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Tennessee Three River Experience (4 nights)

Duration
4 nights
BASE PRICE
$995
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
Active
Book Tour
type
Self-guided
DISTANCE
35 miles daily average

Overview

The Tennessee Overhill is a treasure trove of rivers, waterfalls, forested mountains, quiet backroads, sprawling farmland and rolling hills set against the backdrop of Cherokee National Forest. 

It’s a region where tradition and family still mean everything, and it’s the family-owned farms and vineyards that share this tour’s focus with the natural beauty.

You'll not just enjoy some of the finest cycling Tennessee has to offer. You'll also experience farm life and observe farmers who have a passion for a calling that has been in their families for generations. 

You can also visit vineyards that are more recent additions to the Overhill, but they follow a tradition that started in Tennessee well before the Civil War. In a state better known for its whiskey, wineries are slowly making quite a name for themselves--and you’ll taste why. In late summer and fall, you can often pick your own muscadines to snack on during your ride.

For an additional cost, we can provide a ride-along guide and/or accompanying support vehicle.

Note: This tour can be customized for private parties based on interests and preferences for ride duration and level of difficulty.

Highlights

Depending on chosen daily activities

  • The varied scenery of rural East Tennessee
  • Waterfalls
  • Visits to historic rural towns
  • Relaxed riding on quiet backroads
  • Views to Cherokee National Forest
  • Scenic Ocoee, Hiwassee and Tellico Rivers
  • Wine-tastings available (additional cost) at Tsali Notch Vineyard
  • Visit to a Mennonite farm market

Difficulty

Active
Level 3 out of 4

The region is called "Overhill" for a reason--and you'll be cycling over countless hills. But few are long and fewer are steep. With the exception of a few brief areas with packed gravel or dirt (very walkable), the surface is entirely asphalt.

Itinerary

Daily Program

Day 1: Arrival in Calhoun

Our representative will meet you in the morning for your bike fitting and orientation at Hiwassee Acres. It’s a peaceful, active getaway, located on 225 acres along the Hiwassee River with secluded hiking trails, a small petting zoo, kayaking, swimming, geocaching, and tranquil spots to relax or read along the river.

Lodging is in the Hiwassee Acres Nature Lodge, where you will stay in a brand-new studio apartment with a queen bed, full kitchen, bathroom with a beautiful tile shower, and wall-mounted flat screen TV.

Today’s ride, the Calhoun-Chatata Valley Loop-Calhoun (37 miles), takes you into the rolling farmlands of historic Chatata Valley. Your first four miles follow along the slow waters of the Hiwassee River as you make your way to Charleston.

Along this beautiful route, you should also consider the compelling stories of human spirit and tragic sacrifice that took place there involving the Trail of Tears and the Civil War. Take time to stop at the Hiwassee River Heritage Center, which is also the starting point for a brief walk along a section of the Trail of Tears called “Voices from the Past,” which features significant quotes about the Cherokee Removal.

Your mid-ride destination: family-run Morris Vineyard, which has a simple motto: "We plant. We grow. We harvest. We make." All wines are produced and bottled on location at their vineyard and winery. The Morris family has dedicated three generations to this craft and offer a variety of 19 different wines to choose from, ranging from sweet to dry. They also make their own jellies and offer local cheeses and, in season, the option to pick muscadines and berries. All of this with the best view in town!

There is no restaurant onsite or nearby, but the staff of Hiwassee Acres is happy to pick up groceries or prepared foods for you for dinner and breakfast (additional charge). 

Extra night before tour available at Hiwassee Acres Nature Lodge

Overnight at Hiwassee Acres Nature Lodge

Day 2: Calhoun to Tellico Plains (34 miles or 39 miles with out and back to Savannah Oaks Winery and Delano Community Farm Market)

After breakfast, you enter the Hiwassee River Valley and make your way to historic Tellico Plains. If you’d like, extend your ride five miles and visit the Delano Community Farm Market, a Mennonite market where you can load up on fruit and baked goods, and Savannah Oaks Winery, nestled in the foothills surrounding Starr Mountain, on the picturesque Savannah Farms, whose 11,000 acres include the winery's thriving vineyards. Enjoy a tasting in an 1861 cantilever barn that was built by 40 men in one day!

If whiskey is more your cup of tea, a must-experience stop is the new Starr Mountain Distillery in historic Etowah. If you’re lucky, you’ll meet “Shine,” the chief distiller with an abundance of backwoods stories to tell. At very least, enjoy lunch at the Farmhouse Restaurant in Etowah.

Follow quiet back roads to the historic town of Tellico Junction, at the entrance to the Cherokee National Forest and in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. 

Overnight at Tellico Farmhouse Inn, a 1920s farmhouse renovated with modern conveniences. Restaurants for dinner are within walking distance. 

