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Off-Road Trails: Tennessee

Explore off-road from the Tennessee River to the Cumberland Mountains

Photo credit: Michael Carni/Shutterstock.com
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If you live in the southern United States and love off-road, then you have already heard of the trail opportunities in the great state of Tennessee. From east to west, this long section of the country reaches out across many mountains and valleys to provide that adventurer with somewhere to thrive. If you own a SXS like the new Honda Talon, then you have a vehicle to share the wonderful outdoors friends or family. Tennessee has more private commercial riding locations, but also a few OHV areas like Prentice Cooper in Chattanooga.

Most all of the riding locations you will find in the Volunteer State will have mountains, rocky-based trails and plenty of scenery. The diverse and naturally lush landscape should provide many locations for that ultimate selfie with off-road buddies. Trails will almost always include mud puddles after a rain storm and lush green canopies for that added shade in the heat of the summer. RV camping in the national forest areas is possible, as well as camp sites for those who love to rough it.

Tennessee is always welcoming travelers from different states and accommodations can range from VRBO, Bed and breakfast, as well a variety of hotels with all price points along the highways. We suggest seeking out a good bed and breakfast, though, so the family can be together in a home style setting to get the best experience. As we have always heard, a family that rides together stays together and we know that life is better on a Honda!

Distance 60+ Miles

Skill Level All

Trailhead Mountain City, Tenn.

Doe Mountain Recreation Area

Distance 60+ Miles

Skill Level All

Trailhead Mountain City, Tenn.

If the name Mountain City, Tennessee doesn’t indicate the terrain at the Doe Mountain Recreation area, then you must not get the hint. Riding here you will expect to be in the mountains. Having a relaxing day with family is easy at DMRA as the trails are very easy and all skill levels are welcome. This recreation area covers some 8,600 acres and has more than 60 miles of easily navigated trails. There are campgrounds surrounding the trail system and access is easy, but there is no overnight parking. The Pioneer village shopping center is a great stop for lunch or snacks. The quiet cab and comfortable seating in the Talon should make for a great, relaxing day on the trails.

Honda-Talon-Tennessee

Distance 100 Miles

Skill Level All

Trailhead Marion County, Tenn.

Prentice Cooper State Forest

Distance 100 Miles

Skill Level All

Trailhead Marion County, Tenn.

If you find yourself in the area of Chattanooga, Tenn. and looking for an incredible secret riding location, then you must step out on HWY 27, north east of town and in just a few short miles you will reach Prentice Cooper State Forest. This location has several RV parking areas as well as primitive camping availability. The mountains here overlook the Tennessee River and it is a very scenic riding area. Trails range from wide hard-pack and some rock filled trails to slow winding trails weaving through tall old hardwood trees. The Honda Talon’s Dual Clutch Transmission lets you change gears any time by tapping the paddle shifters, or put it in automatic mode and let the machine choose the gears for you when you want a more laid back off-road experience. As an added bonus, the volume in the cabin is low, so talking to your passenger is easily possible without yelling. The power line overlook and river overlook scenic areas are a must do. Local accommodations include anything you will ever need from modern hotels to a few small bed and breakfast locations. Supplies are easy to find in the town of Chattanooga.

Ride Area Links to 900 Trails

Skill Level All

Trailhead Pioneer, Tenn.

The Ridges at Royal Blue

Ride Area Links to 900 Trails

Skill Level All

Trailhead Pioneer, Tenn.

The Ridges at Royal Blue is a fairly new location on private property. This destination, however, links up to over 900+ miles of Cumberland Mountain WMA trails. This property is a gateway to adventure and offers a place to plant some shallow roots while enjoying what Tennessee has to offer. They offer RV sites with a bathhouse and laundry as well. The North Cumberland Mountain WMA trails include incredible landmarks and points of interest that is sure to keep your family busy as well as intrigued. Exploring the North Cumberland area that’s rich with history in a Honda Talon 1000X-4 Fox Live Valve would make for a great family adventure and history lesson you won’t find in any textbook. The long travel of the FOX suspension, which adjusts electronically in a fraction of a second to terrain changes and driver input, coupled with the high ground clearance gives you the ability to cross over many trail obstacles here. Terrain will vary depending on weather and elevation, but plan on rocky yet manageable driving on any of the trails here. Although some trails do require more experienced drivers than others, there is something for everyone.

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