News & Events

Downhill Racetrack Grand Opening

Devil’s Racetrack Downhill Creates National Venue

A nationally rated downhill mountain bike trail opened in Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness, furthering Knoxville’s growing reputation as a significant mountain bike destination.

Devil’s Racetrack Downhill Trail is a professional designed and constructed .8 mile extreme downhill trail funded by a $100,000 Bell Helmet grant awarded to the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club (AMBC) through an online national vote. With more than 26,000 votes cast, Knoxville beat out Asheville and San Francisco to get the trail built in South Knoxville on the Baker Creek Preserve, property donated by the Wood family to Legacy Parks Foundation.

“From the beginning, our goal was to help bring communities together in the name of mountain biking, and to see Bell Built evolve into the impactful annual program it has become. The way that IMBA, AMBC and Legacy Parks have nurtured this project is a great example for any community and we hope other communities take notice and follow their lead. We are proud to be a part of such an amazing project,” says Jessica Klodnicki, Bell Helmets Executive Vice President and General Manager. “We’d like to thank IMBA, Legacy Parks and the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club for all of their passion, perseverance, vision and hard work in bringing the Devil’s Racetrack to life as a wonderful addition to Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness and the Baker Creek Preserve.”

In addition to Devil’s Racetrack, two additional multi-use trails were officially opened — Best Medicine and Pappy’s Way. Those two trail — plus seven opened earlier this month — were funded by a $200,000 Recreational Trails Program grant from the Tennessee Department of Conservation. Five of the eight trails are for both hiking and biking and include a virtually flat beginner trail. The three dedicated downhill mountain bike trails introduce a different style of trail into the Urban Wilderness trail system.

“It’s rare to find the variety, diversity and quality of trail in the heart of a city that we have here in Knoxville,” said Matthew Kellogg, AMBC president. “To have a virtually flat, beginner trail along side a downhill trail that features a nearly vertical 50′ wall ride, tables, gaps, and challenging rock line is such a unique destination. It makes it incredibly easy for riders to progress from beginner rides to extreme rides right on the same property and within a network of over fifty miles of varied trail. Our Urban Wilderness now rivals any urban mountain bike venues in the country.”

Legacy Parks and AMBC have worked closely with the International Mountain Bike Association in developing trails and enthusiasm for mountain biking in the region. An IMBA grant to AMBC funded the design of the trail system on Baker Creek Preserve. The Bell Built grant continued the partnership with IMBA.

“We are thankful to Bell for their continued dedication to furthering development in the mountain bike community,” says Heather Cooper, IMBA Senior Director of Marketing. “2016 marks the 4th year that Bell has partnered with IMBA on the Bell Built Grant and the response keeps getting bigger and better. Projects like this are at the core of why IMBA exists; working on the ground with local chapters helping to build great trail and community. Devil’s Racetrack is the result of an amazing collaboration from the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club, Legacy Parks, Bell, and IMBA Trail Solutions.”

The opening brings the total number of trails to eight on Baker Creek Preserve, adding seven miles of trail to the existing 42 miles in Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness. Earlier this month Legacy Parks and AMBC opened the Red Bud Bridge connecting the Baker Creek Preserve to the existing Urban Wilderness South Loop system. The bridge was funded entirely by private dollars by Legacy Parks Foundation and the AMBC through a grant from REI and private donations.

Over the past year the 100-acre property donated to Legacy Parks Foundation by the Wood family has been transformed into an outdoor recreational destination with nearly seven miles of multi-use and downhill mountain bike trails, a bike pump track plus an adventure playground under construction.

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Trinity Health Foundation Grant

Legacy Parks Receives $15,000 Trinity Grant

The Trinity Health Foundation recently awarded Legacy Parks a Large Grants Division Phase I “Planning Grant” of $15,000 to compete for a Phase II “Implementation Grant” of up to $150,000.

Legacy Parks submitted a proposal for the Adventure Park at Baker Creek Preserve. Located adjacent to South Doyle Middle School and connecting to Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness, the proposed park will include a variety of stimulating activities in a creative, natural environment to increase physical activity for better health.

Studies show that creating an activity-friendly environment is one way to turn around the trends and consequences of obesity. There is a direct relationship between access to outdoor recreation and increased physical activity, and even minimum daily activity can have a positive effect on weight and health.

The Phase I funding will provide for community input, Adventure park engineering, planning, and design of the park and proposed amenities. The final awards will be announced in October.

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Mayors on Redbud Bridge

Baker Creek Preserve Bridge and Trails Open

Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness expanded by 100 acres and five new trails today with the opening of the Red Bud Bridge and north ridge trails at Baker Creek Preserve.

