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As of September 2015, the Tweetsie Trail in eastern Tennessee is now completed. The rail-trail follows the former ET&WNC (“Tweetsie”) Railroad right-of-way for 9.5 miles. It begins at Alabama Street in Johnson City and continues east through Sycamore Shoals State Park in Elizabethton and the city's downtown. It ends on Stateline Road near the Betsytowne Shopping Center.
The trail has a compacted stone surface, a relatively flat grade, and crosses seven bridges. Along the way, travelers can rest and enjoy its beautiful, natural surroundings on several benches.
Parking is available in Johnson City at the Memorial Park Community Center, Cardinal Park, and the Municipal and Safety Building (City Hall).
In Elizabethton, parking is available at Elizabethton High School.
Once you get out of the many street crossings the trail is very enjoyable. My wife and I rode it with our hybrids which was the perfect bike choice. The trail is wide and easy to navigate. Nice gradual climb from Elizabethton to Johnson City. The trail has that hard packed, sandy surface. That's the reason for four stars instead of five. I shouldn't be so picky. I plan to ride it again with some friends.
Started riding the trail when it first opened and loved it overall. However, we would love to see it extended to Roan Mountain. Also, people need to clean up after their pets and the trail is not as well maintained as it was in the beginning. On our last ride, there was quite a bit of storm related debris along the trail and it had washed the trail in several areas. Despite these issues, the trail is a great addition to our community and looking forward to future expansion (great potential for tourism growth and improved health of our region). Keep the trail safe & clean! Take some tips from Chattanooga's Riverpark Trail - AMAZING TRAIL - Extremely well maintained with great design & a sense of permanence - A Must See Trail!
I love rails-to-trails and this one is a beauty. I run instead of bike so i did 7 miles that took you by creeks, mountains, and ponds. Awesome morning.
My wife and I (in our 60s) rode the trail this summer. The reviews were spot on. We started in Johnson City since we were heading north on I-81. The end of the dedicated trail goes along a fairly busy highway and one does need to watch for vehicles pulling in and out. The part from JC to Elizabethton is mostly down-hill (but not so much we had to get off our bikes), in the woods, and has some stops/interpretive sites. Trail surface is fine packed gravel/dirt, no worries for hybrids. 4 stars for the busy part in Elizabethton.
Tweetsie trail is a great trail for bike riding. I had an enjoyable ride to Elizabethton and back.
I tried this trail out on the recommendations from some people I met on the Linear Trail in Erwin, TN. They gave me a tip that I should start in Elizabethton, TN instead of Johnson City, TN, because of the steady grade up going to Johnson City, this made the ride back to Elizabethton a breeze.
I've never rode a trail that was packed gravel so I was surprised about the noise my tires made on the gravel. The trail was short but pleasant one once you got closer to the Johnson City end of it.
When you start in Elizabethton you will ride parallel to a busy highway with a lot of roads to cross. Trail then shifts away to a quieter area with plenty of shade trees.
The only real problem I and other bikers and I'm sure runners experienced were the spectators at a little league ball game that took over the trail. It was a little nerve racking to trying to maneuver around the people setting in the lawn chairs and unattended small children running all over the place. There should be large signs reading DO NOT BLOCK THE TRAIL, I've notice this type of signage on other trails I've road.
I used my road bike on this trail, but I think if I do go back I'll use my mountain bike instead.
Not a bad little trail. Did it on a weekday and it was somewhat busy at the JC trail head but thined out as we traveled on. We biked on into downtown Elizabethtown where there is a nice city park and covered bridge as well as some historic house and such but all that stuff is well after trails end but worth the extra effort.
Our area has needed this trail for a long time. The only thing lacking would be trash receptacles and restroom facilities. I'm told there are benches ready to be installed. All in all a very nice trail for folks to enjoy at their leisure.
After many years in the making, it's finally here and ready for all takers. I actually rode this trail on raw rail gravel well before opening. Beautiful!
If you haven't been on the new Tweetsie Trail, you are missing out! Nice pathways through the woods, over creeks and alongside the Watauga river. So glad to have this in Elizabethton!!
August 30, 2014 is the official opening. It is a great trail for hybrid and mountain bikes. http://www.tweetsietrail.com
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