TVA celebrated the completion of a new South Holston trail system this week, which provides the Bristol, Tennessee/Virginia community with expanded access to trails that are accessible for all ages and skill levels.
Totaling four trails, the new system offers Valley residents, visitors, and pets six miles to explore. All trails are multi-use but bike-optimized, offering an easy ride with some optional features for more advanced mountain bikers.
Just six miles from downtown Bristol, the trails add to nearby recreational opportunities including fishing, boating, skiing, kayaking and more at South Holston Dam Reservation, and are the first of their kind in the area for families to enjoy.
“There were basically no trail systems in the Bristol area that were suitable for inexperienced riders, families with small children, or folks with physical limitations. This network of trails fills that niche,” said Forester Randy Short who works in Natural Resource Management at TVA. “In all, these trails improve the quality of life for those living in the Bristol area and beyond by providing riding and hiking opportunities to a wider range of individuals who may not have that opportunity due to age, physical limitations, or experience.”
Over the course of three years, TVA has invested $125,000 to build the trail system and has worked with local partners such as the King University Cycling Team, which will help maintain the trails. In return TVA will provide an annual donation to the King cycling program. "Although the partnership is new, I am excited to work closely with King University. Hopefully this relationship will be a win-win for both King and TVA," said Short.
Below: Representatives of Tennessee Valley Authority and U.S. House and Senate offices joined King University Cycling team members to cut the ribbon on the new multi-use cycling and walking trails near South Holston Dam. Front row: Left to right: Che Nunez, Caleb New and TVA Director of Natural Resources Rebecca Hayden. Back row: Left to right: Nick Castle (Senator Hagerty's field representative), Cody Woods (Congresswoman Harshbarger's field representative) and TVA Forester Randy Short.
Some of the best mountain biking terrain in the country can be found in the Tennessee Valley. There are trails for everyone, from beginners to real enthusiasts. Check our list of trails and pointers for getting started. Find your biking trail.
With our guide to TVA's more than 180 miles of trails, finding the right destination has never been easier. Consult our trail map or list which is organized by state and reservoir. You'll find detailed trail descriptions and other information to help plan the perfect outdoor experience. Find your hiking trail.