Although Sharps Memorial Ridge Park is an outlier in North Central Knoxville, it’s well worth the effort to ride there. It’s an island in the sky, a mountainous beacon calling you to experience some more-than-worthy mountain bike terrain. Sharps is the place to go for longer grinding climbs and extended descents. Beyond that, it has great views of the Smoky Mountains. There is a range of trails layered up and around the mountain that caters to the experienced beginner to expert. For what it lacks in mileage, it more than makes up for in elevation relief and variety of trail experiences. There’s no doubt that Sharps has big ride potential. While the trails are not overly technical, the skinny tread on steep slopes provides something different than the Urban Wilderness in South Knoxville.
Most of the original trails are found on the sunny south side of the mountain, stretching from end to end. It’s like a human-powered conveyor belt of sorts. The Lincoln and Firebreak trails provide plenty of contouring plus some moderate ups and downs. Sharp Shin is fun for those who like to feel the exposure from a narrow trail on the side of a mountain. The newer trails, Lincoln Extension and Independence, wrap around the west side of the mountain onto the north slopes. They are a bit wider, have mellow grades, and are great for easy pedaling. These routes also accommodate adaptive bikes.
Knight Fall and the new Pitch Black trail provide advanced to expert experiences. Knight Fall is an exciting jump trail with rollers, berms, and tables. Pitch Black is more of an enduro-style trail with a rawness that makes you feel like you are deep in the backcountry. This comes in the form of steep off-camber sections across natural terrain. The finished sections are in all the right places and you can float or fly over things depending on your skills and moxie on any particular day.
Sharps Memorial Ridge Park is rideable almost always and is the go-to place during the wintertime or after it rains.
Words - The Wide Eyed World
Photos - Joey Dembek @joeshmoe1616