Bears we have lots of (serious! their like squirrels up here) great riding roads, not so much. I've done all the 'named' rides down there. Dragon, The Snake, The Hellbender, Devils Triangle, Cherohala etc etc.. The Cherohala and The Snake are my favs in TN/NC. But theirs better roads with no names (and no pirates and traffic!) They even have a new one on my absolute favourite road thats WAS all but deserted 'Dragons backbone' which is Rte 16 between Marion and Tazwell VA. If you go off that road, no one will EVER find you.Thats awesome you come all this way to ride the roads in this area.
coming into gatlinburg some tourists saw a black bear sitting up a hill and next thing you know..both lanes are blocked and people are stopped in the road and climbing the hillside to try and get a picture of it..