Ghost House Loop Trail
Visit the beautiful Big Ridge State Park to explore some local history during spooky season. The Ghost House Loop Trail is a 1.2-mile easy-to-moderate loop hike which begins near the group campsite and takes you deep into the history of this area's pre-1930s inhabitants. According to locals and some park visitors, eerie and unexplainable events occur along this trail, including a friendly ghost dog you just might hear panting in the woods. Make a stop at the Norton Cemetery and visit the sunken grave of Maston Hutchinson, who some think is responsible for these strange occurrences. Finally, continue down the trail towards Big Valley and visit the haunted remnants of the famous Ghost House, Maston’s old home.
At Mead’s Quarry in South Knoxville, this 1.3-mile loop will take you around the quarry lake and up the ridge beside it. While short, it does have significant elevation gain as you climb up to see the beautiful view of the quarry and Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness. When you get to the top, you will also find a small, historic cemetery with graves dating back to the 1880s, including a man who survived the sinking of the Sultana in April 1865. This is a short but moderately difficult hike that should take about 40 minutes to complete.
Old Gray Cemetery
Old Gray Cemetery, founded in 1850, is just north of downtown Knoxville and occupies 13 acres of beauty and history. You can stroll or drive through the winding avenues of Old Gray and see many excellent examples of Victorian art and architecture. Many of the graves date back to the heyday of marble production in Knoxville, when elaborate statuary was the height of fashion. In this cemetery you will find a mixture of unmarked graves, massive monuments, and ornate mausoleums. On October 16th, the cemetery will host Spirits of Old Gray, an event with actors portraying some of Old Gray’s permanent residents and telling their historical tales.
River Bluff Wildlife Area
This is a great hike in South Knoxville with beautiful views of both downtown Knoxville and the Tennessee River winding alongside it. However, only some know of the disaster that occurred here in the 1890s. There once was a cable car powered by steam engine to take passengers across the Tennessee River from the north shore to the river bluff above. In February 1894, the car carrying six passengers was reaching the bluff when the suspension cable snapped. The car shot down the cable until the broken end of the cable wrapped around the car and left it suspended 200 feet above the river. After dangling for several hours, five of the six passengers miraculously survived.
Hope this helps you find some spooky outdoor adventures! Head to this page for more Halloween events and activities!