View Full Version : Question for the East TN members here

04-02-2017, 11:16
Which area has the easiest access to hiking (not necessarily the AT) and other outdoors activities such as mountain biking, Knoxville or Chattanooga? I'm probably moving to east TN in 2020. I've spent some time hiking there but it has been a long while. I do know Chattanooga has a good bit of mountain biking and has been voted best city to live in by Outside and a few other mags.


04-02-2017, 11:38
Knoxville for hiking, Chatt for kayaking

04-02-2017, 13:40
I live in Johnson City and its close to it all here. The Smokies are nice but there are lots of rules, permits and crowds to deal with. I prefer the Cherokee and Pisgah National Forests and their respective wilderness areas- more trails and less people and zero permits needed. We have the Nolichucky and Watauga Rivers for rafting and local bike trails and the Creeper an hour away. They are opening up a mountain biking park in Johnson City later this year.

04-02-2017, 13:56
Johnson City is where I would like to settle down, Knoxville and Chattanooga are part of my back up plan.

04-02-2017, 14:03
Looks like a couple of bike projects are going on in Johnson City.



04-02-2017, 17:51
Johnson city is a good spot. I like it a little slower so we settled down in Erwin/Unicoi county just a few miles south of JC. .. Asheville, Nc might be another good option for you to look at.

04-02-2017, 18:19
Johnson city is a good spot. I like it a little slower so we settled down in Erwin/Unicoi county just a few miles south of JC. .. Asheville, Nc might be another good option for you to look at.

How long does it take for you to get to Johnson City? A little slower suits me just fine, I spent a good portion of my present career in towns of 6000 people or less, but being fairly close to a bigger city is nice. Is Unicoi a dry county? :-? Don't want to have to drive too far for my bourbon!

04-02-2017, 21:51
Erwin is only about 15 miles from JC, by interstate. One hour to downtown Asheville. .. Here in Erwin we can buy beer at the gas stations and at the grocery store it's beer and wine. About 5 miles up the interstate is Walmart and a strip mall that has a liquor store. There's plenty of untaxed beverages to be found too.....

04-03-2017, 06:05
I'm just outside Knoxville. Easy to get to the Smokies and Big South Fork. Areas at the southwest end of the Smokies are tedious to drive to, miles of winding twisting roads, and interstate 75 doesn't help much unless you're going down into Georgia. Interstates 40 and 81, on the other hand, streamline the trip to anything near Asheville or up into Virginia.
Never paid too much attention to those ratings of different cities. Who lives in an entire city? A city is composed of hundreds of neighborhoods ranging from safe and clean to rough and dirty. So long as I am comfortable in my neighborhood, and can access the services and products I need, city's rating doesn't matter to me.

Tennessee Viking
04-03-2017, 09:13
With Chattanooga, you have the State Forest, Fiery Gizzard, Cumberland Trail and a number of SPs nearby. Several USFS Forest and BMT trailheads within an hour.

Knoxville. Northern Cumberland Trail, Frozen Head, Black Mountain (TN).

JC area is great for AT, USFS trails, SP trails, City park trails, greenways....

I think JC, Knoxville, and Chattanooga have their pros and cons.

Knoxville/Chattanooga will be higher costs of living. JC will be cheaper. And give you a wide central location to many trail systems.