About the Urban Wilderness

Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness is a spectacular 1500-acre outdoor adventure area where you can hike, bike, climb, paddle or just wander in the woods – all within the heart of the city. Over 60 miles of trails and greenways connect you to a beautiful nature center, pristine lakes, historic sites, dramatic quarries, adventure playgrounds, nine city parks and a 600-acre wildlife area. You’ll find adventures for everyone – from the hair-raising, double-black diamond Devil’s Racetrack Mountain Bike Trail to the family-friendly Baker Creek Play Forest – within minutes of Knoxville’s restaurants and shops. Have the best of both adventures – urban and wilderness – in this breath-taking destination. 

Knoxville's Urban Wilderness provides 14 trailheads connecting users to a variety of outdoor activities.

The signed, 12.5-mile South loop is a suggested route leading you through a unique experience connecting these areas, connecting The Quarries at Ijams Nature Center, Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area, the Helix TrailsWilliam Hastie Natural Area, and Marie Myers Park.  Restrooms and water are available at Ijams Nature Center and the Ijams Quarries.  Water stations are available spring through fall at the Helix Trailhead and the end Marj McClean trail leaving William Hastie Natural Area.

Urban Wilderness Alliance

Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness is a collaborative effort to create and preserve public access to the rich natural, historic, cultural and recreational assets in the heart of Knoxville. Key organizations who formed an alliance to guide the expansion of Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness include the City of Knoxville, Knox County, Legacy Parks Foundation, Aslan Foundation, Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency, Appalachian Mountain Bike Club and Ijams Nature Center, working alongside countless other organizations, neighbors and volunteers.