Knoxville, Tennessee is a fantastic destination for outdoor adventure enthusiasts, particularly those who love running. With its stunning natural beauty, including mountains, rivers, and lakes, Knoxville offers a wealth of opportunities for runners of all levels to explore the great outdoors.
The city is home to several parks and nature preserves, including Ijams Nature Center, which offers over 300 acres of trails for hiking, biking, and running. The Third Creek Greenway is a popular spot for a quick run or leisurely stroll, while Concord Park offers a 5-mile loop around the lake, perfect for a long run or jog.
For those seeking a more challenging trail run, House Mountain State Natural Area offers a 4-mile loop to the summit of House Mountain, with stunning views of the surrounding area. The Knoxville Urban Wilderness offers over 1,000 acres of trails, including the 12.5-mile South Loop Trail, which winds through forests, meadows, and rocky ridges.
Best Knoxville Running Adventures
Ijams Nature Center: Ijams Nature Center is a 300-acre wildlife sanctuary that offers several trails for running, hiking, and biking. The River Boardwalk Trail is a popular option, with stunning views of the Tennessee River. This trail is 1.2 miles long and takes runners through a wooded area along the river. For a longer run, you can combine the River Boardwalk Trail with other trails in the park. Ijams Nature Center also offers a variety of programs and events throughout the year, including guided hikes, bird watching, and nature-themed workshops.
Third Creek Greenway: The Third Creek Greenway is a 1.7-mile paved trail that winds through a wooded area in West Knoxville. This is a great spot for a quick run or a leisurely stroll. The trail is relatively flat, with a few small hills, and is suitable for runners of all levels. The Third Creek Greenway is also pet-friendly, so you can bring your furry friend along for the run.
Concord Park: Concord Park is a 500-acre park located on the shores of Fort Loudoun Lake. The park offers several trails for running, including a 5-mile loop around the lake. This is a great spot for a long run or a leisurely jog, with stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains. Concord Park also has several picnic areas, playgrounds, and a boat ramp, making it a great destination for a family-friendly day trip.
Victor Ashe Park: Victor Ashe Park is a 114-acre park that offers several trails for running, hiking, and biking. The park also has a disc golf course, playgrounds, and picnic areas. The trails in Victor Ashe Park range in difficulty, from easy paved trails to more challenging dirt trails. The park is also pet-friendly, so you can bring your furry friend along for the run.
Sharp’s Ridge Memorial Park: Sharp’s Ridge Memorial Park is a 111-acre park that offers several trails for running, hiking, and biking, as well as stunning views of the city. The park’s trails range in difficulty, from easy paved trails to more challenging dirt trails. The park is also home to a 7.5-acre dog park, making it a great destination for pet owners.
Knoxville is also home to several outdoor adventure opportunities beyond running, including rock climbing, paddling, fishing, and family-friendly activities. With its mild climate and stunning natural beauty, Knoxville is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts, and the city’s commitment to preserving its natural resources ensures that these opportunities will be available for generations to come.