Monday, May 9, 2016

Biking the Cumberland River Bicentennial Trail

Also known as Ashland City Rail Trail and located just 20 minutes from Nashville, this trail runs nearly seven miles to the Cheatham Lock and Dam Campground. The trail is level and gives occasional views of the Cumberland River which it parallels. The eastern 4 miles is asphalt in fairly good condition except for numerous root heaves (or frost heaves -- in Tennessee?) The last 3 miles are gravel, mostly hard-packed but some loose and sometimes with larger gravel too.  Around the first mile mark is the Turkey Junction Comfort Station and Native Garden along a creek if you need a break while traveling in either direction. I've biked over 200 trail across America and never seen so many picnic benches along a trail!  They must have been located every couple hundred yards. The first mile or so has numerous signs telling you the name of the varieties of flora decorating the trail.

Views of the river and its tributaries occasionally present themselves for your enjoyment. All the tree foliage probably shields riders from the heat of hot summer days.

Around the 3.5 mile mark you reach this lengthy trestle with long boardwalk approaches on each end.

Below is the gravel section. I was traveling with my road bike, not my mountain bike, and I had no problem with the trail except one section where there was no trestle, just a downhill-then-uphill section crossing a drainage. I walked the bike down and up both directions to play it safe. If I'd had my Trek mountain bike, I would have just blasted down and up the loose gravel grades.

This photo displays the magnificent limestone cliffs that border much of the trail.

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