Skip to Content

Bike TN Program Launched For Rural Tourism

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Bike TN Program Launched For Rural Tourism

The Department of Tourist Development has launched a new program to encourage cyclists to explore the rural areas of the state.

Rural Program Manager Silas Stoddart said the Bike Tennessee program is a statewide initiative that promotes scenic road cycling routes in rural areas. Stoddart said the goal of the program is to provide rural communities with much needed economic development through additional tourism.

“A lot of our rural communities have great outdoor recreation assets and have a great opportunity to attract tourism to that area and – and leave that economic impact,” Stoddart said. “So when we looked at this Bike TN initiative, we said, ‘You know what, this is a great way to get additional tourism to our rural communities.’”

Stoddart said six of the fifty-two routes are set up across the Upper Cumberland. Stoddart said the six routes in the Upper Cumberland are located in or near Fall Creek Falls, Rock Island, Cummins Falls, Dale Hollow Lake near Celina, Smithville, and Moodyville. He said the routes range from twenty to thirty-seven miles long.

He said anyone interested in exploring the routes can use the Ride With GPS app to download a route ahead of time and use their phone or smart watch to guide them on the ride.

“It allows us to not have to put any signs on the roads themselves, which is a great benefit because, you know, once you get a sign in the ground you have to maintain that sign, someone’s got to be responsible for it, and then we’re talking about fifty-two routes across the state,” Stoddart said. “That’s a lot of work just keeping up with signage.”

He said the routes were mapped by Shannon Burke, a man who has been offering professional bike tours in the Chattanooga area for about a decade through his company, Velo View Bike Tours.

“Now we didn’t just say, ‘Hey Shannon, go map these routes across the state,’” Stoddart said. “We did outline some rules and regulations that we wanted him to follow to make sure that our needs at the state were being met for the initiative.”

Stoddart said they had Burke focus on safe, scenic routes in rural communities with access to amenities and local points of interest.


The post Bike TN Program Launched For Rural Tourism appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.