In early January of 2016, we decided to go to our local area National Forest and see what we could find. All of these were public roads with the exception of maybe one. We had a great time out there and can’t wait to get out in the Cherokee National Forest to ride again. If you haven’t, you should come visit the Cherokee National Forest and do some overlanding, it has some great places to see and experience.
Our route started in Benton, Tn heading towards Chilhowee Campground on Benton Springs Road.
At the top of the mountain, we took a left onto the pavement for a short while. The road turns to gravel/dirt a little ways up and that’s when it starts getting bumpy. After driving for a few miles, on the left, there is a nice little pull off to access a rocky area to climb on to take in a beautiful view.
From there, we took off down Oswald Road to Hwy 30. At Hwy 30, we headed north into Reliance, Tn. There, we went up Hwy 315 across the Hiwassee River and immediately turned right onto Childers Creek Road.
Up to this point, it’s all been basic dirt/gravel roads and some pavement. After Childers Creek Road, we turned east onto Fingerboard Road to head across the forest and into the vastness of trees and hills. There was a lot of nothing through this area that was of any note, just dirt/gravel roads that seemed endless.
Then, you get to the east side of the forest and start coming into some residential areas and some more pavement. You finally come to a stop sign and turn left onto Ironsburg Road as it winds through some more houses. As you approach Epperson Road on the right hand side, you’ll turn left onto it and go maybe a mile or so and then turn left onto Cannon Ridge road where Epperson Presbyterian Church is on the inside corner. Almost immediately, you’ll veer right onto Witt Road as it turns to dirt, climbs and descends into valleys with creeks and this is where the fun part begins with about 4-5 water crossings.
After the first crossing, we decided to stop for lunch since it was about 1:00 p.m. We sat next to the flowing creek, skipping rocks while Neal’s daughter was playing next to the creek, trying to stay out of the water.
We then continued on Witt Road heading north and encountered more water crossings, having a great time while hitting each one. We reached the end of Witt Road as it emptied out on Hwy 68, just south of Tellico Plains. From there, we turned right onto Hwy 68 and headed back south towards Turtletown, Tn, back over the Hiwassee River where we turned west on Farner Road, heading back into the forest.
Here we searched for a side road that is unnamed and a little hard to find unless you’re looking for it. From there, we turned right onto this unnamed road and headed towards the dead end. This is where we came across this HUGE green water Flume high above the valley, spanning a couple hundred feet across the creek below us and the trail we were on.
We took a little trail that went to the side of the big green flume, just to see what it looked like up close. Needless to say, it’s big! And green…
At the end of this trail, it dead ends at the Hiwassee River and some railroad tracks. We got out of the trucks and hiked around a little, checking out the river and the bridge that the tracks cross over.
From here, we turned around and kept heading west to Hwy 30. We got back on the paved surface and headed home. It was a good day to be out, with a lot of things to see and experience.
I hope this trip report has helped encourage you to get out and explore some. Comment on here if you have any questions for me on any of the routes I took. I tried to be as clear as I could be, and I’ll try to attach a map of the route I took.
Here’s a video of the trip I just described. I hope you enjoy it also.
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