“Great trail with easy to challenging sections: smooth and fast to rocky and technical.
— Steve Capps
Shutes is a hidden gem and Wilson County's only trail. We're located north of Hermitage and Mt. Juliet. The trail is located across the street from the Shutes Branch Rec Area boat ramps and picnic facilities. We're also a great place for kids to learn to bike (on the old campground roads) or to take a walk. The trail gets around 20 riders a day, so you don't need to worry about crowds. The entire trail is 8.2 miles car to car, even though GPS units show less.
Need to Know
Some folks are intimidated by The White Rocks - there is now a bypass. Also, print a map from our blog
site and learn the connectors - A to O. It's fun to skip around on the trail to add some variety.
The trail is located in a former campground and winds around and across the old campsites. Because of the old campground roads and campsites, there are numerous connectors that allow for a variety of trail sections and easy outs if you don't have time for a full ride. All connectors are identified with the letters A through O on 4x4 posts and are shown on the trail maps posted on 3 kiosks.
The first 2.4 miles of trail is easy with about 30 ft of relief over the area. This is often referred to as the beginner section. The next 5.8 miles vary from rocky technical sections to fast flowy sections with short climbs and downhill runs. The sections encountered include the White Rocks, the Jungle, the Hillside, the Graveyard, and the interior. The interior is named for it's being located inside a "P" shaped campground road. A suggested route for beginners is shown on the kiosks, located at the start, B, and G connectors.
The whole system is 8.2 miles long with about 100 ft of relief from the lowest to highest points.
The trail dries quickly in summer, but is very hazardous when wet. The rocks have almost no traction and should be avoided when wet. Please avoid when wet in the winter, because the clay soils are thin and when eroded, more rock is exposed.
Night riding is OK - so frozen winter rides are a good time to ride when the trail would otherwise be too muddy.
Another plus is the aforementioned campground roads. These gated roads are used by locals for walking and training kids to ride bikes. A local road bike club also does some novice training on the campground roads. The road loop climbs almost 80 vertical feet in less than a mile. Enough to get a beginner panting. Over a mile of asphalt is located behind three gates.
History & Background
Former COE Campground on Old Hickory Lake. Also, the area is shared by the Nashville office of the National Weather Service. Built by "the boys in the neighborhood" with COE permission. We are officially the Friends of Shutes Branch MTB Trail and maintain a blog and Facebook page.