Where else to Celebrate National Trails Day, but on one of Knoxville’s more than 100 miles of trails and greenways! With Knoxville’s rugged ridges, wandering waterways and rolling farmland, there are a variety of trails to suit adventurers of all levels.
Top 3 Destinations for Flat and Casual Hikes
- Seven Islands State Birding Park – Take the 1-mile Seven Islands Loop Trail through rolling farmland and grassy meadows before you cross the bridge over the beautiful French Broad River and explore the 0.7-mile Island Loop Trail.
- Neyland Greenway – This greenway is perfect for a casual walk near Downtown Knoxville, just follow the banks of the Tennessee River on this 3.0-mile linear greenway. Park at Volunteer Landing and head towards the downtown waterfront or try the quieter section heading towards Ned McWhorter Park.
- Will Skelton Greenway – Here is a greenway that feels more like a nature trail but is ADA-accessible. Starting at Island Home Park or Ijams Nature Center, this greenway will take you to Forks of the River, where the Holston and French Broad rivers flow into the Head of the Tennessee.
Top 3 Climbs to Get Your Heart Beating
- House Mountain State Natural Area – Check out this 3.90-mile loop up to the highest peak in Knox County at 2,064 feet! Journey through rock formations and along the crest of the mountain, where you will find several overlooks and good picnic spots. The Crest Trail gives great views on both sides of the surrounding farmland with the Smokies and Unaka mountains in the distance.
- Sharps Ridge Veterans Memorial Park – Explore one of Knoxville’s newest outdoor amenities, the all-access hiking trails at Sharp’s Ridge. The North Ridge Loop Trail and Independence Trail are designed for adaptive mountain bikes and wheelchairs, and are great for all hikers. For a longer hike, you can start on the Lincoln Trail and connect to the Independence trail, for a nearly 3-mile round trip.
- Best Medicine at Baker Creek Preserve – This trail will take you on a lovely climb up to a surprising view! You will wind your way past a giant sycamore tree, through several switchbacks until you reach the top where the Devil’s Racetrack Downhill trail begins. That trail is for mountain bikes only, so go back the way you came for a 1.6-mile roundtrip.
Top 3 Short and Sweet Hikes
• Fort Dickerson Quarry Trail – This 1.3-mile loop near Downtown Knoxville takes about 30 minutes to complete and includes views of the beautiful quarry lake. You can also hike or drive to the top of the hill to see the historic civil war earthen fort.
• Calloway Ridge Trail – This easy 1.8-mile loop hike at Concord Park will take you beside the shores of Fort Loudon Lake and along a heavily wooded ridge.
• Collier Preserve – The meandering paths of Collier Preserve will give you peaceful resting spots along the bank of Beaver Creek, birding opportunities, and labeled tree species in Knoxville’s newest certified arboretum.