Maps and Cue Sheet for USBR 21

Matt at the top of the Foothills Parkway

Matt Farr, Executive Director for Bike Walk Tennessee atop Foothills Parkway

Bike Walk Tennessee’s new executive director, Matt Farr is off and running to get USBR 21 official! Matt and I drove the route earlier this summer and visited with the various Chamber of Commerce folks to get them excited about having the route wind through their towns. We were fortunate to get a personal tour of the old Getty’s Mill with John who lives across from the mill in the Old Post Office/Store. His Dad worked at the Mill back in the day so he had plenty of great stories to share.

Gettys Mill

Getty’s Mill circa 1859

The only disappointment with our scouting trip was the temporary closing of the the Mayfield Dairy Visitor’s Center for remodeling — we were so looking forward to ice cream! However, we did enjoy coffee and biscuits in Madisonville and then lunch in Athens — driving sure can work up an appetite.


Mayfield Visitors Center in Athens, TN

This proposed section travels from Knoxville to Chattanooga and the Georgia state line. The route is currently 152.2 miles one-way, excluding spurs. We are currently working on the section of the route that runs from the Kentucky state line to Knoxville.

Here’s a link to the route where you can download the gpx track. I’ve also prepared a cue sheet and overview maps — USBR21-CueSheet — these include a spur to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park along with an alternate route for those that would like to ride up and over the Foothills Parkway and then connect back to the main route; and another spur to Tellico Plains and the impressive Cherohala Skyway. It’s a beautiful touring route that travels along bucolic backroads, winding through  main streets off the beaten path, and sharing a glimpse of historic Tennessee along the way.

Elle on the USBR Route

Elle Colquitt surrounded by the amazing vistas along USBR 21

Athens-Main Street Downtown

Main Street Downtown Athens, Tennessee


Historic US11 in Charleston, Tennessee

Please visit our page Knox to Chatt Route, for more information, gpx tracks, and pictures for this route and its spurs — the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Foothills Parkway, Tellico Plains, and the Cherohala Skyway. Since we are in the planning phase, we are requesting public comments. USBR 21 is being undertaken by Bike Walk Tennessee. Anyone with feedback on the proposed route, can email Matt Farr at


Farmhouse on Blaines Chapel Road

Abandoned Farmhouse on Blaines Chapel Road in Rutledge, TN

Discovering new backroads with new scenes to photograph, new twists and turns and hills to climb and descend — it’s the adventure we seek when we head out! Lately, I’ve been on a mission to reride the routes in our guide books. Along the way, I’m documenting the abandoned old farmhouses and barns that are slowly crumbling to the ground. Rarely do I see someone trying to restore these old beauties. They are such a treasure to me and although at the moment I’m not sure exactly what I’m going to do with my growing photo collection, I’m just happy to ride and discover these charming old places! My Pinterest board featuring Abandoned Old Houses around Knoxville is a start.

Old Sedan Tarwater Road, Knoxville TN

Sadly this old sedan in South Knoxville has been reduced to rust

My collection of photos also includes old cars, trucks and tractors, critters along the way, and anything else that catches my eye. Needless to say, I’m not a fast rider these days — I’ve even taken to riding my touring bike most of the time so I can carry my large, heavy, DSLR camera for those shots that require more zoom…plus it’s just more fun to look through the viewfinder and play around with settings. My small, lightweight point-and-shoot is always with me as it’s perfect for ride-by-shootings. Wearing it slung around back, it’s my quick-draw-mcgraw camera (who remembers Quick Draw McGraw?) fast and easy to swing around and shoot while riding.

US Bicycle Route SystemMy goal for starting this blog is to share photos, tales from the road, and new routes that get discovered along the way. One such route that I’m particularly excited about is the development of US Bike Route 21, currently in the design stage. The route when completed will connect Knoxville-Chattanooga-Rome-Atlanta (ultimately starting at Lake Erie). USBR 121 will connect Nashville and Chattanooga with another route to connect Knoxville to Nashville. I’m thrilled to be helping with this project and will post about its progress as the sections come together. Cyclists are invited to ride the route or sections thereof and offer their suggestions and comments. Visit Adventure Cycling’s website for complete details on the US Bicycle Route System.