Montgomery Bell

The Montgomery Bell mountain bike trails consists of about 21 miles of trail with 2-3 miles more to be built before completion. The trail is located in a dedicated section of the park, on the north side of Highway 70. The trail is open only to mountain bikes.

The trail is divided into basically two sections; the east section with the easier trails (trail colors white, blue and red), and the west section (trail colors green and yellow) for advanced riders. The entire system is singletrack that winds through mature upland hardwood forest interspersed with large pine groves. The area is bisected by a large spring-fed creek. Many of the trails wind along this creek providing for a scenic natural experience. Started in 1997, the trail has been designed and built by volunteers with mountain biking as its sole purpose.

The White Trail is the easiest, and was built first. The turns tend to be tighter, but the trail has a nice flow and rhythm. One of the White Trails follows the creek and is particularly scenic during the spring. The 5.0 miles of White Trail is built mostly on flatter terrain. Some sections are through dense, almost dark, pine thickets. The trails in this part are cushioned with pine needles. Notice the old Price Cemetery with many graves dating to the mid-1800's.

The Red Trail should be considered a connector trail to the Blue, Green and Yellow Trails. The (2.8 mile) Red trail is a perimeter trail along the north east end of the system, and then cuts through the middle of the park, accessing the other parts of the system. The perimeter section is particularly fast and flowing, both directions. All parts of the red are pretty fast, and carry a lot of traffic. The Red meanders up and down some medium length grades.

The Blue Trail is the medium difficulty trail in the eastern end of the system. There are about 6 miles of Blue Trail. The Blue provides a great workout as it climbs out of and falls back into the valley. The climbs are moderate, but repetitive. The Blue loops away from the Red Trail in six places and also weaves a track across the south side of the system.

The Advanced Green Trail is also called the Downhill (one-way) and the Downhill Extension. This section is 3.6 miles long. You enter the Downhill section from “four-Points” at the southeast end of the system. The Downhill is a mile long straight run along the side of Highway 70, but is isolated and hidden in the trees. It is fast and flowing. The high speed descent into the power line cut, if run with no brakes, will bring you back up the other side with only a few pedal strokes. The continuation of the Green, into the "Extension" takes the difficulty level up a few notches. The first encounter is Tommy’s Revenge, a now-bridged steep ravine. Riders will find it exciting to descend into the hollow, cross the perfectly swayed-back bridge, and be propelled back up almost to the top of the other approach. The mogul section offers 5-6 different lines through some existing steep hand dug pot holes. A return trail allows multiple runs, if desired. The remainder of the Green can be described as a series of fast descents and climbs into and out of a series of hollows, most of which can be run with no brakes.

The Yellow Trail, still unfinished as of May, 2005, has about 3.6 miles complete. It is the most challenging because of the amount and repetition of the climbs. It has some steep gravity drops that need to be run without brakes, but are abrupt, and could cause endo’s for the less skilled. There is a fun “roller-coaster” section where the trail swoops into and out of the same small steep valley. There is one "table-top" type jump, that when run full speed can generate some good air time. Until complete, users can just turn around and run the trail in reverse, or jump over onto the end of the Green near the Western end of the system (use an old jeep road for this cross-over). About 2 more miles are to be built before completion.

In summary, this trail system offers something for everybody, lacking only the rocky sections that are found in some other middle Tennessee trails. The primary attribute of the Montgomery Bell System is the natural characteristics of the geology and soil. The rocky chert found just under the surface humus is extremely durable and fast draining. Erosion has been minimal on even the steep sections. Middle Tennessee riders have found that MB can be ridden when all other systems are too slick or muddy from rains. The trail is usually rideable even the next day after a rain. However, in the freeze-thaw conditions of deep winter, the trail system may be closed for a month or so. Call the State Park if unsure.

From Nashville, go out I-40 west and get off at the Pasquo, Pegram, McCrory lane exit (next exit after Bellevue). Go north, to the right. Go about 1 mile to highway 70. Turn left (west). go thru Pegram, and keep on thru White Bluff on 70. About 1.5 miles out of White Bluff, look for Jones Creek Road on the right. Turn right and go past the Boat Factory, and look for trailhead parking lot on the right. Turn right on Bill Duke Rd and then immediately into the parking lot. This is about 20 minutes from the I-40 exit.

Montgomery Bell Trail Conditions

Montgomery Bell Trail Map

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