If you're looking for an off-the-beaten-path biking experience, Big Ridge Trail might be right up your alley. Located in the outskirts of Chattanooga, Tennessee, this 5-mile point-to-point trail offers its own set of challenges and delights, mainly due to its natural, lesser-maintained condition.
To find this hidden trail, head north on Hixson Pike and make a right turn onto Gold Point Cir N. Follow the signs towards Chester Frost State Park. Take another right onto Ridge Bay Dr and follow it until you reach Gold Point Cir S. Take a quick right and then an immediate left onto Nelson Spur. Pass the yellow gate and all the houses; a small grassy area for parking will appear on your left. The trailhead is on your right and is fairly difficult to spot. Keep a lookout for it approximately 1/4 mile from the yellow gate.
Let's get one thing straight: This isn't your well-maintained, highly-trafficked trail. It's filled with downed trees, broken limbs, and ground covered in leaves and pine needles. That said, Big Ridge Trail has an untamed beauty that appeals to those who don't mind going off the trodden path.
Big Ridge Trail isn't for everyone. However, it does offer a unique riding experience for those willing to accept its challenges. With its close proximity to residential areas and untamed natural beauty, it holds the potential to become a well-loved local trail if the community can rally around its maintenance. Until then, it remains an adventurous option for those looking for something different.