Over Two Mountains through Shady Valley

Over Two Mountains through Shady Valley, 67.0 miles, 5,324’ elevation

● start/end at Unaka H.S., 119 Robinson Lane, Elizabethton, TN



This three-county loop starts and ends in Carter County. A challenging course, it’s a favorite of many experienced Tri-Cities road cyclists. This metric century features a CAT 2 climb over Cross Mountain (elev. 3,507 ft.) and a CAT 3 climb over Low Gap on Holston Mountain (3,372 ft.), followed by a spectacular descent of Holston Mountain known as “The Snake”, with steep grades, numerous hairpin turns and beautiful views of the valley far below.   You will cross the Appalachian Trail twice.  Between Cross Mountain and Holston Mountain lies Shady Valley, one of the Volunteer State’s most scenic valleys (and its highest).  Weekdays are the best time for road cyclists to enjoy the quiet beauty of this classic Southern Appalachian ride.  Traffic volume increases on weekends, when this route is very popular with motorcyclists.

Cue Sheet: Over Two Mountains through Shady Valley
Miles Action and Landmark/Road
0.0     start at Unaka H.S. (left entrance)
0.1      left onto Stoney Creek (TN-91)
2.4     straight as 5-lane becomes 3-lane
6.2     continue straight as 3-lane becomes 2-lane
11.5    straight, begin climbing (about 5% avg. grade)
14.3    enter Johnson County, Cross Mtn. Rd. Appalachian Trail
17.9    left in Shady Valley onto Daniel Boone Trail (US-421)
28.2    cross bridge over South Holston Lake (US-421 / TN-34)
30.0    left onto Pemberton Rd.
32.6    left onto Rooty Branch Rd.
32.9    left onto So. Holston Rd.
34.6    South Holston Dam
36.0    Osceola Island, Weir Dam (restroom, picnic tables)
36.4    right onto Emmett Road
37.5    left onto US-421
40.5    left onto TN-394
44.6    left onto Vance Tank Rd.
46.3    right onto Pleasant Grove Rd.
49.6    right onto Silver Grove Rd.
50.0    left onto Bluff City Highway (TN-390)
50.1    left onto Bridge Street
50.2    right onto Tennessee St.
50.2    follow Tennessee St. as it makes a sharp left turn
50.3    cross railroad tracks, take a left turn onto Railroad St.
50.3    sharp right turn on Railroad St. which turns into Maple Rd.
50.4    left onto Main St. (TN-44)
50.5    right at Thomas Hardware Store onto Carter St.
50.5    continue on Carter St. which turns into Old Elizabethton Hwy.
53.1    left onto US-19E
59.7    right onto exit ramp
60.0    left onto Stoney Creek (TN-91)
62.6    left onto Ford Lane
62.8    right onto Dawn St.
63.1    Hunter School
63.2    left at stop light onto Stoney Creek (TN-91)
64.1    left turn, end at Unaka H.S.