Knoxville, and the surrounding area, is an excellent place to enjoy a run all year long. The City of Knoxville and the Knoxville Track Club have partnered to help accommodate the running community by building greenways throughout the county. This greenway system makes it very easy and safe for anyone to get out for a run without the dangers of running along a busy street.
In addition, the surrounding area of East Tennessee is plentiful with trails for those runners that prefer to get a little more dirty. If the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is included, the area has hundreds of miles of trails to satisfy any runners needs.
Sequoyah Hills/Cherokee Boulevard:
2.6 miles one way. Quite possibly the most popular place to run in Knoxville, Sequoyah Park and the Cherokee Greenway that runs alongside provide runners with an excellent venue for everything from a short leisurely jog to hard hill repeats. Another thing that makes this greenway stand out from the others in Knoxville is that it is not paved, but instead is a crushed gravel path that is situated on the wide tree-lined median of Cherokee Boulevard.
Recommended Run (about 5 miles): Park in the main lot (near the intersection with Blows Ferry Rd) and do an out-and-back run along Cherokee. If you feel like a change of scenery, on your way back, turn off into the park near the Indian Mound (1.0 marker) and finish your run on the riverside “trail.”
Third Creek Greenway:
4+ miles one way plus lots of connectors. The longest of the greenways in Knoxville, Third Creek Greenway winds through a nicely wooded area and criss-crosses Third Creek a few times before passing through Tyson Park near the UT campus. Third Creek has many entrance points and parking options making it the most accessible greenway as well.
Recommended Run (about 6 miles): Park at our store or the EarthFare lot next door and head off on the greenway towards Tyson Park. Continue through the intersection with Concord Rd. and enter Tyson Park. Turn around near the playground and enjoy the scenery from the opposite direction!
Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness Loop:
Located about 5 miles from our Bearden store, Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness is a playground for the outdoor enthusiast! The 1,000 acre wilderness area is packed full of trails for hikers, bikers, runners, and walkers. With approximately 40 miles of trails, the Urban Wilderness has something for everyone and can be accessed from many different locations in South Knoxville, including Ijams Nature Center, William Hastie Natural Area, and Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area. The main loop is marked with purple signs and surrounding trails are marked orange. Even though there are trail markings, it’s always wise to bring a map. Stop by our store for a free pocket-sized map!!
Recommended Run (about 12 miles): Starting from the Meade’s Quarry parking lot near Ijams Nature Center, follow Imery’s Trail past the quarry. Hang a right onto Ross Marble and wind your way through the woods above the Ross Marble Quarry. Make a left onto Imery’s then a right onto Burnett Ridge. Climb up the ridge then fly down the other side and make a right turn onto Turnbuckle for the short run down to Sevierville Pike. Follow the white spray painted logos on the road to the Victor Ashe trail and Marie Myers Park. After about 2 miles you’ll pop out onto View Park Drive, go right and follow the white logos again to the Marj McLean trail that leads you into the William Hastie Natural Area. From here, follow the purple trail signs through Hastie (Marj McClean, Shadow Run, Margaret Rd., and Sidney Belle) and you’ll be spit out onto Redwood Road. Once again, keep an eye out for the white logos on the road which will take you to the start of Lost Chromosome near the Anderson School. Wind your way through tight singletrack before crossing Burnett Creek Road into Forks of the River WMA. The purple signs will lead you along Dozer trail, then you’ll follow the river on Bluff trail and Auggie’s Run before you end up on the Will Skelton Greenway. Follow the greenway back to your car.
Haw Ridge Park Trails:
Located about 15 miles from our store, Haw Ridge is a must-see for anyone who enjoys trail running. The park sits on the shores of the Clinch River, just northwest of Knoxville on the way to Oak Ridge. With close to 30 miles of trails, Haw Ridge has a wide range of terrain to conquer including some grueling climbs along the main ridge that runs through the middle of the park. A word of caution, runners that frequent Haw Ridge have been known to get lost on the interior trails as they criss-cross each other and loop around and around. Be wise and bring a map!
Recommended Run (about 8 miles): Starting at the main lot on Edgemoor Rd take the first trail on your right into the park and basically keep making right turns and running along the water’s edge. This is probably the easiest route through the park and has very little in the way of climbs and descents. When you reach the greenway on the far eastern edge of the park, either follow it all the way back to the parking lot or take a left turn on Soccer and get dropped back into the lot via trail. Stop by the store for other running route ideas!
IC King Park Trails:
Just a few miles south of downtown Knoxville on Alcoa Highway lies the somewhat secluded IC King Park. Here, the outdoor enthusiast will find nearly 8 miles of trails perfect for running, hiking or biking. The terrain is very runnable and has enough variety to please just about everyone: steep climbs and descents, rolling wooded trails, and tight singletrack along the water.
Recommended Run (about 7 miles): Starting at the main parking lot head out on the trail and stay left following the Upper Beginner Trail signs. At the next intersection, make a hairpin left turn onto the Expert Trail, heading back towards your starting point. Back at the main intersection go left onto Lower Beginner Trail and continue straight onto Upper Lake Loop. Cross the bridge at the far end of the park and navigate Wimp’s Pass before tackling Middle Hill Top and Everest High back to back. Complete the Everest loop by heading back on Everest Low, then stay left on Middle Hill Low. Hook back up with Wimp’s Pass, cross the bridge once more then hang a left and finish your run on Lower Lake Loop.