When you head across the Tennessee River on the James White Parkway toward South Knoxville, you’ll go to the end of the highway and the beginning of paradise for mountain bikers. Here you’ll find Baker Creek Preserve, the entry point to the Knoxville Urban Wilderness. It’s both a jumping-off point for over 50 miles of trails, or a destination all on its own. Baker Creek has a wide variety of experiences packed into one zone, giving you a lot of bang for your buck. This park is a bike-optimized trail network, providing an awesome collection of playful trails. There are plenty of opportunities to rail berms and catch some air, you know, the things that really make you smile. Baker is also a gathering place where you’ll find the atmosphere welcoming, a reflection of the inclusive nature that South Knoxville is known for.
Beyond the asphalt, there are a handful of trails that provide a range of gravity-based experiences. Routes are set up for sessioning, meaning that multiple laps are possible without having to pedal too long of a return. This is great for someone who wants to focus on fun and skills progression. Cruze Valley and Barn Burner are bringing the pump, flow, and jump experiences and have their own trail hub. They have similar styles and features – berm, rollers, table-top and hip jumps. Barn Burner is the more advanced of the two routes with more need for speed to clear features. There is also increased amplitude here – bigger and longer air-time. Cruze Valley is more of a pump and jump, meaning you still have a lot of fun, can get air, but don’t have to if you like wheels on the ground. The progression from Cruze and Barn Burner is the Devil’s racetrack, an expert-level downhill jump trail.
For those who just want to pedal and take it easy, Sycamore Loop and Red Bud Crest are good options to get a feel for the smooth red dirt found throughout Baker Creek Preserve.
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