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TN30 McMinnville to Dayton, TN

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Ride Stats:

  • Distance: 58 miles / 93.3 km
  • Ride Time: 1-2 hours
  • Approximate Fuel Costs: $4.41
  • State: Tennessee
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Highway 30 from McMinnville to Dayton, TN58 milesRide: 2005 Vstar Silverado 650This highway begins on the west end at US 70S as a straight, smooth two-lane road. It runs through farm country, with tree nurseries, cattle farms, dairies, and hay fields. As you approach the town of Spencer, there are signs noting an addition to Fall Creek Falls State Park. The elevation begins to increase, and the road includes some switchbacks and sweeping turns. Pavement quality is generally good. There are some asphalt patches in the eastbound lane, but only one had loose gravel around it.The town of Spencer has a few shops and a place or two to pull off and rest. There might be some unique vehicles for sale at the Spencer Motor Company. If you need gas, jump off on Hwy 111 just past downtown Spencer (if you can call it that) and head North a few hundred yards. The Shell station there had ethanol-free gas on this day. After passing through Spencer, tourist traffic headed toward Fall Creek Falls State Park begins to pick up. There are usually a few campers and motor homes, but no major backups. There is no doubt it is an election year with all of the campaign signs at every intersection.FCFSP is a nice side trip. Hwy 284 runs through the park. The Indian Trading Post is a recommended stop if you like Native American crafts, plus a few other odds and ends the proprietor has picked up. It is located just north of the park entrance on 284. The owner's dog is friendly and I think he could run the place in the owner's absence. The park has terrific scenery and several miles of trails. The overlook to the falls is only a few yards from ample parking, or you can take a longer trail from the nature center / museum. There are picnic areas, a nice lodge / convention center with restaurant, cabins, and swimming pool. Sunday brunch at the convention center is worth the stop if you are passing through on Sunday morning. It is unlikely there will be lodging vacancies on short notice, though, so plan ahead.Back on to Hwy 30, the road is fairly straight to the edge of the Cumberland Plateau. The drop into the Sequatchie Valley starts with a hairpin turn preceded by ample warning signs to truckers and cars alike. This section of the road is typical of many following the face of a mountain - lots of turns, some requiring 2nd gear. There are some fantastic views into the valley, but no good places to pull off and take pictures. There are a few private driveways but none that looked too inviting. Once making the bottom of the hill, you are in Pikeville. The highway merges with US 127 for a short distance, then breaks off to the east again headed toward Dayton. There's another climb up onto the plateau again. Once again, the views off to the left are memorable, but no good places to pull off and enjoy them. The road on top of the plateau is easy, then another descent into the Tennessee River valley and Dayton.Dayton was the setting for the Scopes Monkey trial. There is a museum of the event set up in the basement of the courthouse on the square. There is an annual reenactment of the event, which draws a large following. From Dayton, US 27 follows the valley south to Chattanooga, or North to Rockwood. In the next valley to the East lies US 58 that runs from Kingston to Chattanooga. I recommend taking 68 across Watts Bar dam if you are headed that way. This was part of 170 miles that I rode that day, starting in Woodbury, TN and ending up in Knoxville. Being the first long ride of the season, I was ready to park it by the time I got home.

This is a motorcycle ride in the state of Tennessee. This motorcycle route has 7 scenery characteristics and other road conditions to help you plan your road trip. This motorcycle map was created by VStar0608 in April. Click here to see other Motorcycle Roads by VStar0608

Rider Photos:

  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 1 for TN30 McMinnville to Dayton, TN
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 2 for TN30 McMinnville to Dayton, TN
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 3 for TN30 McMinnville to Dayton, TN
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 4 for TN30 McMinnville to Dayton, TN
  • Motorcycle Ride Picture 5 for TN30 McMinnville to Dayton, TN

Ride Scenery:

Historic SitesParksFall ColorsLakesForestRuralFarm Land

Best Time to Go

Spring, Summer, Fall

Road Characteristics:

Sweeping Curves RoadRolling HillsLight TrafficAverageAdequate Gas StationsAdequate

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