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Outdoor KnoxFest


New Events, Prizes Added to Outdoor KnoxFest!

New additions have been added to the 2014 Outdoor KnoxFest. The two-day Fest on April 26-27, presented by Pilot Flying J and a signature event of the Dogwood Arts Festival, features trail rides, runs, hikes, paddles, climbing and clinics designed to help you to Get Out and Play.

New for this year, REI will be teaching their Getting to Know Your GoPro — GoPro Basics on Saturday, April 26 at 12:00 pm. Join REI experts to learn about the best practices for capturing life’s most exciting moments, as they discuss the camera’s user interface, video capture, image settings, and accessories.

REI has generously donated the prizes for the Mini Adventure Challenge that takes place on Saturday, April 26. The Mini Adventure Challenge encourages kids and new adventurers of all ages to test their skills, discover new outdoor activities and be rewarded for accepting the challenge! Participants will pick up a Challenge Card at check in and then try their choice of dozens of activities offered at Outdoor KnoxFest. Those that try 6 of the day’s activities will receive a free water bottle while those that go for 10 will be enterend in a drawing for great prizes. The Challenge Cards will be available Saturday at registration tables at the Outdoor Knoxville Adventure Center and the Outdoor KnoxFest booth on Market Square.

Wildflower enthusiast, Councilman Mark Campen will be joining hiking guide Karen Fletcher on the Forks of the River Wildflower hike on Sunday, April 27 at 2pm. Hikers can enjoy and learn to recognize the wildflowers that are now in abundant display along the trails.

All participants are invited to mingle at the After Party on Saturday evening at Sutree’s High Gravity Tavern on Gay Street. Good time to unwind after a fun day of learning new skills and trying out new venues.

If you’re planning on paddling in the Group Paddle on Saturday or Sunday and need a canoe or kayak, you’ll want to make a reservation so we’ll have one available. Send us an email at info@legacyparks.org. The paddle is free. Please limit your request to one reservation per email.

For a complete Schedule of Events and to register for special activities, visit OutdoorKnoxville.com. Follow us on Facebook and connect with us on Twitter: @OutdoorKnox  #knoxfest


Trail Volunteer

Partnership Formed For Trail Volunteer Program

The Trail Volunteer Program is a partnership between Knox County, the City of Knoxville, the Town of Farragut, Ijams Nature Center and Legacy Parks Foundation. The program offers local trail and greenway users the opportunity to make our community’s park system a friendlier, cleaner, more inviting place to bike, run and play. Adults of any age and ability are welcome to take part. Volunteers are asked to commit a few hours each month to visit their specific trail or greenway. Even a small contribution of time will be helpful, and the experience will be rewarding and fun.

The basic responsibilities of a trail volunteer member are:
GREET all trail users and act as goodwill ambassadors for our community.
INFORM users about the park and trail system, trail directions, etiquette and rules.
ASSIST users who are lost, need bike repair, first aid (when trained) and assist local governments or land managers concerning maintenance and illegal activity. Those interested in joining the program can apply online.


150daysofgiving

Cast Your Votes For Legacy Parks To Win $5,000

First Tennessee Bank is celebrating their 150th anniversary with 150 Days of Giving. From March 25 to August 21, 2014, the First Tennessee Foundation will be giving away $5,000 to 150 different organizations everyday for 150 days! Legacy Parks would love to have your votes — simply go online each day from each device and vote!


Outdoor Knoxville Adventure Center Satellite For Visit Knoxville

Outdoor Knoxville Adventure Center Satellite For Visit Knoxville

The Outdoor Knoxville Adventure Center at Volunteer Landing along Knoxville's downtown waterfront is a hub for outdoor recreation activities and information. Recently, Legacy Parks has partnered with Visit Knoxville making the Adventure Center a satellite visit center. Now visitors can pickup general information about Knoxville in addition to the extensive materials on outdoor activities and the Knoxville Urban Wilderness. The Adventure Center offers stand-up paddleboard and canoe rentals, maps, information, programs and events for outdoor enthusiasts of all levels. It is centrally located along the Tennessee River and downtown greenway and easily accessible from Neyland Drive, downtown Knoxville and I-40.

