Naughty or Nice? New Hiking and Biking Trails Coming in 2021
The 9 Lakes region is already a four season’s destination for trail lovers. These trail enthusiasts must have been very, very nice this year, because Santa has made his way early to the 9 Lakes of East TN. Two new trails projects have been announced for 2021.
The first trail plan was announced for Cocke County. The Appalachian Regional Commission has provided funding to build 50-70 miles of new trail for mountain bikers and hikers in the Cherokee National Forest. This portion of the Cherokee Forest provides some of the best scenic mountain balds, dense forest canopies, mossy stream beds, and uncrowded footpaths. Even better, your four legged friends are welcome here, unlike the trails in the adjacent Great Smoky Mountain National Park.
In the Norris Lake region of Anderson, Campbell, and Union Counties, a trails system connecting four favorite hiking/ biking destinations will launch in 2021. The Norris Area Trails System (NATS) brings together 87 miles of existing trail and additional trails are in planning. These trails range from novice to skilled. At the end of the day, visitors can relax on Norris Lake with all of its amenities. Trails are open year round.
Skilled hikers and bikers can find naughty aka gnarly adventures in the 9 Lakes. Hikers will want to test their uphill climb on the Devil’s Racetrack. For mountain bikers, Windrock Bike Park offers mountain bike trails with a steep vertical drop. Both experiences will provide a day of adrenalin pumping activity for thrill seekers. Trails are open daily.
Learn more about trails in the 9 Lakes Region here.