Haw Ridge: A Mountain Biking Paradise

Haw Ridge Mountain Bike Trail is located on the outskirts of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. If you are looking for an exciting day of Mountain biking and are close enough to this trail, you owe it to yourself to come and spend a day on this awesome Ridge. I am confident that if you do, it won’t be your last visit. This trail actually is a wooded ridge, littered with trails classified in just about all skill levels.

Haw Ridge, located across Melton Lake from Bull Run steam plant is actually a 780 acre Park and was formerly a playground for jeeps and motorcycles that converted to a mountain biker’s paradise. It became closed to motorized vehicles in the winter of 1987. This amazing trail is 2/3 surrounded by the lake and has creeks running through it.

Haw Ridge is free to use and is maintained by volunteers. Maps are available of the trails and there is something here for just about everybody. The intermediate rider could choose to go on Lake Road, then to Middle Road, where they will have a nice ride. The advanced rider can head in and give Red Hill a try. It will surely test your legs and your lungs. Or maybe you could take one of my favorite trails, Roller Coaster. If you are an expert rider then there is plenty here for you too. KaBoom, Screamer, Low Gap, or Criminal to name a few. If Red Hill is a workout for the advanced rider then Power Line Road is the workout for the expert rider. I must mention Rock Garden because I think it deserves its own category. It’s pure madness. There are no rules about who can go where so don’t feel bad if you suddenly find yourself on a hill where you have to get off and push. Just be courteous and let the more experienced riders pass if that be the case.

Haw Ridge offers a variety of tests with steep climbs, daring downhill runs, twisty turns, roots, rocks, dirt and mud. It has it all. With over 28 miles of trails, having an elevation change from lowest to highest points of about 350 feet, you won’t get bored. There are also organized events that happen there, if that is something you are interested in. You can find out about them here: http://web.eecs.utk.edu/~dunigan/mtnbike/haw.html and you can read more about Haw Ridge here: http://web.eecs.utk.edu/~dunigan/fohr/ Between these two web sites you should be able to find out about upcoming events and maintenance schedules, either of which may cause closing of some or all of the park. The park closes 3 weekends each year for deer hunting.

As for rules and things like that, check out the websites because they may change from time to time but I will mention that you should be courteous to other riders, watch out for hikers and horseback riders, who are welcome in the park. Bikers are to yield to all other visitors in the park. Also, watch out for wildlife, like deer, squirrels, rabbits and other animals that may run out in front of you. You should also stay on the trails. Don’t try to make any new trails, there are plenty for you already. I probably don’t even need to say this but please don’t litter and if you find something needing maintenance like a fallen tree, go to the website and report it.

Parts of Haw Ridge have a tendency to hold water after a rainfall, especially around the main entrance so you will get muddy if it has rained before your visit but it is so much fun! I would rather go when it is a little moist, but once you get in the woods, you should have no problem finding trails that are drier. Remember I said that it used to be a jeep and motorcycle playground? There is still a gravel road in there and it is regularly used as part of your riding experience.

I really have nothing bad to say about Haw Ridge. It really is a very nice mountain bike experience. You’re gonna love it!

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