The 100-acre property donated to Legacy Parks Foundation by the Wood family has been transformed into an outdoor recreational destination with nearly seven miles of multi-use and downhill mountain bike trails, a bike pump track plus an adventure playground under construction.

“We’re thrilled to not only expand the Urban Wilderness for recreational fun, but proud to connect schools, businesses, neighborhoods and neighbors with these trails. Our more than fifty miles of trail are an amenities for both residents and visitors,” Carol Evans, Legacy Parks executive director explained. more details

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Cherokee Trail Opens at South Doyle Middle School

StudentsTrailSignLegacy Parks Foundation announced the opening of the new Cherokee Trail at South Doyle Middle School, culminating years of work and collaboration between Legacy Parks Foundation, local neighborhoods in South Knoxville, Knox County Schools, the City of Knoxville, Knox County, the Tennessee Department of Transportation, Visit Knoxville, and other public and private entities. This trail connects neighborhoods and provides a new, safe walking and biking route to South Doyle Middle School for students and other community members.

“Cherokee Trail connects the school and provides direct access for local residents into the Knoxville Urban Wilderness,” said Carol Evans, Executive Director of Legacy Parks Foundation. “It’s a beautiful example of what’s possible when different entities and sectors of our community work together toward a common benefit. South Knoxville residents are now closer than ever to the Urban Wilderness and some of the amazing, character-defining assets of our city.”

Work on the trails started in March 2016, during the Professional Trailbuilders Association’s (PTBA) Sustainable Trails Conference. Visit Knoxville and Legacy Parks helped recruit the group’s conference to Knoxville; Legacy Parks Foundation worked with PTBA to use the building of these trails as part of its conference workshops and “legacy project,” a lasting PBTA community service effort involving over 110 individuals. “Trails provide an opportunity for physical, mental, spiritual, environmental, economic, and community wellness. We thank everyone who helped make the new trails possible and wish future trail users great experiences,” said Peter Jensen, PBTA President.

Local residents are delighted by this safer travel option, and the improvement it brings to South Knoxville’s quality of life. “Cherokee Trail provides safe passage to school for South Doyle Middle School students, and will be used now and for generations to come,” said Amber Rountree, Knox County Schools Board of Education member who serves the Ninth District, which includes South Doyle Middle School.

Tennessee State Senator Becky Duncan Massey added, “The trail connects our neighborhoods with our school, which is great for the South Knoxville community.” Knox County Commissioner Mike Brown summed up the collaborative efforts by saying, “If you build it, they will come. What a great accomplishment for our city.”

South Doyle Middle School’s students were asked to name the trail, and they decided to honor their school mascot. Cherokee Trail runs from the school’s outdoor classroom to the Baker Creek Preserve. The classroom includes a large, hardscaped amphitheater with views of the natural area across the creek. Students work with teachers and volunteers to study water quality and ecology, and the classroom is also available for community use.

The opening of these trails is the first of a series of exciting announcements and events Legacy Parks Foundation will be coordinating throughout the spring and early summer. The entire Knoxville community is welcome and invited to use and explore the trails.

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Baker Creek Preserve Map

Urban Wilderness Expands

Baker Creek Preserve MapPlease join us on Wednesday, June 1, 2016 at 10:30 am for the opening of FIVE NEW TRAILS on Baker Creek Preserve and the NEW RED BUD BRIDGE connecting Baker Creek Preserve into Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness! This bridge was constructed by Legacy Parks Foundation and the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club with funding from national retailer REI and private donations. The new trails were funded by a Recreational Trails Program grant from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. This expansion adds 100 acres to Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness and over 7 miles of trail. The new trails include two dedicated downhill mountain bike trails, a 1.5 mile beginner loop trail and two multi-use trails.

Local dignitaries, community members, AMBC and Legacy Park Foundation representatives will participate in a brief program and the official trail and bridge opening. Please confirm your attendance by emailing Cameron at Park at 4301 Sevierville Pike.

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urban wilderness herbal liqueur

Urban Wilderness Herbal Liqueur Debuts

urban wilderness herbal liqueurKnoxville Whiskey Works latest liqueur will help build trails and expand parks in the region. A percentage of sales of the new Urban Wilderness Herbal Liqueur will be donated to Legacy Parks to support the work of expanding and protecting our natural assets. Knoxville Whiskey Works will team with Balter Beer Works to launch the new liqueur June 2nd from 5 to 7 p.m. in the outdoor patio. Special cocktails created with the Urban Wilderness Herbal Liqueur can be sampled during the event. Balter Beer Works will also feature signature cocktails concocted with the new herbal liqueur and a percentage of sales from those cocktails and featured menu items will benefit Legacy Parks.

