The first Saturday in July is National Hop-A-Park Day! This day is all about exploring the parks and beautiful green spaces which surround us. We have so many great parks here in Knoxville, so take this opportunity to hop down to a park you have never explored before! Check out a few of our favorites: 

Collier Preserve

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Collier Preserve with tree blossoming near concrete path

1. Collier Preserve

One of the newest parks in the area is a great spot to explore on Hop-A-Park Day! Explore winding trails through the woods along Beaver Creek, look for colorful songbirds and let the kids hop along the stumps of the council ring. Located next to the Powell Library, this park is a perfect place to read a book in the shade. The park features an ADA-accessible walkway, native garden, and a birding platform. 

Forks of the River

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2. Forks of the River

Most Knoxvillians know about the sunflowers in South Knoxville, but have you explored all that Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area has to offer? This park is great for walking, riding bikes, wildlife and wildflower viewing. Forks of the River can be accessed from McClure Lane, Burnett Creek Rd, or by way of Ijams Nature Center on the Will Skelton Greenway. Make a loop by hiking Will Skelton Greenway along the beautiful Tennessee River, and see where it begins at the confluence of the French Broad and Holston Rivers. Take the Wyatt Way trail back to the parking lot on McClure Lane or extend your hike by taking the greenway back to Ijams Nature Center. And if you are just there to admire the sunflowers – they will hit their peak in mid-July. 

William Hastie Natural Area

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man biking with his dog on a leash in William Hastie Natural Area

3. William Hastie Natural Area

Explore this lesser-known gem in Knoxville's urban wilderness. There are 6.3 miles of trail which wind through the forest, past a sinkhole, and along a creek. Go looking for the various types of wildflowers that grow in the park, listen for frogs on the boardwalk over the creek, and bring your bike to enjoy some of the easier mountain biking in Knoxville's urban wilderness. 

Morningside Park

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Pavillion at Morningside Park

4. Morningside Park

This park located just east of Downtown Knoxville may surprise you! It includes an 18-hole disc golf course designed for tournaments, 1.6 miles of greenway to stroll, and several picnic shelters. Alex Haley Heritage Square sits at the top of the park and includes a playground as well as a 13-foot tall bronze sculpture of Pulitzer Prize winner Alex Haley. 

Knoxville Botanical Garden

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Knoxville Botanical Gardens

5. Knoxville Botanical Garden

Explore walking trails and secret gardens just five minutes from Downtown Knoxville at Knoxville Botanical Garden. Catch views of the Smoky Mountains in the grassy meadows of the ridge top, and wind your way around historic buildings while you explore the many nooks and crannies of this beautiful arboretum. There are 1.25 miles of trail that will take you through several different gardens, along stone ledges and through a bamboo forest.