Motorcycle Rides Near Me in Tennessee

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Have you ever asked the question:  Where are the best motorcycle rides near me in Tennessee (TN)? 

Whether you are simply looking for some new motorcycle rides & roads in Tennessee you have never been on or if you are really focused on trying to find the very best motorcycle rides in Tennessee, finding out all your motorcycle road choices and options can be more challenging than you realize.  Even for motorcycle riders with many years of riding experience driving motorcycles in The Volunteer State can find an incredible motorcycle ride that they had driven near or past for years without ever thinking to give it a try.  Or, these same riders may just happen to talk to another motorcycle rider and learn about some nearby great motorcycle roads in an area that they’ve never thought to check out.  So, (McR) has put together this short little guide aimed at helping you better answer the question - What are my best options for motorcycle rides near me in Tennessee?”  

*Rankings for Tennessee motorcycle rides were accurate at the time this guide was published/updated in Feb of 2020 (for more information, see Note 1 at the bottom of this article).  Additionally, McR uses a proprietary algorithm to calculate motorcycle ride popularity (for more information, see see Note 2 also at at the bottom of this article). 


Closest US Motorcycle Riding Hotspot to Tennessee

First, I need to tell you about some motorcycle riding HOTSPOTS across the United States.  After 20+ years of collecting data on approximately 2000 US motorcycle roads & rides, motorcycle rider reviews and ratings of those motorcycle roads, along with countless photos and videos, it has become clear that some regions of the United States have become motorcycle riding hotspots.  As you'll learn, these motorcycle riding hotspots are found in different parts of the country; in areas that are well known to offer amazing scenery and in some areas that don't have such a strong reputation.  There are a variety of reasons that motorcycle riders gravitate to certain parts of the country and every rider has their own preferences, so an area that may not be anything special to one rider, may be an absolute paradise for another rider.  For whatever the reasons are, each of these hotspots act like “magnets for motorcycling” and are depicted in the map image below.

US motorcycle riding hotspots

Nearest Motorcycle Riding Hotspot for Tennessee Motorcycle Riders: The Blue Ridge Box

blue ridge box motorcycle riding hotspot

As hotspots go, this one really stands out for having some of the highest quality and most popular motorcycle roads in the entire USA.  The Blue Ridge Box is an approximate 50x50 mile “box” located at the southern end of the Blue Ridge mountains and including portions of SE Tennessee, SW North Carolina, NE Georgia, and NW South Carolina.  This concentrated collection of spectacular motorcycle rides is home to a motorcycle ride that has been named a top motorcycle ride in the USA as long as the site has been running: The Tail of the Dragon (AKA Deal’s Gap).  The Tail of the Dragon draws enough attention and motorcycle riders from around the world that it alone could arguably represent a motorcycle riding hotspot in and of itself; yet the Blue Ridge Box contains many, many more top motorcycle roads including the following:


Iconic US Motorcycle Rides

Now if you are interested in not just hotspots but the USA's hottest individual motorcycle rides that are generally considered to be the very best motorcycle roads in the entire USA, then I need to tell you about the motorcycle rides that have reached iconic status. And, fortunately for you, one of these iconic motorcycle rides is located in your state of Colorado!  Overall, these are rides that all die hard motorcycling riding enthusiasts should add to his/her motorcycle riding bucket list.  The short list of these premium motorcycle rides in the USA are as follows:


  tail of the dragon photo

The Dragon – This is a route that starts at the North Carolina and Tennessee border and goes north from there for 11-miles into Tennessee.  This motorcycle ride goes by many names such as The Dragon, the Tail of the Dragon, Deal’s Gap, and/or the Dragon’s Tail.  Call it what you want, but this is most likely the most famous motorcycle road in the entire world … yes, world.  It is known for its collection of incredible curves compressed into a short stretch of 11-miles ... 318 curves in those mere 11-miles.   


  blue ridge parkway photo

The Blue Ridge Parkway – like The Tail of the Dragon discussed above, the next iconic motorcycle ride is also world famous yet this is anything but a short ride as it covers a whopping 469-miles!  This route is covers large portions of both Virginia and North Carolina and has been enchanting both motorcycle riders and car drivers for decades.


  three sisters motorcycle ride texas

Three Sisters – the next iconic motorcycle ride takes us down way down south & “deep in the heart of Texas” with a motorcycle ride that also goes by a few different names (Ranch Roads 335, 336,337a, or “The Twisted Sisters,” or simply “The Three Sisters”) and is positioned in an area known as Texas Hill country just northwest of San Antonio, Texas.  The ride has a cult following of riders and like the other iconic rides, draws motorcycle riders in from not just the USA but all parts of the world. 


  pch motorcycle ride

Hwy 1 - Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) – Beyond a doubt, the most iconic motorcycle ride in the west is the Pacific Coast Highway and is also one of the most famous scenic drive in all of the world.  This quintessential road trip up (or down) the California coast became popular when it was glamorized by a variety of movies and TV shows and has only grown in popularity over time.  It offers gentle curves and breathtaking scenery as well as world class amenities along the coast and in the cities/towns that grace its path.  