Event producers are welcomed to bring rack cards and posters to the Adventure Center for display. To further help you promote your outdoor activities, submit your event online to the Outdoor Knoxville calendar using the Submit an Event form.


Outdoor KnoxFest

Volunteers & Photographers Needed For Outdoor KnoxFest!

We are looking for people to help us with the activities at the Outdoor Knoxville Adventure Center on Saturday and Sunday, April 26-27. Volunteers can sign up for various shifts from 7am – 5 pm on Saturday and from 8am to 4pm on Sunday. The various time slots for signup are available online or you can email Cameron Broome or call 865.525.2585. Not only will you have fun as a volunteer, but also you’ll receive a free t-shirt!

If you’re an amateur or professional photographer and would like to help us capture the excitement and activities at Outdoor KnoxFest, we’d love to be able to share your pictures after the event on our website and with our sponsors. We welcome videos too! Contact elle@legacyparks.org for more information.


Greenways 5K

Greenways 5K Benefits Legacy Parks

The 23rd annual Greenways 5K and 2-mile Walk/Dog Jog on April 12, 2014, traverses along the most scenic portion of the Third Creek Greenway, and ends with a celebration of live music, plenty of food, and living plant awards to the overall and age group winners. The race starts at 9am at West High School and runs a course that is essentially flat with two very short hills. Proceeds of the race benefit the Knox Greenways Coalition and Legacy Parks. Sponsorships of the race are needed and offer great benefits – as well as benefitting Legacy Parks. Sponsorship information is available online or by calling Legacy Parks Foundation at 525-2585. For more information and to register for the race visit Outdoor Knoxville.


Outdoor KnoxFest

Get Out And Play at Outdoor KnoxFest

Legacy Parks Foundation will host a weekend of urban adventure at the 2014 Outdoor KnoxFest presented by Pilot Flying J, with events for everyone from the novice nature-lover to the outdoor expert. The two-day signature event of the Dogwood Arts Festival is scheduled for April 26-27 and will feature trail rides, runs, hikes, paddles, climbing and more for anyone looking to Get Out & Play in Knoxville!

New this year is the Mini Adventure Challenge taking place on Saturday. The Mini Adventure Challenge encourages kids and new adventurers of all ages to test their skills, discover new outdoor activities and be rewarded for accepting the challenge! Pick up your Challenge Card when you check in and let it guide you through the dozens of activities offered at Outdoor KnoxFest. Try your hand at 6 of the day’s activities and get a free water bottle. Try 10 and be enterend in a drawing for great prizes. Challenge Cards will be available Saturday at registration tables at the Outdoor Knoxville Adventure Center and the Outdoor KnoxFest booth on Market Square. All activities are free.

The weekend schedule includes:
• Pickel Road Rides led by the Smoky Mountain Wheelmen Bike Club - options for 20, 40 and 60-mile rides
• Sailing Demo & Clinics presented by Concord Yacht Club
• Bicycle Maintenance Clinic sponsored by Tennessee Valley Bikes
• Divas Trail Ride led by River Sports Outfitters and Tennessee Valley Bikes
• Fly Fishing Demo & Clinics taught by 3 Rivers Angler
• Hiking 101 Clinic taught by Blue Ridge Mountain Sports
• Urban Wilderness “Walk in the Woods” with Ijams Nature Center
• Wildflower Hike at Forks of the River with Karen Fletcher and local wildflower experts
• Boulder Scramble at Ross Marble Quarry with Ijams Nature Center
• Guided History Hike with TREK South and Dr. Joan Markel with the McClung Museum of Natural History
• “First Time on the Trail” mountain bike ride with Appalachian Mountain Bike Club and Tennessee Valley Bikes
• Greenway Bike Ride with Knoxville Bicycle Hospital
• Bikes & Blooms Scenic Bike Rides presented by Dogwood Arts Festival and Tennessee Valley Bikes
• Group & Open Paddles with Billy Lush Paddle Sports, River Sports Outfitters, City of Knoxville Aquatics and the UT Outdoor Program
• Urban Wilderness Trail Run led by the Knoxville Track Club
• Mountain Bike Checkpoint Race hosted by the TN Valley Bikes and the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club
• Disc Golf Clinic & Demo hosted by the Innovation Valley Disc Golf Club
• Climbing Wall and Slacklines provided by River Sports Outfitters
• And a host of kid-friendly games and activities!

