Monday, June 29, 2015

Tweetsie Trail: Alabama Street in Johnson City to Holly Lane in Elizabethton

I started my furlough today, and decided to head up to Johnson City to ride the existing portion of the Tweetsie Trail. I say existing, because soon the trail will be extended further into Elizabethton. I drove up past Howard Johnson Field, where just a few nights ago I watched the Johnson City Cardinals play some baseball and parked at the start of the trail at the junction of Legion and Alabama Streets.

I got the bike out of the car and hit the trail. Even though the trail runs roughly parallel to US 321, for most of the ride you don't actually see or hear the busy highway. The trail almost immediately enters a rock cut that was blasted out for the Tweetsie (East Tennessee and Western North Carolina) Railroad.
rock cut
Eventually the trail makes its way to the Milligan Depot
Milligan Depot
which stands near to where there had been a flag stop for students to use to get to Milligan College.
on bike
Just beyond the depot is an interesting water-filled rock quarry
and seating area.
nice brickwork

After the rock quarry, the trail gets into the outskirts of Elizabethton,
mile 4
passing some baseball fields. Once the trail enters Elizabethton, it gets less interesting. It passes strip malls and chain stores and restaurants. There are also lots of road crossings to deal with. The trail comes to an abrupt end at Holly Lane.
Trail crossing sign
At this point I turned around and retraced the trail back into Johnson City. The trail does offer some nice views of Buffalo Mountain as you make your way towards Johnson City.
Trail looking to Buffalo Mountain
There are no tunnels on this section of trail, but a few interesting bridges to cross.
bridge over creek

As I drove back to Greeneville, I noticed construction was progressing on a spur of the Tweetsie Trail that leads into downtown Johnson City. Soon, you will be able to ride the trail to Tupelo Honey Cafe, White Duck Taco Shop, or the Yee-Haw Brewery. The future looks pretty bright for downtown Johnson City!          

1 comment:

Chainring said...

That's cool! Might have to check it out sometime.