Experience the thrill of the wind on your face while knowing that you’re saving money on gas, contributing to less road traffic and help to promote cleaner air. Bicycling is also a great way to squeeze exercise into a fun activity so you become fitter and leaner while feeling a heightened sense of freedom and relaxation. There’s nothing like riding to stimulate circulation, relieve stress and allow creative thought.

Townsend is a community with a strong bike culture that welcomes and celebrates bicycling and provides safe and convenient places to ride and park. The 10-mile Shadows of the Past Trail runs on either side of Highway 321, providing a paved, well-lit and maintained pathway for traveling on foot or bicycle. Added in 2002, it makes for a moderately easy but enjoyable workout while you see Townsend’s shops and attractions including the Little River Railroad Museum, the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center, artisan galleries and more. You can start or stop anywhere you choose. Along the route, signs describe the history and culture of the region from the earliest documented inhabitants to present day. It’s viable to get around Townsend without riding in your motor vehicle while you stay at Dancing Bear.

You can take a bike to Cades Cove, if they have the proper racks and necessary gear, on Saturdays or Wednesdays. Here are some of our favorite Smoky Mountain bicycling recommendations.

Guests of Dancing Bear Lodge receive complimentary bike rental (during warmer seasons) and can keep them overnight for day rentals. This is subject to availability and seasonal. You can find the bicycles adjacent to and available on the Front Deck at the Apple Valley Country Stores. Please be prepared to sign a liability waiver and use a valid credit card when returning a bicycle to the store.

If you prefer to leave your bikes at home and want to rent bicycles, we recommend Smoky Mountain Outdoor Center, located at 209 Wears Valley Road in Townsend, or Cycology Bicycles.

On September 16, 2017, we will host the Dancing Bear Bicycle Bash. The first event was held several years ago. The event offers something for experienced riders as well as families and beginners. We will post more information about the bicycle bash as the event date nears. Call us at 1.800.369.0111 ext. 1 for more information.