This route is brought to you by Ali Whittier, one of our 2022 Route Ambassadors and competitive gravel cyclist from Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Photo Credits: Ali Whittier
This is a challenging route in the Tellico Ranger District of the Cherokee National Forest with great scenery. The views at the top of Buck Bald Mountain, which offers panoramic views of other mountain peaks in Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee, is well worth the effort!
There is very low traffic on this mostly gravel route.
The route starts and ends at Hiawassee Outfitters, so if a dip in the river after a hot summer ride is calling you, you can!
The route is pretty remote, so there is not much around the route. This ride might be wise to do with a small group of cyclist for support and safety.
Do this route if you're looking for a challenging ride near Reliance, TN with a lot of elevation gain with beautiful views to reward your efforts.
The route starts and finishes at Hiawassee Outfitters, where you can park. There are toilets available there too, but you'll want to make sure to bring enough food to keep you going for all 50 miles.
Bring plenty of fluids and a water filter. There is one opportunity to fill bottles at a pipe spring around mile 15.
Ali was born and raised in Iowa before moving to the Southeast after college. Now a competitive cyclist in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Ali uses her weekends free from her corporate job to explore surrounding National Forests and Wilderness Areas by bike to train with other Chattanooga female cyclists for upcoming endurance adventures across the U.S.
In 2020, Ali completed the infamous Trans North Georgia Adventure, a bike packing race across the state of Georgia, with two of her closest female friends, which is unheard for a mostly solo event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMFdO-1z8No:
You can also hear more about Ali's journey, and how she transformed from a dancer and team sport athlete to runner and endurance cyclist on the Day Fire Podcast.
For more info, check out her website: https://withthewhittiers.com/