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Tags:
Level: Intermediate
Length: 6 mi (9.7 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +1,601/1 ft
Total: 29 riders
 

Mountain Biking Grand Gap

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#21 of 195 mountain bike trails in Tennessee
#1175 in the world

6.8 miles of great rolling terrain with some technical sections and some awesome views. Currently (Aug 2006) rideable on weekdays (Mon-Fri) only. Hikers have it on weekends and share during the week. PLEASE honor this as the park has opened this great trail up to bikers on an experimental basis with future trails open to bikers if this works out!

This trail is located in the Bandy Creek area of Big South Fork. You can park at the visitor center or the swimming pool (N36 29.419 W084 41.872). for an additional round trip distance of 9 miles on easy gravel roads (total of 16 miles). You can drive to the trailhead but there is tight parking for only 2 or 3 vehicles with the last couple of miles of road single lane traffic. If you elect to ride the whole distance, you can ride an additional 2.3 miles of singletrack on the Duncan Hollow trail; accessible app. 1.5 miles from the swimming pool.
To get to the trail head: drive or ride from the swimming pool area (near Visitor Center) on the Duncan Hollow gravel road bearing to the right after app. 2 miles at N36 30.553 W084 40.789. This road to the right is Smith ridge but it was not signed.
This singletrack loop can be ridden either counter or clockwise and appears to be slightly harder counterclockwise.
Watch for hikers as they have full time access to the trail. Bikers can only ride Mon-Fri!
If you like this trail, make your views known:
email BISO_superintendent@nps.gov

Before you go
  • No Drinking water 
  • No E-bikes permitted 
  • No Fat biking allowed in winter 
  • No Fee required 
  • No Lift service 
  • No Night riding allowed 
  • No Pump track 
  • No Restrooms 
Getting there
From I-75 near Tn/Ky line take exit 141 to Tn Hwy 63 West, US 27 north to Oneida, 297 west to Big South Fork park, follow signs to Bandy Creek visitors center for instructions/maps. Trailhead is at gps N 35∞ 30.330 W 084∞ 39.399
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djcmmoore (on May 18, 2019)
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Reviews

  • TD101
    *****

    A fun trail that was well maintained. There were enough hills on it to have a good workout, but nothing too strenuous. There were a few rocky sections but not very technical. Next time I'm going to ride the gravel road to the TH.

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  • Ron_Zannini
    ****

    The Grand Gap is open to mtn biking 7 days a week now. The sand stone soaks up any moisture from rain, so trail conditions are always good. Three good overlooks along the gorge for photos. A couple of sections are marked with signs asking you to walk your bike.

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  • djcmmoore
    *****

    I have ridden all over the southeast and this is the most beautiful and fun trail there is. Better yet there are a lot of ways to ride it. For a longer ride go from Bandy Creek (this involves a lot of gravel roads). You can park at the parking area off Duncan Hollow Road (better but a big climb out). Or park right at the trail head for a pretty easy, scenic 6 mile loop.

    The John Muir trailhead is right here as well and it's a great out and back or loop trail to complete a fantastic day.
    Be sure to thank the rangers for giving us access to this awesome terrain.
    Check out the Big South Fork Bike Club as well as they have been instrumental in opening up these trails for us.

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  • djcmmoore
    *****

    One of the most beautiful trails I have ridden in the Southeast. Not only is the trail fun to ride, the overlooks are fantastic. You can ride from Bandy Creek or drive down and park at the trail head for a much easier ride. I like to add the John Muir trail as well as an out and back to make a 20 mile ride.

    Be sure to stop in at the ranger station to thank them for the access.

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  • cavedweller
    ****

    This trail is a must if your in the area, it's fast, flowy and has some killer views of the Big South Fork. The trail rides right past some 250 ft overlooks...so please be careful. All easy to moderate difficulty with a few walk-a-bike sections and a few rooty/rocky spots. You can really get some speed on the fast flowing downhill parts. I rode it counter-clockwise but it can be ridden both. The trail is now open all the time for bikers and not just on the weekdays. Enjoy!

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  • SaintPatrick
    ****

    The Grand Gap was an easy trail with spectacular views. It generally follows a ridgeline dodging into the forest then out along the ridges. Some sand along the trail as well as some wet spots. I took my two kids (8 and 11 years old) and they loved it. We were the only bikers or hikers on the entire trail. An outstanding way to enjoy the BSF on an afternoon. Well marked and well maintained. Provides some of the classic vistas of the Big South Fork.

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