravel/pavement back to the car on day two. This is a beginner friendly route with prime opportunity for dogpacking or towing kids. About two thirds of the route follows the Bald River which offers great river-side riding with swimming holes and plenty of primitive campgrounds to choose from.

Highlights:

  • Swimming holes
  • Riverside gravel riding
  • 5 campgrounds to choose from
  • Tellico Fish Hatchery
  • Dog and kid friendly

 

Trip Beta: The route briefly follows the Tellico River to start the only big climb of the trip. The peak of the climb ends at the Waucheesi Bald which is a short out-and-back off the main route. Riders making the climb will be rewarded with a stunning vista of the surrounding Unicoi Mountains. From here descend to the first camping opportunity at Holly Flats. Next, enjoy a gentle climb before coming to the Green Cove Lake out-and-back. This is a steep detour and if towing a trailer it’s a good idea to leave it at the top while you explore the lake. The next campground is Birch Branch just past the Tellico Fish Hatchery. Roll on to the Green Cove General Store before reaching the 90-ft Bald River Falls. This last 20 mile stretch is a fast roll on country pavement back to your vehicle. Before heading home Kats Deli has a great lunch and Tellico Grains Bakery serves up some delicious baked goods. 

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