Day 3: Tellico Plains Along Tellico River Road and Back (24-44 miles round trip)

Note: Other loop routes are possible from Tellico Plains

Follow the Tellico River through a deep chasm on an asphalt forest service road deep into Cherokee National Forest. The first half is nearly entirely uphill, but it’s gradual--although it doesn’t feel so gradual on the sweeping downhill ride back. It’s an out and back, so you can turn around whenever you’d like. The full distance takes you almost to the North Carolina line. Whatever distance you ride, you’ll have the river as company the entire way as it tumbles down from the Smoky Mountains. An early highlight: Bald River Falls (12 miles) with an opportunity to hike. Turn around here, or continue to Green Cove Angler Store (7 miles) for snacks and a restroom break with an optional extension to the Tellico Trout Hatchery (1.5 miles) and further to the North Carolina State Line (3 miles). Return to Tellico Plains (22 miles from State Line)

Overnight at Tellico Farmhouse Inn

Day 4: Tellico Plains to Tsali Notch Vineyard to Tellico Plains (34 miles)

Note: Other loop routes are possible from Tellico Plains

Enjoy a leisurely back-country ramble to Tsali Notch Vineyard, a 202-acre muscadine grape vineyard. Named after an historic Cherokee leader, Tsali Notch vineyard specializes in muscadine grapes, grown on over 6,000 vines on 21 miles of trellises, covering 35 acres of a 202-acre estate. The property has an average elevation of 1,150 feet and is ringed by sweeping mountain views. The Vineyard tasting room is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon until 6 pm. 

Overnight at Tellico Farmhouse Inn

Day 5: Tellico Farmland Loop (28-40 miles)

Check out and store your luggage at the inn.

A variety of routes through forest and farmland toward the Little Tennessee River including possibilities to stop at Hidden Lake Campground and Resort; Tellico Community Farmers Market, a small Mennonite market with produce from local farmers; Tellico Farm Cottage, where you can meet the cows and farmers of this sixth generation farm.

Individual departure in afternoon

Extra night available at Tellico Farmhouse Inn after tour

Dates & Pricing

Dates

Daily, upon request, subject to availability, April 1-November 15, 2021

Prices

Minimum 2 participants

Double occupancy: $955 (per person)

Single supplement: $325

Rental bikes (each, includes delivery and pickup)

Road or hybrid touring bike: $175

Electric-assist (e-bike): $360

Optional and on request (additional cost)

Ride-along bike escort: $225/day per group

Accompanying vehicle/driver: $185/day per group

Extra nights in Calhoun or Tellico Plains: $150 per person, double  occupancy

Round-trip transfer to/from Chattanooga: $49 per person

Prepared foods or grocery shopping available for Hiwassee Acres (pay for purchased items only, not shopping)

Emergency assistance “insurance” for bicycle and/or traveler pick-up (within 2 hours): $100 per person total for 4 days

Inclusions
  • 4 nights’ lodging
  • 3 breakfasts 
  • Arrival snack at Tellico Farmhouse Inn
  • 3 packed snacks from Tellico Farmhouse Inn
  • 3 packed lunches from Tellico Farmhouse Inn
  • Luggage transfer (1)
  • Detailed route planning
  • Maps, route information and downloadable Ride With GPS files
  • Emergency hotline in case of issues en route (we will try to arrange pickups or repairs with your local hosts)

Map
Gallery

Depending on chosen daily activities

  • The varied scenery of rural East Tennessee
  • Waterfalls
  • Visits to historic rural towns
  • Relaxed riding on quiet backroads
  • Views to Cherokee National Forest
  • Scenic Ocoee, Hiwassee and Tellico Rivers
  • Wine-tastings available (additional cost) at Tsali Notch Vineyard
  • Visit to a Mennonite farm market

Active
Level 3 out of 4

The region is called "Overhill" for a reason--and you'll be cycling over countless hills. But few are long and fewer are steep. With the exception of a few brief areas with packed gravel or dirt (very walkable), the surface is entirely asphalt.

Daily Program

Day 1: Arrival in Calhoun

Our representative will meet you in the morning for your bike fitting and orientation at Hiwassee Acres. It’s a peaceful, active getaway, located on 225 acres along the Hiwassee River with secluded hiking trails, a small petting zoo, kayaking, swimming, geocaching, and tranquil spots to relax or read along the river.

Lodging is in the Hiwassee Acres Nature Lodge, where you will stay in a brand-new studio apartment with a queen bed, full kitchen, bathroom with a beautiful tile shower, and wall-mounted flat screen TV.

Today’s ride, the Calhoun-Chatata Valley Loop-Calhoun (37 miles), takes you into the rolling farmlands of historic Chatata Valley. Your first four miles follow along the slow waters of the Hiwassee River as you make your way to Charleston.

Along this beautiful route, you should also consider the compelling stories of human spirit and tragic sacrifice that took place there involving the Trail of Tears and the Civil War. Take time to stop at the Hiwassee River Heritage Center, which is also the starting point for a brief walk along a section of the Trail of Tears called “Voices from the Past,” which features significant quotes about the Cherokee Removal.

Your mid-ride destination: family-run Morris Vineyard, which has a simple motto: "We plant. We grow. We harvest. We make." All wines are produced and bottled on location at their vineyard and winery. The Morris family has dedicated three generations to this craft and offer a variety of 19 different wines to choose from, ranging from sweet to dry. They also make their own jellies and offer local cheeses and, in season, the option to pick muscadines and berries. All of this with the best view in town!

