Abandoned Railroads/Dual Sport/East TN?

Discussion in 'Southeast, The Lair of the Dragon - The Blue Ridge' started by Python423, Nov 16, 2006.

  1. Python423

    Python423 TnAdvRiders.com

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    I recently read a trip report of a d/s guy who went on a GeoCache Hunt (GPS Game), well it lead him down an abandoned rail road somewhere, so he rode his bike. That got me thinking might be some good dual sport oportunites. I remember seeing one Smith Mountain before Near Ocoee. You could probably just ride it for several miles to find alot more dual sport oportunites.

    Anyone know where any stretches are that are abandoned? especially in East TN / Western NC ? Just a quick search online I found a site featuring them, and has a bunch listed by state.


    Heres some info from the site, "Thousands of miles of railroads have been abandoned in the United States, much of it in the last 30 years. Most of the tracks have been left in place. All of these railroad lines have a history and story.

    the site lists one near me"Englewood to Tellico Plains" , here is info on it,
    "This branch extended east from Englewood, passing through Nonaburg, Wilson, and Mt. Vernon before ending at Tellico plains. West of Englewood, the line is still in service through Mashburn to Athens, where there is an interchange with the Norfol Southern (ex Southern). The Tellico Plains segment was probably abandoned in the 1970s or 1980s. Just a quick glance on Mapsource (Garmin GPS Software), its not listed on newer maps like City Navigator, but is shown on older maps like Roads and Recreation and Topo. But I wonder if any is left intact? it appears to go through and near roads and such, so I wonder if any of it is left that might go thru a wooded section or something...

    I'm going to check it out sometime, put the tracks on my gps and see if I can locate anything.. Be cool to ride to Tellico Plains all way from Englewood on an abandoned rail road track, but I doubt I could do that, but I might find sections of it still in tact that might go thru a few miles of woods or something.. hopefully............ Anyone else have any expereinces like this? Here is the weblink , check it out, might be one near you, this is not all I'm sure, I wonder if any more are close by.

    http://abandonedrailroads.homestead.com/

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  2. Python423

    Python423 TnAdvRiders.com

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    Heres another webpage I found on the one I had found earlier this summer near Lost Creek Road.. More info on it, from what this couple says it appears to be abandoned but I dont think they say for sure. I'm not sure if you could get in trouble for riding it or not. I know at one section there was a trail that went down and run along it for a good ways.. I'm about 75% sure this one is abandoned , it runs along the hiwasee river. Would be cool to ride on a bike, but I think I'd be leary of any bridge crossings... I'll see if I can do a map export of the section I'm talking about.

    http://www.janandpat.net/otherexp/rr_oldline.htm

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  3. Ridir Frith

    Ridir Frith Been here awhile

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    Try down around Rutherfordton NC. All those long gone textile plants had rail lines, you can also check the old ET line around Elizabethton TN.
    One really awesome, ride is coming from Cranberry, NC toward Hampton TN, on the right is Railroad Grade Road, old ET&WNC line, one lane, paved for the first part. The road has a sign and also a sign for the prison. If you follow the road far enough it turns to dirt and then runs to an old bridge you can't cross, if you could it would run you right into Doe River Camp. The spartanburg line from East Flat Rock all the way to past Inman SC is closed, but it does have rail in good shape and would likely beat your teeth out on the ties. Try the abandoned line from Murphy NC running toward the Natahalia Gorge. Then up there is the long lost Graham County line. Also out of Murphy is the L&N line, I think I was up there in around 90 and the rail was gone but the bed was great for a jeep ride.

    Just remember that abandoned railroads usually revert to the property owner who ajoins them.
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  4. FixxiT

    FixxiT Lunitic Fringe

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    Keep an eye out for these guys...

