Rocky Top is the only place in Tennessee that all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are allowed to ride on the highways. Why is this so important? Rocky Top is adjacent to Windrock Park, which is the largest privately-owned off-road recreation area in the country with over 72,000 acres that have over 300 miles of trails for off-roading, hiking, mountain biking and trail running.
The Tennessee General Assembly passed legislation to amend current law that would allow for all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) to ride on Highway 25W in Rocky Top beginning July 1, 2016.
“Current legislation allows for ATVs to be operated on State Route 116 from Beech Grove to Highway 25,” said Mike Lovely, City of Rocky Top mayor. “This amendment extends the riding area and allow riders from Windrock Park to access the commerce area of Rocky Top.”
“Thousands of people visit Windrock Park every year,” said Stephanie Wells, Anderson County Tourism Council’s director. “This will allow those visitors to come into the City of Rocky Top, buy gas, eat at restaurants, stay at the hotels, etc. without having to reload their equipment.”
“Areas like the Hatfield-McCoy Trails in West Virginia have seen a very positive impact on their economy by giving ATV riders access to their towns,” continued Wells.
"Our first priority is safety of our citizens and our visitors,” said City of Rocky Top’s Police Chief Jim Shetterly. “People wishing to ride in town will have to register and receive a permit. They will also be required to follow all safety requirements.”
All-terrain vehicles will ONLY be allowed on Highway 25W from the intersection of Colonial Lane to the intersection at Jacksboro Avenue, Highway 116 from the intersection of Highway 25W and Beech Grove Road and on Beech Grove Road from the intersection with Highway 116 to the entrance to Windrock Park and only between one-half (1/2) hour after sunrise and one-half (1/2) hour before sunset. The route will be marked with signage.
Anyone operating an ATV must be 16 years of age or older and have a valid driver’s license. Each person riding on the vehicle must wear a helmet. The vehicle must have working headlights and brake lights. If the vehicle doesn’t have turn signals, the operator must use hand signals when turning. The owner of the vehicles must have insurance on the vehicle and must be prepared to show proof of insurance. Riders must lawfully operate their vehicle at all times. Any violation to the state laws and the rules listed here will result in loss of privileges to operate vehicle on the specified road.
Riders can register with the City at Rocky Top City Hall and at the Rocky Top Police Station when City Hall is closed on evenings and weekends. Permits for Windrock Park are now being sold at Shop Rite Grocery Store at the intersection of Highway 25W and Highway 116 and must be obtain in addition to the City’s permit to access Windrock’s property.
For more information, visit http://www.yallcome.org or call the Anderson County Tourism Council at 800/524-3602.