Last Sunday morning, my son and I rode the Mountain Goat Trail at Sewanee. This was his first ride on a Rails to Trails paved bike path, and he very much enjoyed the largely motorway-distraction-free experience, as well as the opportunity to ride through wooded sections that felt “like the middle of nowhere.” The trail starts near Woody’s Bike Shop in Sewanee and ends at the Dollar General Store in, I think it is, Monteagle. No more than five miles, probably closer to 4.6, each way.
The route includes a few gentle hills, maybe two secondary road crossings and one crossing at Highway 41. Parking’s available at the Sewanee trailhead where there’s also an informational marker discussing the history of the former railroad as well as a topographical map of the trail. At one point, there’s a 90 degree turn where the trail is constructed of wood and elevated over a declevity and around a property line. In another place, gravel and sand tends to wash across the bike path from an adjacent gravel/sand pit or quarry – that’s the property around which the trail turns with the wooden elevation.
My son managed managed all of the trail well on his Modikoso superbike except for the gravel and clumps of sand across the path from the quarry. He had to dismount and push the bike over it. I rode over it on the Jamis Supernova with no real concern. On the way back, oddly enough, we found the hazard had been, it looked like, completely washed away. Odd, because although there’d been slight precipitation during the intervening time, nothing that would clear the trail. Maybe somebody from the quarry hosed it down?