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    NARCOA is a pretty big organization/club for rail buffs.
    They buy up all these old track cars/speeders & run them on closed rail lines & main lines with a permit.
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  5. Python423

    Python423 TnAdvRiders.com

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    Just an update on the Hiwasee River Rail Road around lost creek (http://www.janandpat.net/otherexp/rr_oldline.htm)

    That strectch of rail is not abandoned... the Tennessee Overhill Heritage Association (http://www.tennesseeoverhill.com) did purchased the line from CSX, and has renovated the line all the way from the CSX mainline near Etowah to Copper Hill. I don't know for sure, but I am guessing that it will eventually join up with the Blue Ridge railroad, if it doesn't already. In fact, the Tennessee Valley Railroad group is running trains on the line now. These trains run only on the weekends and some Fridays.
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  6. SDS

    SDS introverted excavator

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    I'd be careful. If there are cross-ties and rails still in place it's not likely abandoned. I've been told that when a rail company truly abandons a line it goes in and removes the track. Otherwise they have to continue to pay taxes on the property and ROW. I think there are a few roadbeds (no track) here in N. Al., but I'd have to ask my dad. He's always been a big rail fan and he probably knows where a lot of this stuff is.
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  7. Python423

    Python423 TnAdvRiders.com

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    Heres another one I was tipped about in North Georgia from the webmaster of that site.

    One to explore is in Walker County GA, where the old TAG line went through Pigeon Mountain. Last I heard the tunnel is still there, but they put a berm in front of the western portal to keep bikes and ATVs out... I haven't heard or read anything about the other side, or what if anything they have done with the rest of the line (where is Rails to Trails when you need them??). But even that is just a road bed... they pulled the rails up quite a few years ago.

    More info at,

    http://www.trainweb.org/tagrailway/tunnel/index.html

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  8. Swampy

    Swampy Mayor of Swampyville

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    Python...

    I know you're looking for places to ride, and this one is right in your neighborhood. Only about 20 minutes from Knoxville. This place is awesome, and the like all areas, the farther you go away from the main part, the fewer people you see. The stuff here is fantastic...you can't argue with 70,000 cares, yes, the numebr is correct....

    Check it out...

    http://www.coalcreekohv.com/
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  9. Python423

    Python423 TnAdvRiders.com

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    Hey Swampy, thanks for the reply. Yeah I have ridden Coal Creek several times last year on my DRZ400E. Its a great place. Problem is getting someone to ride with. But I got several guys from www.easttnriders.com who are ready to ride windrock anytime. I mainly been exploring just casual dual sport stuff closer to home lately (as I can do that solo), I'm about an hour from coal creek so not far, but theres alot of stuff closer if u know where to look (ie, old mines, google satellite images,etc). I can't wait to get back to coal creek.. I've had a blast ever time I've been. Even on the time I broke my toe up there...
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  10. dirtdidler

    dirtdidler Been here awhile

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    bump for more info, me and my five want to go!!!
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  11. Python423

    Python423 TnAdvRiders.com

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  12. dlrides

    dlrides 1:1.618

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    I have been following this thread very closely, I too find these abandoned RR's interesting. There are several abandoned RR's in Saltville VA. GSACHIC & I spent quite a few hours riding them one day, and plan a return trip to explore them further. I would like the location of the previous RR tunnel. I will PM you.
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  13. Python423

    Python423 TnAdvRiders.com

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    Which one? The nemo one (from video?) , I'm not exactly sure on the location, but here is the info I have on on it.. I read about it in this thread (windrock atv club in oliver spring's message board),

    http://www.windrockatv2.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=2806

    it was linked to Tommy Rheas site (he's one who videoed it) I'm sure if u emailed him , he could give you more accruate directions.

    http://www.tommyrhea.com/videoclips.htm

    from the thread on the atv club forum, someone posted these directions,

    "Gotta go to Wartburg, and go like you are going to Catoosa WMA. It'll be the little trail on the left just before you get to the Nemo Bridge. Probably about a 30 minute or so drive, maybe 45 mins, from the Windrock trailhead."

    You might be able to take those directioins and look at a map and/or topo software,etc to determine where its at. or just email Tommy. I didn't follow it any further, as windrock is about 1 1/2 hour away form me as it is, and this is another 45mins+ away. So not an area I would likely be dual sporting anytime soon. Plus way the water is in it, I'd about be afraid to take a motorcycle thru there.. It does look cool tho.. Hope thats been of some info for ya..
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  14. dlrides

    dlrides 1:1.618

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    Thanks !! If it can be found, we can find it !
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  15. Python423

