Being a resident of Knoxville and having ridden the trails here for the last 4 years I have never gotten around to riding the trails at Norris Lake, well until last weekend anyway. There are two sets of distinct trail systems. We rode the trails on the east side of the dam (stay tuned for a discussion about the trails on the west side of the dam). We parked at the Lenoir Museum (there is a sign on the other side of the museum that directs bikers to park across route 441, oops). We passed an old grist mill as we continued down Lower Clear Creek Road until we got to a pump station (large blue tank). It is here that the ride really begins with a fair uphill climb.
It is a pretty simple climb, steady with a few switch backs but long…miles long (just 2). If you ride like we do just drop down a few gears and pedal up. You’ll break a sweat, but chances are you’ll make it without any heart attacks. From the pumping station (890′), the Highpoint jeep road climbs 2 miles to Highpoint trail (1460′). Once you get to the top, the fun begins. If you continue from the Highpoint kiosk (see red on trail map, the kiosk is the black triangle where Lake View and High Point meet just past Longmire) and stay on High Point trail you’ll have a fast descent with a few humps along the trail (used for water run-off) that make for great jumps (we like jumps). High Point trail is best described as double track. This is very easy non-technical trail. True single track did not appear until we reached the northern most part of Highpoint as it turned into Lake View trail. This was fast non-technical trail with great views of the lake. Lake View ends with a steep climb back to the aforementioned kiosk. From the Kiosk it is a sweet 4 plus minute (if you ride like we do) romp back to the parking lot. The jeep trail is fast and full of water bars which make for excellent jumps.
I will definitely be back. These are fun trails that offer a great cardio work out. These are not the trails for technical ass puckering riding though but a nice change.