On Tuesday, July 9th, we took another Day Ride. There was about a 40% chance of rain, so we packed our rain gear and jackets. Our destination was Bald River Falls on the Cherohala Skyway.
We left our home in North Knoxville around 10:15 am. The temperature was around 80 degrees and the skies were overcast. We put on our HCI pilot helmets and headed south on Alcoa Highway.
We rode into Maryville and stopped to fuel up our tanks and eat a light snack. We then took 336 which runs south of Maryville and is right under the Foothills Parkway.
336 took us to 129 and then to 72. We traveled 72 north to 411 and then took 411 south to Vonore. From Vonore, we took 360, a winding country road, south into Tellico Plains.
Once in Tellico Plains, we stopped for a drink and to top off our tanks. We headed up 165 toward Cherohala Skyway, stopping first to look at this whimsical garden sculpture.
We traveled up the Cherohala Skyway (165) about five miles to the Bald River Falls turnoff. This turnoff is State Park Road 210.
State Park Road 210 is a narrow back road with a 20 mile speed limit. We rode six miles on this road to get to Bald River Falls. At the Falls the parking lot was full with around fifteen cars and half a dozen bikes. After we parked, we roamed the area milling around with the other spectators.
Bald River Falls during our visit was running at full speed because of all of the recent rainfall. Usually, the Falls are only this full during the Spring after the snow melts.
As you can see from the photo, the Falls are stunning.
Standing on the bridge looking at the Falls, we were coated in gentle mist. Plus, we got to see a brave (or maybe just crazy) guy kayak off the Falls.
After spending 45 minutes at the Falls, we got back on the bikes and rode further up the Cherohala Skyway. We stopped off to admire one of the many views.
We traveled a little further up the Skyway stopping at the Indian Boundary Recreation Area. The skies looked ominous and we got a few sprinkles but it didn’t diminish the beautiful view.
After gawking a short while, we got on the bikes and headed back down toward Tellico Plains. The rain traveled with us down the Skyway, but stopped right before we reached our lunch destination, Tellico Grains Bakery.
This place is a hometown bakery that also feature specialty sandwiches. We arrived around 2:30pm and fortunately, they were still serving lunch. We ordered a blueberry scone and two sandwiches.
The food was flavorful and tasty. We recommend giving Tellico Grains Bakery a visit.
After lunch, we rode through Tellico Plains then got back on 360, headed north and took Ballplay Road. Ballplay Road is another winding country road that leads north into Madisonville.
In Madisonville, we took 411, rode north through Vonore and stopped at the Historic Blockhouse.
The Blockhouse is a “ruins” of the central trading compound between the Cherokee Indians and the white settlers in the years between 1797 and 1804. We rode to a large parking area and walked toward the settlement.
The scenery is wide open with unexpected beauty.
Placards describe the history of the settlement.
After visiting the Blockhouse we got back on 411, rode north into Maryville, taking Alcoa Highway back to Knoxville.
We arrived home right at 5:30 pm and our total ride was 194 miles.
You can view our entire list of Day Rides HERE.