  tunnel of trees motorcycle ride michigan

If you’re looking for a iconic motorcycle ride in the Midwest, The Tunnel of Trees Road is like the PCH of the Midwest and like PCH (described above), this route is also a “shore hugger.”  It offers riders great lake shore scenery off to the west with a canopy of green foliage from above.  The ride is a favorite among Midwestern motorcycle riders and is particularly captivating in the fall when the autumn colors mesmerize riders as the ride beneath a canopy of golds, oranges, and scarlet reds.  


  beartooth motorcycle ride montana wyoming

The last iconic American motorcycle ride on our list is the most extreme in many aspects as it is located in a sparsely populated area in northern Wyoming and crossing over into an equally sparsely populated area of Southern Montana and is referred to as Beartooth Pass .  The route is extreme for the fact that for the sheer mountain cliffs and switchbacks as well as the fact that it can throw snow & ice into the mix as late as July.  It not only offers riders unrivaled mountain scenery but also has the added bonus of putting riders within a short drive to the quintessential US National Park - Yellowstone.   





Motorcycle Riding in the state of Tennessee  

So far we have told you about Tennessee's nearest motorcycle riding hotspot (the Blue Ridge Box), as well as some iconic US motorcycle roads that are spread out around the USA.  But if you simply want to know what the best motorcycle rides near you in Tennessee are, then read on as I describe 5 of the very best motorcycle rides in Tennessee below.  As mentioned above, one of them is truly an iconic US motorcycle ride but in total, there are currently 68 Tennessee motorcycle roads registered on McR which puts the state at nearly double the national average (at the time of this publication, the average state had 35 registered motorcycle roads).  And, not only does Tennessee do well in terms of quantity but also does very well when it comes to quality of motorcycle rides as many of its roads are found in the coveted Top 100 Motorcycle Rides in the USA

Below we highlight 5 of the best motorcycle rides in Tennessee but for the complete listing check out all registered Tennessee motorcycle rides.

The Top-5 Best Motorcycle Rides in Tennessee: 



tail of the dragon TN motorcycle ride.jpg

  1. Deal's Gap (AKA "The Dragon" Or "Tail Of The Dragon")

The 11-mile stretch along the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located at a sparsely populated area near the Tennessee-South Carolina border. The closest town to the north end of the route is Tallahassee. Views of the lush evergreen forest-covered mountains along the curving paths attracts rider from far and wide! The TN/NC border with the Blue Ridge Mountains on the east and The Great Smoky Mountains on the west offer road altitudes of above 5k and showcases 16 majestic peaks. Tread cautiously as there are several sharp turns and steep drop-offs.


Cherohala Skyway tennessee motorcycle ride.jpg

  1. Cherohala Skyway

Begin at Tellico Plains, TN and take Highway 165 that changes name to National Forest Road at the TN/NC border. Take a right on to the Cherohala Skyway and in a mile turn left to get back on the National Forest Road. From here, you go through the mountains to get to Robbinsville, NC. There are only restrooms for about 40 miles and the path can be dangerous at night and during winter. It is pretty secluded. The Tellico River on the Tennessee side offers trout fishing, canoeing and kayaking. Gas up and eat up in the Tellico Plains for this curvy 51-mile trip. You can camp or get a cabin in Tellico or get a hotel at Robbinsville. Tellico also has a visitor’s center and a museum.


natchez trace tennessee motorcycle ride.jpg

  1. Natchez Trace Parkway

This 430-mile motorcycle ride goes north from Natchez, Mississippi to Leipers Fork, Tennessee. It begins with stretches of oak, pine, beech and magnolia canopies. This US Department of Transportation’s elite ‘All American Road’ is especially beautiful in the spring when Dogwoods and Redbuds bud. It follows a historic almost 8,000-year-old pathway that Indians, armies, Spanish conquistadors, boatmen of the Midwest and early American settlers took. You will also see the ‘Little Mountain’, ironically the highest point of Mississippi here. The road offers several artistic and historic attractions. Jeff Busby Site is the only fuel station.


The Snake 2018 tennessee motorcycle ride.jpg

  1. "The Snake" - Hwy 421 & 34

This Tennessee motorcycle ride goes from Mountain City to Holston Valley through the Cherokee National Forest and Shady Valley. The ‘Snake’ has 489 curves, 3 mountains and a valley, all in just 33 miles! The Cherokee National Forest has some amazing views and the best twisties around as you go atop the first mountain ridge. The exhilarating twisties that continue to the second mountain goes through the third and the Holston Lake to the Valley. Either ends have all facilities you could need.


land between the lakes tennessee motorcycle ride.jpg

  1. The Trace (Through The Land Between The Lakes)

This Tennessee motorcycle ride starts at Dover. It has a lot of scenery including a bison range, elk, an 1850’s settlement, lakes, springs, wood stretches and open scenery vistas. At Trace there is the Homeplace, a 4-dollar tour that shows you an old living working farm where animals walk around freely. Gentle rolling hills, smooth curves and overall good motorcycle roads lead to Grand River, KY. There are some places to grab a bite on the road, but not many restrooms.

