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New TVA Bike Trails Open at South Holston Lake

Just when we thought beautiful South Holston Lake couldn’t possibly be more enticing, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has stepped up and made one of the region’s most popular areas even more appealing.

 After three years of construction, the TVA officially unveiled four new multi-use trails this past April that cover six miles. The new trails are accessible to people of all ages and skill levels.

The trails are all considered easy, allowing them to be used by those with disabilities and inexperienced hikers and bikers.

The names of the four trails are: 

  • The Dam Builders Trail – At a length of 3.1 miles, this trail was named as such because the area was used to collect materials to build South Holston Dam, one of the largest earthen dams in the world. The dam, which was begun in 1942 and completed in 1950, consists of 5,473,000 cubic yards of rolled earth and rock material.
  • The Pemberton Trail – At 1.3 miles, this trail was named for John Pemberton, who had a farm in the area where many of the Overmountain Men gathered before their trip in 1780 to the historic muster grounds in Sycamore Shoals.
  • The Powerflite Trail – This path received its name because of an old car located in a ditch along the .5-mile trail. Upon closer inspection of the vehicle, a tag that read “Powerflite” was located on it, leading crews to decide on that name for the trail.
  • The Yelling Trail: This 1.1-mile trail reflects the significance of the region’s role during the Revolutionary War. The Overmountain Men, American frontiersmen from west of the Appalachian Mountains, yelled and screamed at loyalist forces to intimidate them during the Battle of Kings Mountain. Their actions earned them the nickname “The Yelling Boys.

These family-friendly trails wind through pine and hardwood forests which are steeped in local history. All of the trails are multi-use but bike-optimized, offering an easy ride with some optional features for more advanced mountain bikers. Take South Holston Dam Road off Hwy. 421 south of Bristol to get there.