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Shady Valley's Snake, and more

Ride Rating:

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Ride Stats:

  • Distance: 82 miles / 132.0 km
  • Ride Time: A Weekend (2 days)
  • Approximate Fuel Costs: $6.23
  • State: Tennessee
Submitted by:

This route will take you through some very nice county. Once you leave Elizabethton, be sure to get off at the Stoney Creek Exit...and follow CR91 Toward Shady Valley! CR91 will take your up into the Cherokee National forest, and up a small mountian...making tight twisties and flowing curves to get you warmed up for the snake. Be sure to bring along a jacket, depending on the time of year you go...I like to go in the fall, mid OCT to late OCT. Leaves are turning about this time, but not a lot have fallen and built up on the curves!Once you leave the forest, you will decend the other side of the mountian, and find yourself in a flat agricultural valley. Riding on for about a mile, you will run into Shady Valley and SR421. You can stop and take a breather here at one of the three stores at the crossroads. You can also grab some grub, gas, and talk with the other bikers who are lounging around...then grab your handle bars and head east. (You can also head west, which will take you to Bristol, this part of the ride is really very good, BUT, it dumps you into a small city, which isn't my idea of fun!)Heading east on 421 will take you over some small but lovely mountians, and some very demanding twists and curves, where you can either challange yourself and your bike, or you can take a leasurly ride, enjoying the leanings of the bike, and smells of the forest that surround you!So what you have is 'one valley, three mountians (but you will be traversing only two when you take the route I am suggesting,)and 489 curves...(actually less, because this route isn't the compleate three mountian route!)Now, once you leave The Snake, you will find yourself in Mountian City, TN. I like to turn off at CR 67 and head back toward Elzabethton, and can always stay on 421, until you come to 321 and head back into Elzabethton, or stay of 421 and head over the mountians for Boone NC! The thing to remember here is that no matter what route you take, (and I will not hesitate to suggest you take some of the smaller country roads around here instead of the familar routes I have suggested!) Your gonna find some of the most beautiful landscape around these parts! If you continue on CR will find yourself T-boning into Watagua, that's a view! The lake is down these days, due to a shortage of rainfall...but all the same, it's a real nice looking mountian lake, and it's a nice place to stop and have a smoke, or take a drink of water that you have brought with you...or just to strech!Continue down out of the mountians and you will come to the intersection of SR321...and head east back into town and your starting point! Enjoy the covered bridge and it's ajoining park, as well as the Historic District of old downtown Elzibethton! You'll have a fun day for sure!

This is a motorcycle ride in the state of Tennessee. This motorcycle route has 9 scenery characteristics and other road conditions to help you plan your road trip. This motorcycle map was created by chesshirecat in October. Click here to see other Motorcycle Roads by chesshirecat

Rider Photos:

  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 1 for Shady Valley's Snake, and more
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 2 for Shady Valley's Snake, and more
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 3 for Shady Valley's Snake, and more

Ride Scenery:

BeachesParksFall ColorsLakesForestMountainsRuralRiverFarm Land

Best Time to Go

Spring, Summer, Fall

Road Characteristics:

Sweeping Curves RoadTwisty RoadHillyLight TrafficSmoothAdequate Gas StationsAdequate

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Previous Comments from other Riders:

CoutryBOY says:

I Love this ride
Thu Feb 18, 2021 at 12:17 AM

Anonymous_Motorcyclist says:

I hate to disagree with this article but I too have ridden The Snake. If you stop at Shady Valley Country Store and talk with the owner and get one of his maps, The Snake and its 489 curves that they advertise is actually in the shape of a ribbon like those magnetic ribbons you see on cars. One end of the ribbon starts on Rt. 421 shortly after crossing the bridge over Holston Lake and entering the Cherokee National Forest. From there you stay on 421 past Shady Valley Country Store and continue on to Mountain City. There you make a left on Rt. 91 and go through Laurel Bloomery and continue on to Rt. 133 at Satherland. You take 133 southwest back to Shady Valley. If you go straight through the intersection, you are then back on Rt. 91 and The Snake ends in Buladeen, about 8 miles southwest of Shady Valley. I am aware that if you Google The Snake you can find several different versions of what people consider The Snake to be. Some even call the Snake Rt. 421 from near Berea, Kentucky, through the Daniel Boone National Forest, through the southwestern tip of Virginia, into Tennessee, through the Cherokee National Forest and on into Boone, North Carolina. Whatever route you decide to take I agree that its a beautiful area and a great ride.
Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 9:10 AM

sdye181 says:

We went on this route with our Southern Cruisers Riding Club friends for the Tenn. Ridge Run event.
Just beautiful countryside, fun and exciting twisties. Great for beginner riders. Must stop at Shady Valley store. 2-thumbs up!!
Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 9:09 AM


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