Knoxville's Urban Wilderness Cycling
Knoxville, TN 37920
Just three miles from downtown, Knoxville's Urban Wilderness presents a unique urban playground for hikers, mountain bikers and trail runners! The first phase of the project, the South Loop Trails, are on the east end of the Urban Wilderness offering 42-miles of natural surface trails that connect five parks, neighborhoods, schools, and natural areas creating an unparalleled outdoor venue! The main 12.5-mile South Loop connects Ijams Nature Center, Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area, Anderson School Trails, William Hastie Natural Area, and Marie Myers Park. The main loop offers easy to moderate trails for all users and the approximately 30 miles of secondary trails accommodate users from beginner to advanced on dozens of trails of varying terrain.
Read about the ecosystems found in the Urban Wilderness in this excellent article on exploring urban ecology written by the Appalachian Son.
The vision for Knoxville's Urban Wilderness includes the addition of the Battlefield Loop in the western section which will provide an historic and recreational experience featuring three Civil War forts and a city park: the River Bluff; Fort Stanley; Fort Higley; Loghaven; and Fort Dickerson Park. We encourage you to help us make this vision a reality by becoming a Friend of Legacy Parks.
The recent acquisition of 100 acres, generously donated by the Wood Family to Legacy Parks Foundation, will provide a key connection between the existing parks and trails within the Urban Wilderness’ South Loop Trail System and South Doyle Middle School and its Outdoor Classroom. It will also connect additional neighborhoods into the system. The plans for the property call for a variety of trails and features, including a one-mile introductory mountain bike trail for riders of all ages, a skills/play area, 3.5 miles of mixed-use trails featuring two overlooks and three creek-crossing structures.
BICYCLISTS RULES OF THE TRAIL
Downhill riders yield to uphill riders, unless otherwise posted. Be considerate of novices and family groups.
Bikers yield to pedestrians unless otherwise posted. Call out "Rider Up" when approaching pedestrians or ring a bell for warning.
Portions of the trail may contain sections that exceed your skill level or posted difficulty rating. Cyclists should dismount and walk if necessary.
Knoxville's Urban Wilderness
South Loop Trail System: 42 miles
Main Loop: 12.5 miles
Type: single track, dirt roads, greenway
Difficulty: easy to moderate
Hours: dawn till dusk
Parking & trailheads
IJAMS NATURE CENTER
Hours: dawn till dusk
2915 Island Home Avenue
Directions: Take I-40 to the James White Parkway and cross the river. Take the Sevier Ave/Hillwood Dr exit and turn left onto Sevier Ave which becomes Hillwood Dr. At the end of Hillwood, turn right onto Island Home Ave then take the first left to stay on Island Home Ave. Ijams will be approximately one mile ahead on the left.
Mead's Quarry Entrance:
3518 Island Home Pike
Directions: From Ijams, continue south on Island Home Ave which becomes Island Home Pike. After the railroad tracks, turn right into the parking area for the quarries and trails.
WM HASTIE NATURAL AREA
Entrance: end of Margaret Road
Directions: Take I-40 to the James White Parkway and cross the river. Take the Moody Ave exit (last exit) and turn left onto Sevierville Pike. Go approximately 2 miles and turn right onto Margaret Rd, which dead-ends at the park.
Entrance: 4808 Prospect Lane
Directions: Take I-40 to the James White Parkway and cross the river. Take the Moody Ave exit (last exit) and turn left onto Sevierville Pike. Go approximately 2 miles and turn left onto Centeroak Dr. Take the first left onto Prospect Rd and the school will be on the right.
FORKS OF THE RIVER WMA
McClure Ln Entrance:
3140 McClure Lane
Directions: Take I-40 to the James White Parkway and cross the river. Take the Sevier Ave/Hillwood Dr exit and turn left. At the end of Hillwood Dr turn right onto Island Home Ave and then take the first left to stay on Island Home Ave. Pass Ijams Nature Center on the left, cross the railroad tracks then take a left onto McClure Ln. Go approximately one-half mile and parking will be on the right.
Burnett Creek Entrance:
5907 Burnett Creek Road
Directions: Take I-40 to the James White Parkway across the river. Take the Sevier Ave/Hillwood Dr exit and turn left. At the end of Hillwood Dr turn right onto Island Home Ave and then take the first left to stay on Island Home Ave. Island Home Ave will become Island Home Pike. Go 2.5 miles and turn left onto Burnett Creek. Go 0.7 miles and turn left into parking area (trail post marks entrance).