Tiger Creek and Ripshin Lake

Tiger Creek and Ripshin Lake, 30.9 miles, 2,486’ elevation gain

● start/end at Hampton Trails Bicycle Shop, 446 US-321, Hampton, TN



From Hampton this route winds south into the high mountains. Rittertown Road is a quiet byway, while US-19E sees heavy traffic at certain times of day.  Although there is a wide, clean shoulder, cyclists need to exercise caution on the two-mile stretch between Rittertown Road and Tiger Valley.  Highlights of the six-mile CAT 2 climb up Tiger Creek Road are blooming rhododendron (in June) and spectacular views of Roan Mountain year round.  Ripshin Lake is a hidden mountain gem. Eyes on the road and hands on brakes as you negotiate the hairpin turns and steep descents on Ripshin Mountain Road.  Old Railroad Grade Road, built on a section of the abandoned East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad (affectionately known as the “Tweetsie”) and Bear Cage Road (which features a steep but short climb) are two of the most interesting back country roads in all of Carter County.  The return to Hampton Trails is a fast downhill along 19E – watch for a few narrow spots and occasional debris on the shoulder.   The Ripshin Mountain Road descent is quite difficult, so this is a ride for skilled bike handlers.

Cue Sheet: Tiger Creek and Ripshin Lake
Miles Action and Landmark/Road
0.0     start at Hampton Trails Bike Shop
0.0     left onto US-321
0.4     left onto 1st Avenue
0.6     proceed onto Church Street
0.7     right onto Rittertown Road
3.8     right onto US-19E
5.9     right onto Tiger Creek Road
12.8   right onto Ripshin Mountain Road
16.8   right onto US 19E
17.9   left onto Old Railroad Grade Road
22.2   right onto Bear Cage Road
23.7   right onto US-19E
26.2   left onto Rittertown Road
30.2   continue on Church Street
30.3   left onto 1st Avenue
30.5   right onto US-321
30.9   end at Hampton Trails Bike Shop