For more details and to register for events, visit OutdoorKnoxville.com.
Follow us on Facebook and connect with us on Twitter: @OutdoorKnox #knoxfest


dogpark

Wood Family Donates Land For A Police Dog Facility

A donation of four acres of land by the Pat Wood family to Legacy Parks Foundation will allow for a new downtown dog park and a new home for the Knoxville Police Department’s canine unit. The new dog park/canine facility will be located across from the Public Safety Building on Howard Baker Jr. Avenue. Legacy Parks will help coordinate the project. The gift is the second donation of land by the Wood family to Legacy Parks for the creation of new parks within the city. In October 2013 they donated 100 acres off Sevierville Pike to expand Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness with additional multi-use trails, including introductory bike trails.


REI

Retailer REI Selects Legacy Parks Foundation As Their Knoxville Partner

National retailer REI has selected Legacy Parks Foundation as their non-profit partner serving Knoxville and East Tennessee. REI will support and promote the work of Legacy Parks to their members, customers and employees throughout the year. REI kicked off the partnership with a $10,000 grant to Legacy Parks to help fund the Foundation’s stewardship of Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness and local waterways. Watch for more opportunities to support Legacy Parks through REI as they work toward the opening of their new store off Papermill Drive this fall.


Pilot/Flying J

Legacy Parks Launches New Wellness Partnership With Pilot/Flying J

Legacy Parks Foundation and Pilot/Flying J will launch an innovative Get Out and Play partnership this month that will offer Pilot/Flying J employee year-round opportunities to get outdoors and get healthy. The Get Out and Play Health Partnership will provide Pilot employees with a menu of activities and learning experiences that will help prepare and guide new outdoor adventurers as well as those looking to take their adventure to the next level.

Legacy Parks’ staff – plus local adventurers and experts - will coordinate and lead all of the activities, which will include guided hikes, paddle board and kayak outings, and participation in outdoor events such as Outdoor KnoxFest, Tour de Lights and the REV 3 Triathlon.

Additionally, Legacy Parks will bring outdoor retailers and organizations to the Pilot/Flying J campus twice a year to give employees the chance to learn about outdoor gear, test outdoor produces and talk with leading outdoor adventurers. Participants in the January Demo Day are:
• The Bike Zoo
• 3 Rivers Angler
• River Sports Outfitters
• Bearden Bike & Trail
• Billy Lush Paddle Sports
• Tennessee Valley Bikes
• Knoxville Track Club
• Legacy Parks Foundation

Additionally, there will be a 30-minute “Get Out and Play” talk by some of Knoxville’s top outdoor enthusiasts, including:
• Kenny Reed of Billy Lush Paddle Sports
• Laura Jones of River Sports Outfitters
• Jim Richards of Mast General Store
• Missy Kane, Get on the Trails leader

Pilot employees participating in the initiative will receive a “Get Out and Play” shirt, water bottle and will be eligible for retailer and event discounts. Upcoming monthly events include day hikes, paddle boarding on the Tennessee River, kayaking and a triathlon.

Contact Legacy Parks Foundation at 865.525.2585 or info@legacyparks.org if your business is interested in launching at Get Out and Play health initiative at your workplace.


