Biking is becoming the go-to thing to do this season. Whether you have a mountain bike or a 3-speed cruiser, you can pedal your way to surprising scenery at these bicycle trails off the beaten path. Trails are full of living (non-dangerous) things so the trails have personalities and change by the time of day, visitors, and season. Go once, go often!
1. Cumberland River Bicentennial Trail, 177 Chapmansboro Road, Ashland City , TN 37015
There’s lots of shade, and several terrains; the first 4 miles is paved and flat, with wooden bridges. For those who want a few obstacles, it connects to the Eagle Pass Trail Head, which is 2.5 miles of loose and packed gravel over roots. Eagle Pass has a few elevation surprises and a mysterious door along the route. Turn around at any time, but if you make it to the end, you can treat yourself with a picnic.
2. Shutes Branch Mountain Bike Trail, 131 Shutes Branch Rd, Old Hickory, TN 37138
You can conquer an 8.1 mile loop with progressively more rugged terrain. You’ll ride over roots and rocks at all points but what’s considered beginner is the first 2.4 miles. Take a more casual ride along the paved circular path at the end of Shutes Branch Rd. if you or your bike want a calmer trip. Either way, you’ll get a good workout. On the mountain bike trek there are lettered connectors where you can abbreviate the ride (escape routes). On the casual trail you can stop at the alphabet-labelled offshoots to walk to the Cumberland River.
3. White House Greenway, several trailheads, including 418 TN-76, White House, TN 37188
Take a trip north on I-65, and enjoy this greenway that runs along fields, a creek, and a Sonic Drive-in! It’s a paved 4-mile trek one-way with a few steep hills, and the trailheads intersect with commercial businesses, residential communities, and parks so you can experience a cross-section of the town.
4. Harpeth River Greenway, several trailheads, including the paved part of the lot at the Harpeth Valley Golf Center, 7629 Old Harding Pike, Nashville, TN 37221
Entering from the paved lot, going right feels like entering a lush 4.5 mile rainforest, even though golfers are nearby. Going left is for the more adventurous who want hills and valleys. There are LOTS of bends and blind curves so stay alert. You may hear a chorus of bullfrogs blending with with traffic sounds from Highway 100.
5. Peeler Park Greenway, 2043 Neelys Bend Road (at the end), Madison, TN 37115
The Cumberland River is everywhere! This trail is almost 4 miles paved, and has loops that you can repeat at different points to extend the ride. Each time you visit this trail, like others, the scenery may change; and for 3 seasons, the trail is half shady, half sunny. There are several footpaths along the beginning of the route for those who wish to walk to the river.