Great Smoky Mountains National Park
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FAQs

What is the Cades Cove Loop ride like?
Cades Cove Loop Road is an 11-mile one way road. It provides bicyclists with excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing and touring 19th century homesites. The road is steep in a few spots and you will share the road with vehicles. The road offers two “short-cuts” so you can easily make the ride shorter if you choose to do so.

What types of bikes do you have?
The bulk of our adult bike fleet consists of Fuji Barnaby bikes. These are comfort bikes. Most of these have seven ‘speeds’ but some are single ‘speed’. We also have a limited selection of 21-‘speed’ Fuji Absolute 2.3 bikes. These are hybrid-style bikes. In addition, we have children’s bike frames that are 16”, 20” and 24” so we can accommodate a range of children’s sizes.

What age do kids need to be to rent a bike?
We don’t have a minimum age. A child just has to be able to ride a bike without training wheels or other assistance and be comfortable on our bikes. Parents need to use their discretion.

How much does it cost to rent a bike?
We rent bikes by the hour. Adult bike rentals are $7.50 per hour. Children’s bike rentals are $4.50 per hour.

Can I rent or use an infant seat or trailer?
No. Our contract with the National Park Service prohibits us from renting these items.

Do I have to wear a helmet?
Helmets are included in our rental price and we strongly recommend that all riders wear helmets. The State of Tennessee requires that children age 16 and under wear a helmet.

What are the times that you are open for rentals?
Hours vary between spring, summer, and fall. At the beginning of the season, we will rent bikes between 9 am to 2:30 pm and you will be able to return your bike to the Campground Store after 2:30 pm. Between June 1 and September 1, we will rent bikes between 9 am to 4:30 pm and you will be able to return the bike to the Campground Store after 4:30 pm. On road closure mornings we will open early at 7 am. Please note that these are minimum hours of operation. This is our first season operating at Cades Cove so we may extend our operating hours if there is demand for us to do so.

When is the road closed to cars?
You can ride bikes on the loop road anytime the road is open. In addition, the National Park Service closes the road to motor vehicles throughout the season to allow bicyclists and pedestrians to enjoy the cove. The road is closed to cars until 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday and Saturday mornings from the Wednesday preceding the second Saturday in May through the Wednesday preceding the last Saturday in September. These days are very busy bike rental days.

Do you offer cameras mounted on the bikes?
Yes. We are outfitting a few helmets with GoPro cameras, and these will be offered for rent as available. If they are popular, we will add more! If you’d like to add a helmet cam to your rental, just ask.

Do the bikes have water bottle holders or other holders for personal items?
Every bike is outfitted with a water bottle holder. We are working to add phone holders very soon as well. If you have more gear than this, we recommend riding with a backpack.

Do I need to sign a waiver?
Bike renters will need to sign a short Acknowledgment of Risk form before renting a bike. You can view and sign the waiver by clicking here.