    Python423 TnAdvRiders.com

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    I'm sure theres probably a ton of killer dual sporting in that area. I just have so much yet to explore right in my back yard, let along couple hours away.. I rode at coal creek ohv saturday (www.coalcreekohv.com) on my drz400e, its a huge place, and only maybe explored 1% of it so far. Theres enuff riding there to keep me occupied for years.. Just finding the time to do all of it. But I know theres a ton of mountain roads/trails around coal creek thats not part of it, tons, so this is near by, I'm sure theres tons and tons of mountain roads outside the ohv area. which is huge in itself. enuff I'm sure to keep ya exploring for the rest of your life.. I'll look at my mapsource topo and see if I can get an idea where the nemo tunnel might be and post what i find..
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  16. Python423

    Python423 TnAdvRiders.com

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    I pulled up Warburg on my topo and gps software, theres a railroad running near watburg , near a spot called nemo. This railroad track shows on City Navigator as well, but isn't on Garmin Roads & Red (older maps). So I'm not sure if thats a new railroad or the abandoned one. I emailed Tommy see if I could get cordinates and directions to it. I'll let ya'all know what I find out.
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  17. Rogue_Ryder

    Rogue_Ryder

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    Very Cool Rides :ricky
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  18. Frontpointer1000

    Frontpointer1000 Chillin' like a villain

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    Old railroads are a blast. Just found one in my neighborhood (near Boston, Mass). Was riding through the twisties and saw an old access/maintenance road on the other side of a river. Found the entrance and followed the road til it turned to a single track - kept going and then finally had to bump up onto the track itself. Key here is to go fast enough that the individual rail road ties aren't too bumpy, they'll throw you off course. Crossed over bridges and went through amazing valleys - definitely made me wanting more when I was done. Some of the railroad had trees growing up through it--very fun.
    #18
  19. dlrides

    dlrides 1:1.618

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    Found it this spring ! Send me a PM if you want directions.

    Tunnel pics:

    http://dlrides.smugmug.com/gallery/2852904#P-2-9

    http://dlrides.smugmug.com/gallery/2852904#P-3-9
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  20. Python423

    Python423 TnAdvRiders.com

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    Theres an old railroad bridge (old O&W) that's passable up in the Big South Fork area. I haven't rode up there yet, but saved the info for future exploring. This info was gathered from other sources.

    The old O&W railroad bed near the Big South Fork has great views of the river and an old trestle to cross.
    [FONT=Verdana,Arial]The railroad bed (1410') is a gentle ride of 8 miles to the bridge (940') over the Big South Fork. The road follows Pine Creek and turns to gravel at 0.5 miles. A good parking place is at Toomey Road (mile 3.8, 1250') just before one of the crossings of Pine Creek. (Toomey road climbs to 1540' and joins TN 297 in 2.4 miles.) The O&W road becomes rougher (more potholes) and more scenic, and at mile 6.5 Piney Creek joins the Big South Fork as the road runs north through a wall of rock. The rider looks down on the Big South Fork and up to the sandstone cliffs above. From the O&W bridge (mile 8.1, 940'), a horse trail goes north 2.3 miles to Leatherwood Ford (900') on TN 297. The O&W road continues across the bridge and up North White Oak Creek to a wet crossing at mile 9.6 (900', avoid in high water). The railroad bed gently climbs along the creek and has some bus-sized mud holes and several wet creek crossings. The Coyle Branch trail (mile 11.1) climbs back up to jeep roads that lead back to Bandy Creek, or you can go further up the railbed to the Gernt Road ascent (mile 13.6), or futher still to Zenith (mile 15.5, 1060') where you have to ford the creek again. The railbed continues to follow the creek for another 8 or so miles, but the section is not maintained. [/FONT]

    Directions from Knoxville, TN. North bound 1-75 exit at Highway 63, the Oneida-Huntsville Exit (141). Follow Highway 63 west for 21 miles through Huntsville to U.S. 27. Turn right on U.S. 27 and drive north 7 miles to Oneida. At the first traffic light, turn left on Highway 297 west and follow 297 approximately 10 miles. Keep your eye out for a road on the left (I think is is marked O&W road). It is across from the huge horse farm, with the expensive fencing, on the right. Continue straight until the road turns to gravel and eventually leads to the railroad bed. Head right to see the views of the river and the trestle.

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