Knox Heritage

Knox Heritage Recognizes The Work Of Legacy Parks

Legacy Parks Foundation received Knox Heritage’s 2013 Knox County Mayor Award for their work in developing the Urban Wilderness and Historic Corridor. The Preservation Awards from Knox Heritage recognizes people and organizations for their contributions to the preservation of historically significant structures. Three other groups shared the Knox County Mayor Award with Legacy Parks Foundation — the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club, the Wood Family, and the Aslan Foundation.


Urban Wilderness Patch

Earn The New Urban Wilderness Patch

The Urban Wilderness Patch is now available for all hikers/runners that have traversed all 42 miles of trail in Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness’ South Loop. The trail system features a variety of terrain from rocky outcrops to rolling fields and farmland with trails that range from easy to more difficult. Participants can start at any of the 4 trailheads — Ijams Nature Center, William Hastie Natural Area, Anderson School, or Forks of the River. A pocket-sized trail map is available at local shops and at the Outdoor Knoxville Adventure Center and there is a printable pdf map on our website.

Keep track of your miles trekked on the Trail Checklist Form. Once you’ve completed all the trails, submit the form along with a check or credit card payment of $10 to Legacy Parks Foundation to receive the Urban Wilderness Patch and a certificate. Your name will then be added to the Urban Wilderness Club listing on Outdoor Knoxville. Proceeds benefit the Legacy Parks Foundation.


Record Crowd To Hear Governor Haslam

Legacy Luncheon Sees Record Crowd To Hear Governor Haslam

Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge is a Knox County wildlife sanctuary that is currently managed by the Legacy Parks Foundation and Knox County Parks and Recreation. The county will transfer the 360-acre property to the state over the coming months and Tennessee State Parks will begin managing the site in July.

Pete and Linda Claussen’s generous and dedicated efforts in developing Seven Islands were the catalyst for this announcement. Around 15 years ago, the couple bought 200 acres of land and donated it to the county to be preserved as a wildlife refuge. "It is really pleasurable to see something like this reach its potential," said Linda Claussen.

The refuge is currently used as a wildlife sanctuary, an area for hiking and observation, an educational facility for schools and other groups, a demonstration area for land use and habitat management techniques and a small boat launch for canoes and kayaks. The property is adjacent to the French Broad River and aquatic and riparian habitats support an impressive diversity of wildlife species. Over 183 species of birds have been identified.

“This addition to Tennessee State Parks is the result of a great partnership between TDEC, Knox County, the Legacy Parks Foundation and the Tennessee Department of Tourism Development” Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill said. “This partnership allows us to develop watchable wildlife sites and trails, with Seven Islands being the flagship for a statewide birding tour.”

Tennessee State Parks will be working with the Legacy Parks Foundation to assess the needs of the park and implement a transition plan to take over in July 2014. Seven Islands will become Tennessee’s 56th state park. Both Seven Islands and Rocky Fork will open to the public as Tennessee State Parks in 2014.

The 2013 Legacy Luncheon for the Parks was presented by Humana and sponsored by Pilot Flying J, Carol R. Johnson Associates, Gulf and Ohio Railway, and Robin Easter Design.


$200,000 RTP Grant For New Trails

Legacy Parks To Receive $200,000 RTP Grant For New Trails

Legacy Parks Foundation received a $200,000 Recreation Trails Program (RTP) grant for the construction of 4.5 miles of new trail in Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness. The trails will provide a key connection between the existing parks and trails within the Urban Wilderness’ South Loop Trail System and South Doyle Middle School and its Outdoor Classroom. It will also be a connector for adjoining neighborhoods into the trail system.

The new Introductory Trail Project will offer a 1 mile beginner bike trail; 2.5 mile mix-use trail; two overlooks; a skills/play area; .5 mile mixed-use trail; a .5 mile hiking only trail to the south overlook and 3 creek-crossing structures. The Project will be constructed on the 100-acre property donated to the Legacy Parks Foundation by the Wood family in August 2013.

Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness is 1,000-forested acres along Knoxville’s downtown waterfront that includes ten parks, more than forty miles of recreational trails, four civil war sites, incredible views and unparalleled natural features.


Wood Family Donates 100 Acres

Wood Family Donates 100 Acres to Legacy Parks Foundation

Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness expanded by 100 acres today with the generous donation of future trail and parkland by the Wood family to the Legacy Parks Foundation. During today’s announcement at the property, Carol Evans, executive director of the Legacy Parks Foundation, explained the property – located on Taylor Road off Sevierville Pike in South Knoxville – will provide a key connection between the existing parks and trails with the Urban Wilderness’ South Loop Trail System and South Doyle Middle School and its Outdoor Classroom. It will also connect additional neighborhoods into the system and provide a 1.5-mile introductory mountain bike trail designed for riders of all ages.

“The location of this property and the topography it offers makes it an incredible gift to Legacy Parks and the region,” said Evans. “We can offer parking and beginner trails on the flat portion across from South Doyle Middle School as well as amazing views and beautiful trails on the two ridges.”

The property has belonged to the Wood family for many years, and was originally purchased by Pat Wood, a respected Knoxville real estate developer and civic leader. “The decision to donate the property for trails and a park was a meaningful one for the family,” said Kim Wood McClamroch, representing the Wood family.

The plans for the property call for a variety of trails and features to accommodate a variety of users. It will include a one-mile beginner bike trail, 3.5 miles of mixed-use trails, with two overlooks, a skills/play area and three creek-crossing structures.

“This generous donation by the Wood family boosts Knoxville’s growing status as an outdoor recreation destination,” Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero said. “The trails and skills/play area will attract young families and experienced outdoor enthusiasts alike. The property is a real asset to the Urban Wilderness and to our community.”

According to Evans, Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness is 1,000-forested acres along Knoxville’s downtown waterfront that includes ten parks, more than forty miles of recreational trails, four civil war sites, incredible views and unparalleled natural features.

“Legacy Parks Foundation is championing this unique asset as a premier outdoor experience for visitors and residents alike by creating trails, connecting and expanding parks, creating an easily-navigated system of signs and kiosks, programming events and promoting opportunities for everyone to get out and play,” said Evans.

Evans explains the South Loop Trail System on the east end of the Urban Wilderness opened last August with 42 miles of multi-use trail and a continuous 12-mile loop through public and private land. The Battlefield Loop on the west end of the Urban Wilderness will connect three civil war forts and a battle site into an historic loop that will ultimately be connected to the South Loop and other parks through trails, greenways and sidewalks.


Friend of Legacy Parks

UT Credit Union Offers New Friends Benefits

As a supporter of Legacy Parks Foundation, UT Federal Credit Union is recognizing your contributions to the foundation’s efforts by extending the opportunity to join the credit union, as well as receive incentives.

To encourage and promote recreational activities and conservation concerns, as a Friend of Legacy Parks, you will receive discounts on loans for outdoor recreational vehicles such as boats, campers, motorcycles, and motorized bikes. Also, UTFCU will extend a discount on green or alternative fuel for homes or businesses and vehicles such as geothermal AC units, wind turbines, solar panels, charging stations, and hybrid or electric cars. For more information about UTFCU, stop by our locations at Emory Road, Franklin Square, the University Center on the campus of UTK, at UT Medical Center, or visit the main branch at 2100 White Avenue. Read about UTFCU on the web at www.utfcu.org. You can reach the credit union by phone at 865-971-1971 or 800-264-1971.


Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge

Legacy Parks To Receive Record Grant To Enhance Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge

Legacy Parks Foundation was awarded both a $95,000 NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) Grant under the Farm Bill and a $3,500 TWRA grant for habitat restoration at Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge. This is the largest wildlife oriented grant issued in East Tennessee by the NRCS.

