Gernt Road

Oneida, Tennessee

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The three miles one-way to the Laurel Fork Overlook slowly descends a knuckle of 250-million-year-old sandstone, ending abruptly at a high cliff. The overlook faces west, with Darrow Ridge on the horizon looking like an eyebrow. Laurel Fork lies below, and when the water is high, it can be heard dashing down the rocks with a roar. Above, on Gernt Road, water has carved into the sandstone, washing its product- sand- along the ridge to rest in long, fairly level pits that make biking a slippery affair. Fortunately, the sandy stretches last long enough to be fun but not so long that they get tiresome. At the opposite end of the moisture index, small sections of long, watery potholes of unknown depth, which stay that way most of the year, must be passed. The descent into the Laurel Creek Gorge happens quickly. It only takes a scant half mile to loose nearly 500 vertical feet on a section some call the Elevator. Rocks as big as grapefruits are scattered along the doubletrack. Water from cliffside springs runs down the middle of the road, creating rapids nearly big enough to need names. Once at the bottom, look for signs left over from the old rail community of Gernt.

Gernt Road Professional Review and Guide

"The three miles one-way to the Laurel Fork Overlook slowly descends a knuckle of 250-million-year-old sandstone, ending abruptly at a high cliff. The overlook faces west, with Darrow Ridge on the horizon looking like an eyebrow. Laurel Fork lies below, and when the water is high, it can be heard dashing down the rocks with a roar. Above, on Gernt Road, water has carved into the sandstone, washing its product- sand- along the ridge to rest in long, fairly level pits that make biking a slippery affair.

Fortunately, the sandy stretches last long enough to be fun but not so long that they get tiresome. At the opposite end of the moisture index, small sections of long, watery potholes of unknown depth, which stay that way most of the year, must be passed. The descent into the Laurel Creek Gorge happens quickly. It only takes a scant half mile to loose nearly 500 vertical feet on a section some call the Elevator. Rocks as big as grapefruits are scattered along the doubletrack. Water from cliffside springs runs down the middle of the road, creating rapids nearly big enough to need names. Once at the bottom, look for signs left over from the old rail community of Gernt."

Activity Type: Mountain Biking
Nearby City: Oneida
Distance: 6
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Technical Difficulty: Difficult
Physical Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Season: Year-round.
Local Contacts: Superintendent, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, 615-879-3625
Local Maps: National Geographic Trails Illustrated Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area.
Driving Directions: Directions to Gernt Road

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May 2018