Outdoor Knoxville is an initiative to make Knoxville’s incredible natural and recreation assets an economic driver for our region. Led by Legacy Parks, the effort aims to increase our outdoor amenities, create better access to recreational areas, and promote greater participation in outdoor activities.
Health and quality of life are now key determining factors in where people and businesses choose to locate. Because of our amazing resources and outdoor recreation opportunities, we can compete with any area in the region – and we continually attract participants from all 50 states and even other countries.
Three Key Anchors of the Outdoor Knoxville Initiative
Comprehensive information about our outdoors and activities
This robust, comprehensive website lists all recreational activities, venues, organizations, events, and resources in East Tennessee. Updated daily, the site includes a calendar of activities, contact information, photos, and personal experiences.
A place to gather and get out and play
The Outdoor Knoxville Adventure Center
Adjacent to downtown and the Tennessee River, the Center provides a central location for outdoor activities, events, product demonstrations and rentals, and meeting space, and is also the home of Legacy Parks Foundation.
An event to experience ways to get out and play
A dynamic, annual event, Outdoor Knoxfest allows residents and visitors the opportunity to participate in many different outdoor activities. The schedule includes races, rides, trail runs, hikes, walks, clinics, and demonstrations during a spring weekend within the Dogwood Arts Festival.
Knoxville’s Outdoor Assets
Knoxville has exceptional natural amenities – rivers and lakes, miles of trails and greenways, abundant parks and open space – and is also the hub of a region rich in outdoor recreational opportunities. Over the last several years Knoxville has become a destination for outdoor adventure enthusiasts and the number of events has increased significantly. With a national marathon, adventure race, mountain bike race, and paddleboard race, we certainly live up to the hype. The outdoorknoxville.com calendar lists up to 50 events each week.
At the foot of the Smoky Mountains and the crossroads of I-75 and I-40, Knoxville is easily accessible and has myriad outdoor opportunities within a two-hour drive.
In the Knoxville metropolitan area, nearly 150 miles of paved and natural trails are available for recreation and transportation.
Parks and Open Space
Over 5,000 acres of forest, farm, and parkland is preserved in the area. This includes city, county, and state land, plus private easements allowing public use.
Lakes and Rivers
With the French Broad and Holston rivers coming together to form the Tennessee River that runs through Knox County, water activities are nearby any location in the area. Several lakes formed by TVA offer additional opportunities for paddling, boating, fishing, and other water sports.
Outdoor activities and our abundant assets have fostered the creation of several equipment and adventure companies. The area boasts 14 bike shops, 12 outfitters and event directors, and 20 other outdoor retailers offering all the necessary gear and encouragement for enjoying outdoor activities.
Clubs and Organizations
Outdoor Knoxville collaborates with many clubs and organizations to facilitate outdoor experiences and enhance amenities. Over 30 outdoor clubs and a large number of Meetup Groups make sure activities are available for every skill and interest. From paddling to pedaling and everything in between, there is something for everyone.