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Discover Tennessee Trails and Byways

Motorcycle Trail in Tennessee 

Tennessee’s scenic highways and back roads offer some of America’s greatest motorcycle rides, through gently rolling hills and farmland, pass cypress swamps, forests, gorges and waterfalls and around exhilarating curves of rugged mountain switchbacks boasting spectacular overlooks.

Memphis barbecue mixed with Beale Street Blues marks the beginning of our motorcycle journey. Say goodbye to Elvis Presley’s flamboyant Graceland mansion and cruise north on the Great River Road (Highway 51), where the music shifts to the deep-throated purr of the Hondas and Harleys. Small towns and earthy scents of farming communities slip by as endless miles of cotton fields merge into soybean crops along Highway 78. 

Easy curves flank the cypress-studded shoreline of Reelfoot Lake, formed in the winter of 1811 when violent earthquakes caused the Mississippi River to flow backwards. This wintering ground of American bald eagles and migrating waterfowl draws anglers, wildlife enthusiasts, birdwatchers, botanists and photographers. Our fresh-air appetites are piqued in anticipation of the famous pecan-crusted chicken and home-made desserts awaiting us at the White House Restaurant on Troy’s historic town square.

As Tennessee’s motorcycle trail follows the rising terrain travelling east, strains of country music emanate from Nashville’s legendary Grand Ole Opry. Learn its history at the Country Music Hall of Fame; step back in time while touring the Hermitage, President Andrew Jackson’s Greek Revival home and sample Southern country cooking at Loveless Café. Pump the adrenaline at Nashville’s Superspeedway ready for the long curves of the Natchez Trace

Remember Civil War battle heroes at Franklin’s historic Carter House and discover antiques bargains in Leiper’s Fork. Along the Trace, cool off at Jackson Falls before visiting the grave of explorer Meriwether Lewis at Grinder’s Stand.

Marvel at the high bluffs and deep valleys of the Upper Cumberland Plateau, Big South Fork and Pickett State Park along scenic highways 127, 52 and 27, with stops at Standing Stone State Park, Jamestown and historic Rugby. 

Thrill to the engines’ roar at Bristol Motor Speedway or the hairpin bends on the Johnson City Backbone Motorcycle Ride. Discover Appalachian culture at Jonesborough’s Storytelling Festival, galleries in Gatlinburg and festivals in Townsend. Watch for wildlife on the curving road to Cade’s Cove and view mountains cloaked in autumn colours from Chattanooga’s Lookout Mountain.

Ascend the Cherohala Skyway along US 129 in the Great Smoky Mountains, with spectacular overlooks and switchbacks. Prepare to slay the dragon on the world-acclaimed “Tour de France” of motorcycle rides along the infamous 318 turns in 11 miles of the “Tail of the Dragon” at Deal’s Gap.

View statewide trails and a downloadable map at and discover Tennessee’s Motorcycle Trail along the roads less travelled.


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