There is no restaurant onsite or nearby, but the staff of Hiwassee Acres is happy to pick up groceries or prepared foods for you for dinner and breakfast (additional charge). 

Extra night before tour available at Hiwassee Acres Nature Lodge

Overnight at Hiwassee Acres Nature Lodge

Day 2: Calhoun to Tellico Plains (34 miles or 39 miles with out and back to Savannah Oaks Winery and Delano Community Farm Market)

After breakfast, you enter the Hiwassee River Valley and make your way to historic Tellico Plains. If you’d like, extend your ride five miles and visit the Delano Community Farm Market, a Mennonite market where you can load up on fruit and baked goods, and Savannah Oaks Winery, nestled in the foothills surrounding Starr Mountain, on the picturesque Savannah Farms, whose 11,000 acres include the winery's thriving vineyards. Enjoy a tasting in an 1861 cantilever barn that was built by 40 men in one day!

If whiskey is more your cup of tea, a must-experience stop is the new Starr Mountain Distillery in historic Etowah. If you’re lucky, you’ll meet “Shine,” the chief distiller with an abundance of backwoods stories to tell. At very least, enjoy lunch at the Farmhouse Restaurant in Etowah.

Follow quiet back roads to the historic town of Tellico Junction, at the entrance to the Cherokee National Forest and in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. 

Overnight at Tellico Farmhouse Inn, a 1920s farmhouse renovated with modern conveniences. Restaurants for dinner are within walking distance. 

Day 3: Tellico Plains Along Tellico River Road and Back (24-44 miles round trip)

Note: Other loop routes are possible from Tellico Plains

Follow the Tellico River through a deep chasm on an asphalt forest service road deep into Cherokee National Forest. The first half is nearly entirely uphill, but it’s gradual--although it doesn’t feel so gradual on the sweeping downhill ride back. It’s an out and back, so you can turn around whenever you’d like. The full distance takes you almost to the North Carolina line. Whatever distance you ride, you’ll have the river as company the entire way as it tumbles down from the Smoky Mountains. An early highlight: Bald River Falls (12 miles) with an opportunity to hike. Turn around here, or continue to Green Cove Angler Store (7 miles) for snacks and a restroom break with an optional extension to the Tellico Trout Hatchery (1.5 miles) and further to the North Carolina State Line (3 miles). Return to Tellico Plains (22 miles from State Line)

Overnight at Tellico Farmhouse Inn

Day 4: Tellico Plains to Tsali Notch Vineyard to Tellico Plains (34 miles)

Note: Other loop routes are possible from Tellico Plains

Enjoy a leisurely back-country ramble to Tsali Notch Vineyard, a 202-acre muscadine grape vineyard. Named after an historic Cherokee leader, Tsali Notch vineyard specializes in muscadine grapes, grown on over 6,000 vines on 21 miles of trellises, covering 35 acres of a 202-acre estate. The property has an average elevation of 1,150 feet and is ringed by sweeping mountain views. The Vineyard tasting room is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon until 6 pm. 

Overnight at Tellico Farmhouse Inn

Day 5: Tellico Farmland Loop (28-40 miles)

Check out and store your luggage at the inn.

A variety of routes through forest and farmland toward the Little Tennessee River including possibilities to stop at Hidden Lake Campground and Resort; Tellico Community Farmers Market, a small Mennonite market with produce from local farmers; Tellico Farm Cottage, where you can meet the cows and farmers of this sixth generation farm.

Individual departure in afternoon

Extra night available at Tellico Farmhouse Inn after tour

Dates

Daily, upon request, subject to availability, April 1-November 15, 2021

Prices

Minimum 2 participants

Double occupancy: $955 (per person)

Single supplement: $325

Rental bikes (each, includes delivery and pickup)

Road or hybrid touring bike: $175

Electric-assist (e-bike): $360

Optional and on request (additional cost)

Ride-along bike escort: $225/day per group

Accompanying vehicle/driver: $185/day per group

Extra nights in Calhoun or Tellico Plains: $150 per person, double  occupancy

Round-trip transfer to/from Chattanooga: $49 per person

Prepared foods or grocery shopping available for Hiwassee Acres (pay for purchased items only, not shopping)

Emergency assistance “insurance” for bicycle and/or traveler pick-up (within 2 hours): $100 per person total for 4 days

  • 4 nights’ lodging
  • 3 breakfasts 
  • Arrival snack at Tellico Farmhouse Inn
  • 3 packed snacks from Tellico Farmhouse Inn
  • 3 packed lunches from Tellico Farmhouse Inn
  • Luggage transfer (1)
  • Detailed route planning
  • Maps, route information and downloadable Ride With GPS files
  • Emergency hotline in case of issues en route (we will try to arrange pickups or repairs with your local hosts)

Maps are for reference only and may not be the actual routes used.
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Questions? Drop us a line.

CONTACT US