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Old 03-20-2021, 06:21 PM #1
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trails in the Smokys?

We are heading back and will be in TN more in the Gatlinburg area. We were in my Xterra which was old so we didn't do much. I don't think we even looked. Now, we would like to go off the beaten trail if possible. Will everything be packed since it will be April and where should we go?
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Old 03-21-2021, 09:16 AM #2
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I spent a lot of time in the last year half in or around the Knoxville area, which is only minutes from the Smokies. I did a lot of exploring and did not see many readily available public land or trails etc. A lot of it was private farmland etc nonetheless a gorgeous area.
Anyways, there's a cool off-road park called windrock about 30 minutes to the west of the Knoxville area in a town called oak Hall I believe or something like that. It is a pretty intense off-road area that you pay to use but it's a lot of fun and there's a ton of people there to help if you were to get stuck or break down etc. Hope it helps


WINDROCK PARK - The South's Premier Off-Road Adventure Park
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Old 03-21-2021, 09:19 AM #3
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Unfortunately the forestry land areas seem to be mostly west of the rockies. Midwest to east coast is pretty bare for dispersed camping and public trails.
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Old 03-21-2021, 10:38 AM #4
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Went down there last August but didn't get a chance to explore much. Researched it some afterwards but all I could really find was a couple 1 way roads out of Cades cove. Both are seasonal and I think one has been closed for several years for fallen trees or something
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Old 03-21-2021, 05:42 PM #5
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Theres many many jeep rental businesses in the gatlinburg/ pigeon forge area. I was up there a few years ago and stopped at one and asked where to find some unpaved roads. The guy at the shop marked a map for me and I had a day of it. I suggest trying that.
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Old 03-21-2021, 05:57 PM #6
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Offroad Trails in Tennessee
This is link to several trails in the Knoxville. They range from "easy" to "severe."

Personally I've done the Windrock Trails in Oliver Springs that eevanskiteboards mentioned. Unless slippery due to rains, doable in a stock 5th Gen T4R.

Schoolhouse Road - Tennessee Offroad Trail
School House Road is also nearby in Wartburg. Nice casual trail with a bit more scenery.


Hope this helps.
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Old 03-22-2021, 06:45 AM #7
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Here's all the Motor Vehicle Use Maps in the USA:
USDA Forest Service - Caring for the land and serving people.

TN:
Cherokee National Forest - Maps & Publications

Click on these links for the maps:
Attached Images
trails in the Smokys?-mvum-tn-jpg 
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Old 03-22-2021, 08:35 AM #8
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what Drobs said

Cherokee National Forest - Recreation
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Old 03-22-2021, 08:47 AM #9
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re comment above about 'west of the rockies' - i should be glad that traffic is directed 'out there' somewhere, since what makes backcountry roads interesting and stimulating is that there ain't so many people trying to make noise and ruts for a day on the weekend on the many roads in the southeast, Texas, New Mexico.

dual-sport motorcyclists find such things if one is inclined to be persistent
example here: Solo New Mexico BDR Part 1) | Adventure Rider
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Old 03-22-2021, 09:37 AM #10
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Lived in the area for years (College).

Windrock north of Oak Ridge is the best bet.

Actual wheeling in the Smokies? Nah, get caught on the fire roads and ole green britches will have a field day with you.

Tellico as Drobs pointed out is on the border with NC and on the backside of the Cherokee area.

Used to be the Rubicon of the east until Trout Unlimited swooped in and shut down the 3rd best trail network in the country.

Take 81 up towards Johnson City and there are some state OHV areas but that's a haul from Sevierville / Gatlinburg
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Old 03-22-2021, 10:35 AM #11
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I'll be there 3/31-4/4 visiting family. I grew up in the Knoxville area. Last year's trip, I did Hurricane Creek Trail (difficult with large ruts and some areas with rocks), Buzzard's Roost via Forest roads (moderate) and Wolf creek falls trail (easy). This year I will likely to the Nemo Tunnel (near Wartburg and close with Windrock) and Horse Creek Trail (Cherokee NF near Greeneville). None of those are in the Smokeys per se, but are within a short drive. I have some YouTube videos from last year on my channel if you want to see them.

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Old 03-22-2021, 04:46 PM #12
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buzzards roost is moderate? it's gravel forest service roads, not even a trail
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Old 03-24-2021, 10:14 AM #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhguth View Post
buzzards roost is moderate? it's gravel forest service roads, not even a trail
Maybe I should have clarified that. The route I took, Forest Road 288, was not just a gravel forest service road. Not passable for most non-4x4 passenger vehicles. I guess you could take an easier route if you want to drive your Prius there.

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Old 04-05-2021, 10:19 AM #14
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Just got back from East Tennessee, there are some photos from Nemo Tunnel and Horse Creek trail. More on my IG page (link in my signature).

https://www.toyota-4runner.org/3624141-post46353.html

https://www.toyota-4runner.org/3624143-post46354.html
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Old 04-13-2021, 09:53 AM #15
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YouTube video of Horse Creek trail goes live tonight at 7pm cst if anyone is interested in checking it out.
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