News & Events

Legacy Parks creating river access at McBee Ferry

Creating Access to the Holston River

Kicking off its Head of the Tennessee Initiative, Legacy Parks has raised funds and was awarded grants to acquire the McBee Ferry Landing property along the Holston River, which it will turn into a Knox County park within the next year. It creates much needed access to the Holston River within a 22-mile stretch with no other public access point. Located off the Andrew Johnson Highway on Old Strawberry Plains Pike, the park will be ideal for fishing, boat access and picnicking, and offers a stunning view of the unique McBee Bridge.
Legacy Parks was recently awarded a grant from the Tennessee Heritage Conservation Trust Fund to preserve and enhance this historic site. The Foundation will use a conservation easement to permanently preserve the natural character of the land, and will create access to its recreation potential by conveying it to Knox County for a public park with access to the Holston River. Pairing the grant with funding from TVA and Knox County, Legacy Parks will improve the scenic property with environmental and shoreline preservation measures and additions including interpretive signage, a gathering space and parking for residents and visitors to enjoy.
The acquisition of this property furthers Legacy Parks  goal of creating access points at roughly seven-mile intervals on the Holston and French Broad rivers to make recreational use to these rivers more feasible and enjoyable for Knoxville residents and visitors.
History lovers and will find that this area is significant because it was the site of the McBee Ferry that transported people across the river before the bridge was built in the 1930s. Remains from the operation can still be found along the shoreline. Also nearby along the river, the Civil War Battle of Strawberry Plains took place.
Help Legacy Parks create more river access by becoming a Friend of Legacy Parks!


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Legacy Parks Night at Balter Beerworks!

Join us on Oct. 26 at 6 p.m. for Legacy Parks Night at Balter Beerworks featuring fun outdoor games and an eno hammock raffle from Mast General Store!

Legacy Parks Night at Balter Beerworks is a chance to gather with friends and family for on every 4th Thursday of the month for great beer, food, and fun. What makes it extra sweet is that Balter donates proceeds from the night to Legacy Parks to support our East Tennessee parks, trails, and waterways.

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TuckahoeDown Nature Festival

Seven Islands State Birding Park will host the first TuckahoeDown Nature Festival at the 416-acre riverfront park in East Knox County this Saturday! The TuckahoeDown is free to the public and will highlight the vibrant East Tennessee community of Tuckahoe through family-friendly activities including outdoor recreation, crafts, live music, and education.

This inaugural event will take place on October 7 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Tennessee’s first and only State Birding Park located at 2809 Kelly Lane in Kodak, TN.

See the full schedule here and read on for more information!

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KUW maps

New Urban Wilderness Maps!

Legacy Parks recently released 20,000 brand new Urban Wilderness pocket trail maps which include two new trails and updated information. Inside the map, you’ll find insight into the 50 plus miles of trail, quarries and rivers, and amenities throughout this 1,000-acre forested area that’s just three miles from downtown. Included are descriptions of the different trail areas along with important guidelines for all users.

These maps are a free and plentiful resource thanks to the businesses and organizations who continue to support it through sponsorship. Stop by one of these locations to pick up your new map!

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Legacy Parks helps with Maryville to Townsend Greenway

Working together to connect Knoxville to the Smokies

Legacy Parks helps with Maryville to Townsend GreenwayLegacy Parks is working with a consortium of local and regional government and non-profit agencies to advance the Maryville-to-Townsend Greenway Expansion in Blount County, Tenn. Currently playing a coordination role, Legacy Parks is helping lead the effort to gather community engagement, refine the Greenway route and create a funding strategy.

You can participate in this exciting effort by sharing your greenway photos on social media with #LoveMyGreenway and from Sept. 27 through Nov. 10, you can win prizes by submitting your photos to the sweepstakes website.

The proposed Maryville-to-Townsend Greenway is a two-phase project set to develop over the next few years, and will provide 14 miles of trail connecting Maryville to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This is part of a larger regional effort to link pedestrians and cyclists from Knoxville to the Smokies through a greenway trail.

Carol Evans, executive director of Legacy Parks Foundation joined Ellen Zavisca of the Knoxville Regional Transportation Organization at Tourism Day to outline key aspects of the project.

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Where to Find the Beer for the Parks!

Looking for the seasonal, limited-release Local Motion IPA that Blackhorse Brewery produced to benefit Legacy Parks?! Here’s a list of the great spots you can find this citrus session IPA on tap and in cans. Remember – every pint gives back to our parks, so buy a round!

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Knoxville Gets a Bike Share Program

Legacy Parks Foundation has been working with the City of Knoxville and various local bicycling groups to help bring a bike share program to town!

After researching several options, the group decided to partner with Zagster, a bike share program that operates without costing the City a dime. Instead, local businesses and organizations will sponsor stations.

The initial plan is to have 100 new bikes at 10 different stations, with riders gaining access to the service through an app or temporary code. It will allow locals and visitors to bike around town for commuting, recreation, and exploration.

Stay tuned for more updates on timing and locations!

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Collier Preserve

Help Legacy Parks Develop Collier Preserve!

Legacy Parks is working to help raise $50,000 for the first phase of Collier Preserve, an almost 12-acre natural area that will become a place for nature exploration and quiet reflection.

Once transformed, this property will become a county park featuring walking trails, native plants, benches, bird boxes, restored historic structures, and a kayak rest stop on Beaver Creek. Help us reach this goal and create another beautiful space for our community to enjoy!

Learn more and donate here!

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A Great Event Gets Even Better!

Thanks to Blackhorse Brewery and WDVX, we’ve taken a great event and made it even better!

Cheers to 20 Years of WDVX is a party on Market Square with Legacy Parks presented by Blackhorse Brews. It happens Friday, September 1st from Market Square starting at 5:30 p.m., and features music from the The Royal Hounds, Robinella, and Night Colors.

The WDVX 20 Year Beer and the Legacy Parks Local Motion IPA limited edition Blackhorse Brews will be available. Proceeds benefit both of Knoxville’s local and nationally renowned non-profit organizations.

It’s a party on Market Square – Free with festival seating!

More information at

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carp cup

Catching Carp for the Parks!

Each year, 3 Rivers Angler organizes the Carp Cup, a tournament highly anticipated by fishermen from throughout the region. These fishermen come out for tons of fun and feet of fish, but at the heart of it is their care for our region’s natural resources. Proceeds from the event go back to Legacy Parks to support our work to increase access to our waterways in East Tennessee.

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