Every fall my husband Randy and I bicycle in Cherokee National Forest in southeast Tennessee. This year we were treated to stunning fall colors and reasonable temperatures (1 day even reached into the 70's which is great for late October!). Our favorite place to ride is River Road (FR 210) in Cherokee National Forest. We rode up and down River Road 4 times this year.
Halfway along the road (it dead-ends at the TN/NC stateline) is Bald River Falls and Baby Falls. River Road is a windy road that follows Tellico River for 23 miles before it comes to a dead end, a gradual 1-2% climb with a few 3-5% short stretches. At the state line there's a 23 mile gradual downhill.
We also decided to take on Cherohala Skyway. Cherohala Skyway is a challenge: we started at Turkey Creek Overlook (2660 feet elevation) and rode past Santeetlah (the highest point at 5377 ft elevation) a bit further into NC to Hooper Bald Overlook (~5300 feet elevation), about 16 miles. Most of the 16 miles was climbing 8-10% grades, with a few downhills. It took us 4 hours to go 16 miles (stopping at each overlook) and about 2 hours to return (again stopping at a few overlooks on the way back). While it was our shortest ride of the week (32 miles) it was the most challenging!
Link to some additional pictures of our trip are here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10201800861374772.1073741829.1579123766&type=1&l=c0b13b6eab
For a Map and info about the area where we ride: http://www.rsdesign.info/pdf/tellico_river_v2.pdf
Connie Szabo Schmucker, Advocacy Director
Bicycle Garage Indy