Low on traffic and high on scenery, this relaxing country cruiser spins through idyllic countryside and the forested confines flanking the Natchez Trace Parkway. From Hunters Bend Elementary School in Franklin, head west on Fieldstone Parkway, a shoulder-less, four-lane thoroughfare. Enter the countryside while gliding down the Del Rio Pike near the ride's first climb, a 0.8-mile kicker averaging a modest 3.4-percent grade.
The scenery changes from flat farmland to gently rolling hillsides as you head northwest on TN 96 toward the Natchez Trace Bridge. This award-winning, architecturally renowned bridge connects two forested hillsides separated by a grassy valley. After crossing the bridge, follow the Natchez Trace Parkway through a leafy, wooded corridor before turning onto TN 100 and passing the Loveless Café, a famous Tennessee eatery and ideal mid-ride food stop.
From Loveless, the return trip back to Franklin is nearly devoid of climbing, with the toughest ascent consisting of a friendly, mile-long uphill averaging a mellow 1.8-percent grade. After cruising over more peaceful and lonely country roads, reconnect with Del Rio Pike to head back toward Hunters Bend Elementary to finish the ride.
-Mapped by Robert Hendry
TO TRAILHEAD: This ride starts at Hunters Bend Elementary School in Franklin. Follow Hillsboro Pike (US 431) and head west at Fieldstone Pkwy. School is on the right in 440 feet.