Balter Beer Works is located at 100 S. Broadway. More information about the Urban Wilderness Herbal Liqueur can be found at

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First Tennessee Foundation Grant Supports G & O Trail

Legacy Parks received a $2,500 grant from the First Tennessee Foundation to help with the planning and design of the G & O Rail with Trail project.

Gulf & Ohio Railway granted the easement that allows the trail to be constructed along the working rail line. A survey and preliminary concept are complete. The next phase of the project calls for enlisting the service of a nationally recognized trail designer to plan, cost, and phase the project so that funding can be secured. The First Tennessee Foundation grant will be used for this designer.

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Rivers edge2

River’s Edge Apartments Support Legacy Parks with Friend Benefits

Rivers edge2The developer of the new River’s Edge Apartments located at 1701 Island Home Avenue, is offering complementary Friend of Legacy Parks memberships to the first 50 people to sign leases. Friends receive discounts and special offers from more than 20 local businesses, the Legacy Parks monthly e-newsletter, and invitations to special events. This is the first residential property to support Legacy Parks by offering this benefit.

“River’s Edge and its developer, Dominion Development Group, have become great partners as we expand the Urban Wilderness and particularly as we develop the G & O Rail Trail that will be adjacent to River’s Edge. They are, at their own expense, completing a significant portion of the trail that will become a keystone benefit for River’s Edge residents and others.”

The complex includes 134 class A apartments with 1, 2, and 3 bedroom units ready for move in beginning May 31. River’s Edge is just a few miles (a 10 minute bike ride) from downtown, UT, and Ijams Nature Center, and on the banks of the Tennessee River.

“We are honored to support Legacy Parks and to provide this first-time benefit to our River’s Edge residents,” said Mark Taylor, president of Dominion Development Group. “We also are proud to support the development of the master plan for the G & O Rail Trail which will be a major amenity not only for our River’s Edge residents but for many others who reside or enjoy the beauty of the South Knoxville Urban Wilderness.”

An open house is set for Friday, May 13, 2016 from noon to 7 p.m. and on Saturday, May 14, 2016 from 11 a.m. to 5  p.m.  The River’s Edge leasing office will be open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon effective May 16, 2016; other times may be arranged by appointment by calling 865-225-9838 or email to More information, including floor plans and virtual tours, is available at


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Redbud Bridge build

Redbud Road Bridge Connects Urban Wilderness

Crews working on the Redbud Bridge Road recently placed the main section over the street to connect Legacy Parks’ new Baker Creek Preserve to the South Loop Trails of Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness. The bridge was funded by grants from REI to both Legacy Parks Foundation and the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club, and private donations.

Construction is almost complete at the Baker Creek Preserve – the latest addition to the city’s Urban Wilderness. The 100-acre site contains over six miles of professionally built multi-use trails, including those for beginners to some for expert downhill mountain bikers. The trails were made possible by a $200,000 Tennessee RTP grant to Legacy Parks, and the downhill trail was funded by the Bell Helmets contest won by the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club.

The trails in the preserve will feature names that pay homage to the terrain and local history.  Some of the monikers include the Devil’s Racetrack, Floyd Fox, The Barn Burner Downhill, Pappy’s Way, and the Cruze Valley Run.

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Hikes and Blooms – History and Wildflowers

SpringWildflowers1Legacy Parks’ new event with the Dogwood Arts Festival –  Hikes & Blooms – highlights interesting historical sites and the abundant flora along the two three mile hikes in beautiful park settings.

Joan Markel’s interpretive hike at Fort Dickerson and TrekSouth’s William Hastie Natural Area hike will feature some of the history and the variety of wildflowers and native fauna in Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness.  Join us for one, or both of these beautiful hikes.

April 23 – 10 a.m.  Hikes & Blooms Fort Dickerson

Explore the Civil War site built by the Federal army along a forested ridge south of the Tennessee River. Authentic replica cannons, an earthen fort, and an overlook at the beautiful quarry lake highlight this hike. Dogs on leashes are welcome. Meet at the Augusta Street entrance.

April 24 – 10 a.m.  Hikes & Blooms William Hastie Natural Area

Wildflowers blanket the ground along these great trails in Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness just minutes from downtown. The beautiful trails weave through the lush forest and by a pond where you might just glimpse a turtle or colorful birds. Dogs on leashes are welcome. Meet in the parking lot at the end of Margaret Road.

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