An ambitious project to build 50-75 miles of singletrack mountain bike trails in the Cherokee National Forest in eastern Tennessee received a $6 million Federal grant recently.
“This is a huge investment from [the Appalachian Regional Commission]. Cocke County is one of the most economically distressed counties in Tennessee and this investment will help increase the tourism industry in Cocke County by bringing more of the 12 million visitors who come to Smokies each year and the 3 million visitors who come to the Cherokee National Forest each year to the area,” according to Senator Lamar Alexander.
“This is a result of a three year effort to make better use of the Foothills Parkway right-of-way in Sevier and Cocke counties. The focus was about mountain bikes, and the best land for that in Cocke County turned out to be in the Cherokee National Forest instead of the Foothills Parkway. So, I’m thrilled about the 50-75 miles of new mountain bike trails in Cocke County in the Cherokee National Forest. I’m also glad we’re also moving ahead with mountain bike trails on the Foothills Parkway right-of-way in Sevier County. These new bike trails will help even more Tennesseans enjoy the outdoors.”
Final trail plans and a construction time table are still to be determined.