Lastly, overall Tennessee offers something for nature lovers, history enthusiasts and culture seekers. It is one of those states that is complete with great food and music too.  So putting together great motorcycle outings in this state is easy as you simply can combine any of the many great Tennessee motorcycle roads found on McR and any of the suggested destinations/attractions in the list below: 

  • Graceland is the mansion where the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley once resided. It is on the National Registry of Historic Places and displays artifacts such as his clothing, records, cars and planes. The grand house and its furnishings are indeed a spectacle. The tour also offers a multimedia iPad to help understand the exhibits better.
  • Ijams Nature Center, a natural park and protected wildlife area, spans over 300 acres and offers several attractions like hiking, paddling, trail walking, canoeing and biking. Local handmade crafts, gifts and refreshments are available here.
  • The Beale Street, named one of the country’s most iconic streets, is in Memphis. The two-mile street runs from the Mississippi River to East Street and is lined with blues clubs and restaurants. The clubs here had a historic role to play with blues music. Even today tourists from all over the world come in to attend the festivals and concerts hosted here.
  • The Discovery Park of America has 50 acres of a museum, park and a garden with several exhibits and activities. One can learn about the state’s history, military science, art and nature here. The highlights are a theater earthquake stimulator, a 20,000-gallon aquarium and a 60-foot replica of a human body. A special exhibit area changes from time to time.
  • The Memphis Zoo is home to 3,500 animals belonging to 500 species. Modeled after their natural habitats, the tour is about 2 miles long. It is one of the only four zoos in the country to have Giant Pandas from China.
  • The Lookout Mountain includes three major attractions. The Ruby Falls has the world’s tallest underground waterfall. The tour goes through caves and ends up at a site to enjoy the water. Rock City Gardens is a park that houses the Lover’s Leap, from where it is believed to be possible to see seven states. The Incline Railway is known to be the world’s steepest passenger railway that climbs to the summit, showcasing wonderful views.
  • The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that covers parts of the Blue Ridge Mountains of the Appalachian Range. The beautiful scenic biodiversity features black bear and elk encounters while visitors hike. Cades Cove preserves some Appalachian Historic Buildings.
  • Stone River National Battlefield is a Civil War site in Murfreesboro. The 570-acre park has educational avenues to learn about this specific battle and the events of the whole war. The Hazen’s Bridage Monument here is the oldest surviving American Civil War monument.
  • Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium spreads over 3,500 acres to preserve nature. This includes a 44-acre lake. Attractions here include a Nature Center with the Planetarium. Exhibits of animal habitats, a 300-foot zip line (where one can sign up for an adventure ropes course), hiking and biking trails. The planetarium offers free seasonal astronomy viewings at night.


Interested in more motorcycle ride articles like this?

  Midwest's Best Motorcycle Rides


The Top 10 Motorcycle Rides in the Midwest  


The Top 10 Motorcycle Rides in the Northeast  
  South's Best Motorcycle Rides


The Top 10 Motorcycle Rides in the South  
  West's Best Motorcycle Rides


The Top 10 Motorcycle Rides in the West  


Note 1:  All facts and figures were gathered during early Jan 2019 and will change over time as new motorcycle roads are added to the collection. 
Note 2:  How were these popularity ratings calculated? 
A motorcycle road’s popularity can be based on a wide variety of factors.  Our analysis considered some obvious indicators of motorcycle road popularity such each roads’ “Rider Rating” scores (star ratings) and which motorcycle road description pages were visited the most.  But, the analysis dug deeper and looked at some less obvious yet valuable indicators of a motorcycle road’s popularity such as how often a given motorcycle road was added to riders’ “To Ride” lists, how often a given motorcycle road was added to riders’ “Rode it” lists and enthusiasm indicators such how often photos and/or videos were uploaded for a given road and which roads are attracting the most buzz among motorcycle roads indicated by those roads that are receiving the most number of new/recent comments.  For the sake of being consistent and as objective as possible we use a popularity algorithm that “crunches those number” and allows us to develop a ranking of the popularity of each of the motorcycle roads used as a basis for this guide.



As always, I hope to provide you with insightful & valuable motorcycle riding community information to help you get the most out of all of your motorcycling experiences.

I'm always looking for ways to make better and more helpful so if you have any suggestions to improve the website, just contact me through the Feedback button you'll find near the top of every page.  And as always, if you have a favorite motorcycle road of yours that is not yet registered on, please get that favorite of yours "on the map" by registering it at  Registering a motorcycle road (or event, or club, or place) is quick and easy and you'll be helping out our motorcycle riding community!!! 

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