Bikepacking at its best! Take a journey through the deep woods and beautiful backroads of the Southern Blue Ridge Mountains on a bikepacking route like no other: THREE RIVERS WAY! Named for the three rivers that define this gorgeous landscape - the Ocoee, Hiwassee & Tellico - Three Rivers Way is truly a bucket-list bikepacking adventure. With two distances to choose from, you'll discover a carefully crafted course designed to maximize your experience both on and off the bike. Ride it solo or join us for the annual Grand Depart. Either way, you'll find breathtaking views and stunning scenery on this adventure of a lifetime!
The VISTA uses the best singletrack, gravel, and tarmac that the Cherokee National Forest and the surrounding area have to offer to showcase the beauty of the Southern Blue Ridge Mountains.
The MOUNTAIN is an expanded version of the Vista route that includes the deep woods of the Chattahoochee National Forest in north Georgia.
Click on the maps above to see the complete Ride With GPS files which have downloadable GPX files. These routes were designed by Kim Murrell, an accomplished bikepacker who understands firsthand what makes for a great bikepacking experience!
The next Grand Depart is scheduled for 6:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 13, 2021.
There is no charge for participating in the Grand Depart, but you must register below.
While we have paid the fee for camping at two group sites at Hiwassee/Ocoee Scenic River State Park (please see the Lodging section below for more info), you will still need to pay for parking while you are out on the course. The fee is $3/day to be paid at the ranger station there at the State Park.
SUPPORT & WAYFINDING
Riding Three Rivers Way is a self-supported endeavor, both individually or as part of the Grand Depart. It is imperative that you familiarize yourself with the route prior to attempting the ride and that you prepare a nutrition & hydration plan. There are no aid stations, wayfinding or support on the course. Please note that the majority of roads on the route (especially in the national forest) do not have signs.
There are two ways to have your time verified. You can submit a Strava file to us after the ride or you can set up tracking with Trackleaders.com which will allow your friends and family to watch your progress "live" during your ride. Please contact Trackleaders at least a week prior to your intended ride date. (Allow more time if you need to rent a "Spot" tracking device from them.)
CAMPING: If you'd like to camp the night before the Grand Depart, we have reserved Group Campsites #1 and #2 at Ocoee/Hiwassee State Park for Wednesday night, May 12th. We're covering the charge, so camping that night is FREE! Just check the box on the registration form below if you'd like to camp there. Please note that parking at the group campsite is also free for the night of May 12th, but you will need to move your vehicle to another parking lot at the State Park before you start your ride on the 13th. Parking from the 13th on is $3/day which you can pay at the ranger station.
CABINS: If you'd rather stay in a cabin the night before the Grand Depart, Fireside Outpost has a number of excellent camping cabins. Click here for more information and to make your reservations at Fireside Outpost.
If you're unable to get a spot at the start line, check out the map below for more lodging options.
FASTEST KNOWN TIMES
Jon Livengood: 1d-17h-25m
Dave Chen: 3d-3h-45m
- Ryan Smith: 6d-13h-45m
- No riders have finished thus far.
SCRATCHED: 14 riders
MOUNTAIN GRAND DEPART
- Dave Chen: 3d-9h-31m *
- Graham Skardon: 3d-18h-26m *
- Sara Dallman: 4d-7h-07m *
- Betsy Schauer: 4d-13h-30m
- Travis Stevens: 4d-13h-30m
- Scotty Hilgenfeldt: 5d-18h-21m
- Jason Vance: 6d-6h-42m
- Ryan Smith: 6d-16h-35m *
VISTA GRAND DEPART
- Brad Beadles: 2d-5h-30m
- Joe Urbanowicz: 2d-7h-4m *
- Eric Olsen: 2d-22h-18m
- Michael Rasch: 3d-36m *
- Eric Henderson: 3d-39m
- Jacob Spath: 3d-9h-59m
- Brad Mcleod: 3d-17h-47m
- Thierry Crouzet: 4d-7h-01m
- Charles Watkins: 8d-11h-16m
- John Pickron: 8d-11h-16
- Irmantus Lu: 5d-8h-15m
- Irmantus Steiga: 5d-8h-15m
SCRATCHED: 24 riders
•There was an additional challenge added in 2019. Riders could choose to do the Waucheesi Bald KOM. That climb added 825 feet of elevation gain in the 1.5 miles to the summit. There is a star next to the recorded time of the riders on each route that summited first. There is a star next to all the riders who summited.
MOUNTAIN GRAND DEPART
- Dave Chen: 3d-3h-45m (course record)
- Graham Skardon: 4d-10h-10m
VISTA GRAND DEPART
- Jon Livengood: 1d-17h-25m (course record)
- Joe Wharton: 2d-25m
- Chris Joice: 2d-1h-30m
- Stewart Miller: 2d-7h-21m
- Audrey Tangye: 3d-1h-30m
- Betsy Schauer: 3d-2h-09m
- Michael Rasch: 3d-12h-07m
- Austin Shreiner: 4d-7h-04m
- Matthew Liers: 4d-10h-58m
- Dakota Meyer: 4d-12h-01m
- Lee Neal: 3d-9h-35m
- Casper TFG Ortvald: 5d-12h-37m
- Kent Lundager Larson: 5d-12h-37m
- Jheremy Zetans: 2d-8h-50m
- Linda Sledge: 4d-4h-30m
- Celso Rodrigues: 5d-14h-15m
- Nicholas Christopher: 6d-15h-23m
- Jonathan Hicks: 7d-11h-15m *
SCRATCHED: 21 riders
If you want your time recorded on our list of Finishers, you must adhere to the following rules of self support. The intent of this solo self-supported race is to ride the route as fast as possible in the simplest/purist style possible. If you find yourself looking for loopholes, consider taking another year to prepare before racing. Most likely you'll go faster and enjoy it more as a result.
1. You must take a picture of your bike computer right before you start and right after you finish. The pictures need to show the time of day and the mileage.
2. No motorized transport or hitch-hiking. You must complete the route under your own power.
3. No stashed caches along the route.
4. No sharing supplies between riders.
5. No outside assistance with navigation.
6. No pacers.
7. No support crews. You can only receive support from local businesses on-site during their normal business hours.
8. No sharing supplies between riders.
9. During an ITT, assistance with navigation, supplies, or lodging cannot be received from friends, family or private individuals when it's not available to all riders.
10. You must have a contingency plan in place before you start the ride in case of emergency or if you need to quit. You are responsible for your own safety and well-being out there.
TRAIL MAGIC: Trail Magic is an unexpected occurrence that lifts a rider's spirits and inspires awe and gratitude. Obtaining an item from another person can only be unsolicited and accidental, otherwise, the receipt of assistance or supplies by individuals when it's not available to all riders reflects a lack of self sufficiency which renders an effort not self-supported. In short, you can't ask for Trail Magic. You can only pray for it!