Author Topic: Charleston S.C. To Nashville TN.  (Read 2318 times)

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Offline HobbesOnTour

Charleston S.C. To Nashville TN.
« on: June 24, 2019, 07:07:41 am »
Hi all,
Wondering if anybody has some local knowledge they'd care to share for this route?

I'll be travelling it most likely October on a loaded MTB. My preference is for quiet roads, no problem with with a bit of gentle off-road, daily distances 50-60 miles. I'll be camping as much as possible too.

Any routes, tips or must-see places would be appreciated.

For a bit of background, I'll be biking up from Florida, then after Nashville heading south again to New Orleans, then westwards until I drop into Mexico. I'll be using ACA maps for the Atlantic Coast/Southern Tier legs, it's the bit linking Charleston to Nashville that is blank.

It'll be my first time on a bike Stateside so all help gratefully accepted.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Charleston S.C. To Nashville TN.
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2019, 09:47:38 am »
If you take the southern route, well, I can only help you after you get to Atlanta.  Start with Bike Route 21 GA https://ridewithgps.com/routes/26986522 to get to Chattanooga, and then take a look a the links I posted at https://forums.adventurecycling.org/index.php?topic=15622.msg82573#msg82573 for roads to Nashville.

If you want to come up through the mountains towards the Great Smoky Mountains, let me know; I found another route from the western end of the park over to Nashville.  Once again, I don't know my way around South Carolina, so I can't help with that part.

Offline HobbesOnTour

Re: Charleston S.C. To Nashville TN.
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2019, 04:22:56 am »
Hi Pat,
Thanks for a great reply! I'm not sure on whether to approach Nashville from a southerly or northerly perspective. Most of what I have found is favouring a route in the Atlanta direction, but for some reason (I don't know why!) I'm personally more disposed to a northerly approach - but what the heck do I know?  :D

Have you cycled this route yourself (Atlanta/Chatanooga).

Pat, I'm relatively free in my route choices. It's a blank canvas. I'll be passing this way once so if you think there's a route that shows off that part of the world at its best, I'll be all ears.

Anyone else got any assistance maybe from Charleston to Atlanta?

Thanking you all.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Charleston S.C. To Nashville TN.
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2019, 05:17:24 pm »
I haven't ridden either part in its entirety.  The Silver Comet trail out of Atlanta is an easy choice, and most of the parts of the northbound rout I've ridden are lightly traffic'ed, so I have no reason not to recommend it.  I've ridden and/or driven most of the Chattanooga to Nashville part, and it's beautiful country, if a bit steep in places.

Speaking of steep, here's a route from outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSM) to Nashville, with a couple of options on how to get over the state line from Robbinsville: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30047819

Leiper's Fork at the western end is a half a mile from the Natchez Trace Parkway, which is a good cycling road that'll lead you into western Nashville.  You could also take the road from Cherokee, NC into Gatlinburg, TN (except on a weekend or holiday -- stay away then!), come over the ridge and down to Townsend, down the road to the Foothills Parkway, and pick up the Nashville route on U.S. 129 to TN 72.

Let me know what you're interested in and I may be able to help with more specific recommendations.


Offline HobbesOnTour

Re: Charleston S.C. To Nashville TN.
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2019, 08:14:25 am »
Thanks, Pat.

I really appreciate your replies.

I'll have a look at some of your suggestions over the weekend in more detail.

Then, I'll probably come back with more questions!  ;D

Offline DanE

Re: Charleston S.C. To Nashville TN.
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2019, 01:27:23 pm »
South Carolina published a bicycle touring guide in 1983 with details for several routes. This is long out of print but sort of lives on at the web site: https://jimstrailresources.wordpress.com/south-carolina-bicycle-touring-guide/

You might be interested in either the Savanah River Route or the Walter Ezell route for riding from the Charleston area northwest across South Carolina if you are aiming for Nashville.

No knowledge of these routes, but I did use this map in the 80's to ride from North Carolina to Savannah and it was useful then.

Offline HobbesOnTour

Re: Charleston S.C. To Nashville TN.
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2019, 04:40:00 pm »

Speaking of steep, here's a route from outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSM) to Nashville, with a couple of options on how to get over the state line from Robbinsville: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30047819

Leiper's Fork at the western end is a half a mile from the Natchez Trace Parkway, which is a good cycling road that'll lead you into western Nashville.  You could also take the road from Cherokee, NC into Gatlinburg, TN (except on a weekend or holiday -- stay away then!), come over the ridge and down to Townsend, down the road to the Foothills Parkway, and pick up the Nashville route on U.S. 129 to TN 72.

Let me know what you're interested in and I may be able to help with more specific recommendations.

I really appreciate the time and effort, Pat. I'll probably be taking the Natchez Trace south after Nashville.

I'm leaning towards following the Walter Ezell Route simply because it'll mean the least back-tracking and I can avoid Atlanta. I'm not a fan of cycling through, or indeed, around big cities. Having looked at the Silver Comet route though, I think I would have enjoyed that. Decisions decisions!

This is what my planner is suggesting for the route into Nashville after the Walter Ezell Route, starting from McKinney Mountain..ish.
Any comments gratefully received  :)
https://cycle.travel/map/journey/112516

You might be interested in either the Savanah River Route or the Walter Ezell route for riding from the Charleston area northwest across South Carolina if you are aiming for Nashville.

Thanks Dan. I remember coming across the Walter Ezell Route a couple of years ago when this was more of a notion. It appears to be the route that suits me best as I really want to visit Charleston and don't fancy doubling back to Savannah.

« Last Edit: July 03, 2019, 03:48:34 am by HobbesOnTour »