Little Tennessee River Greenway (Franklin)

North Carolina

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Little Tennessee River Greenway (Franklin) Facts

States: North Carolina
Counties: Macon
Length: 5 miles
Trail end points: Arthur Drake Rd. at Riverview Dr. and Macon Co. Rec. Park
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Gravel
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 6032513
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Fishing, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking

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Little Tennessee River Greenway (Franklin) Description

The Little Tennessee River Greenway follows the Little Tennessee River and a tributary, Cartoogechaye Creek. There are plans to extend the greenway from Suli Marsh, at Arthur Drake Road to Lake Emory, another 2 miles.

The greenway meanders through wetlands, railroad cuts left behind by the Tallulah Falls Railroad, alongside pastures and through upland forest. Its surface is a mix of paved and non-paved (gravel) sections.

The greenway includes benches, picnic shelters, fishing piers, exercise stations, a playground with water feature, canoe put-ins and much flora and fauna.

Parking and Trail Access

For information about parking and access, view the Little Tennessee River Greenway map or contact :
Little Tennessee River Greenway
573 E. Main St.
Franklin, NC 28734

Little Tennessee River Greenway (Franklin) Reviews

The Little Tennessee River Greenway might be one of our new favorites to ride. I would say 80 percent of the trail is asphalt and the remainder is hard pack gravel. Three beautiful bridges, numerous benches and picnic tables are available to take a break on. The trail is advertised at five miles long. We did not ride the portion on the northern end as it requires you to cross a divided highway in town. We parked at the Tassee Park Greenway entrance and there is a really nice pavilion there with clean bathrooms to boot. If you are in the western portion of NC I highly recommend you give this trail a try. Let me add that I must disagree with a few other reviews about dangerous areas on this greenway, we didnt encounter any. I have pics and video posted on my Facebook page @bikesbeerand grub.

The trail is mostly asphalt but there are several annoying, and potentially dangerous for cyclists, sections on of sand and gravel that could easily be paved by those in charge. A very nice restroom attached to a pavilion (up a few stairs) is not marked. Thankfully a trail walker told me about it. Lead ins to most bridges are rough with a lip too tall for bikes to tackle. Construction on the highway bridge in Franklin separates the trail making it difficult to navigate between the segments, but hopefully this will be fixed soon. marked and can easily be missed; I found it thanks to

Not marked very well. We lost interest and returned to car.


We road the whole the entire path. And my kids loved it. Only a couple large hills that the kids needed to walk up, other then that it was perfect for our first outing. The path was well maintained and ez enough for an 8 year old to ride and enjoy. We love following the river and crossing over it several times. Fun,easy and cheap.

If you're looking for an adventurous off road mountain bike experience go someplace else. My husband and I have ridden this trail several times and this trail is as advertised. After parking your car you have to cross one road walk your bike across the bridge crossing other road go behind the strip mall and then you'll be on the trail yes there is an industrial area in the beginning but it's small but soon you are distracted by a nice bridge. There are some uphill climbs mostly paved and there are benches along the way for a rest since you were following the river you may be able to look and see some fish as well.
At the parking lot The roads splits and that is why you have to cross two roads you get to the strip mall in about three minutes. Enjoy the trail

Starting at the north end at the intersection of Riverview and Highway 28, the trail is paved through marshland and along the Little Tennessee River for a mile or so to Big Bear Shelter at Main Street. A short detour across the bridge and a few yards of gravel brings me to the paved Old Airport Trail section, which travels about a mile to the Tassee wooden bridge back across the river. Another short gravel section and back onto the pavement. The next couple of miles has a short gravel strip and two more bridges (wooden covered bridge and trestle bridge). A short gravel strip through the old Talulah Railroad cut and back onto pavement for the southern terminus and loop. Couple of miles of dirt singletrack bike trails are located at the south end and can be accessed from the back of the Macon County Library or from the greenway. The greenway is also the home of Frisbee Golf and more than a dozen Geocaches.

The covered bridge looks very pretty from the main highway bypassing Franklin, but we were extremely frustrated by its lack of access. If you build something in sight of the main thoroughfare where the most traffic can see the attraction, why in the world do you not create an access point? Terrible planning.

Ttail description says surface is asphalt. Based on this information I took my road bike there to ride. Actually the trail surface is partially asphalt with several stretches of rock and gravel and not favorable at all to road bikes. This is a good trail for walkers and runners but a poor trail for serious bicyclists.

Drove over from Gatlinburg to further my wife and my goal of biking in every state of the US. {19 so far). The one mile section west of 441 was a nice short ride. Crossing 441 to get to the rest of the trial was trying because of the traffic and locating the trail once we crossed. Also disappointed to find portions of the trail are not paved but 1 inch gravel. This made it somewhat difficult on our hybrid bikes. Road bikes would have to be walked. We didn't mind the several hills on the trail since it gave a bit of variety, we have definitely biked much better trails. And perhaps we are spoiled living near the Little Miami Bike Trial in south/weest Ohio

A group of 6 seniors, we biked this easy, mostly flat paved trail. 3 really interesting bridges.

Rode this trail 07-20-11. Trail is closed at hwy 64 due to bridge construction. Not sure of a completion date. Both north and south ends are open. Trail is flat and runs along the river. Beautiful scenery along the river and the trail bridges are fun to navigate. Going South from the parking area at Hwy. 441 which by the way has a small water park, you cross the Hwy. 441 bridge (lots of room for improvement at the bridge crossing, not well marked and dangerous in my opinion) the trail continues behind the strip mall. The rocks in the parking lot will have road bikes walking. There is a Bike shop in the strip mall here for repairs if needed. Before you cross the bridge there is a quaint coffe shop with very charming, helpful people behind the counter. My understanding is this trail was put in with personal donations of land and labor and is a credit to the citizens of Franklin.

"Northern end is industrial and not the most pleasant part of the trail, but the southern end follows sweeping turns in the river and leads into the country. It is very beautiful along this stretch. There are several bridges that cross the river including a transplanted iron trestle bridge and a wooden covered bridge. The trail goes under 64 and leads into mountainous pastureland. Didn’t know cows could climb until I was on this trail.

Between these two bridges are several picnic areas. The park benches are mostly dedicated to the memory of deceased relatives. What a touching way to ensure immortality for a loved one. Beats the heck out of a tombstone that no one ever sees.

Trailheads are difficult for a stranger from out of town to find. Could use better signage."

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