Grant dollars will be used to enhance the habitat and manage the wildlife at Seven Islands, primarily songbirds and butterflies. The following practices are being utilized:
• Developing pollinator habitat by adding flowering plants to attract bumblebees, honeybees, bats and moths.
• Developing native hedgerow by remove existing exotic plants and replanting with native species.
• Planting fields with warm season grasses inter-seeded with legumes for wildlife.

“Rarely does the NRCS get an opportunity in Knox County to work with local land owners to enhance wildlife habitat on such a large tract of land” stated NRCS District Conservationist Amber Johnson. “The work that will be done at Seven Islands can make a huge impact for species of concern such as the Upland Songbirds, the Northern Bob White, Prairie Warbler, Indigo Bunting just to name a few of the birds whose numbers have been in decline. Most people think of deer, turkey and quail when referring to wildlife management, but it’s the secondary species that are in need.”

Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge is East Tennessee’s largest wildlife sanctuary with more than 400 acres of forests and fields, eight miles of natural trails and access to the French Broad River. It is managed through collaboration among Knox County Parks and Recreation, Seven Islands Wildlife Foundation and Legacy Parks Foundation. The sanctuary features a rich natural habitat with over 183 species of birds. The French Broad River, which borders the park, holds over 50 species of fish – more varieties than found on the entire European continent!

While providing a natural habitat for wildlife, Seven Islands awards bird watchers and hikers an impressive passive park for recreation. The sunflower fields are a favorite for both wildlife and visitors and this year the front fields should be showing off in late August to September — mark your calendar!


Best Of List

Knoxville Urban Wilderness Makes Best Of List

Readers of Metro Pulse voted the Knoxville Urban Wilderness as a runner up in the categories of Best Urban Park, Best Urban Hike and Best Bike Ride in Metro Pulse’s Best of 2013 contest. Winning the Best Urban Park was Ijam’s Nature Center a component of the Urban Wilderness.


Friend of Legacy Parks

Become A Friend And Enjoy Great Benefits

As a Friend of Legacy Parks you help in the creation of trails, parks and river access in East Tennessee! Through generous donations of land and money, the Friends Program helps assure that we enjoy exceptional recreational opportunities, natural beauty and open spaces and that those assets exist for generations to come.

Membership is available at six different levels of sponsorship. Many local businesses have offered their support to the Friends program by providing discounts to Legacy Parks Friends, starting at the Pathfinder level. The following stores generously offer Friends Discounts: 3 River Anglers, Apking Printing, Bearden Bike & Trail, Biketopia, Blue Ridge Mountain Sports, Cedar Bluff Cycles, Eddie’s health Shoppe, Fountain City Pedaler, Harper’s Bike Shop, Mast General Store, Nantahala Outdoor Center, Pluto Sports, River Sports Outfitters, Runner’s Market, Tennessee Valley Bicycles, The Boardroom, Uncle Lem’s Mountain Outfitters and Visit Knoxville.

Legacy Parks invites businesses and services to offer their support to the Friends program by providing specials discounts to Legacy Parks Friends. For more information on supporting the Friends program contact cbroome@legacyparks.org.

Become a Friend of Legacy Parks today and help Leave East Tennessee Better Than We Found It!


Urban Wilderness

New Pocket-Size Map Helps You Navigate The Trails

The new Knoxville Urban Wilderness map is now available in a handy pocket-sized format perfect to get you exploring the 41-mile trail system that is only minutes from the heart of Knoxville. The new trail map has been updated to include the new trails and reroutes that the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club worked on over the winter. The printing of the maps was made possible thanks to the following sponsors: Appalachian Mountain Bike Club; Knox Revolution Women's Cycling Club; Knoxville Track Club; Harvey Broome Group of the Sierra Club; Smoky Mountain Wheelmen Bike Club; Biketopia Bike Shop; Bike Zoo; Blue Ridge Mountain Sports; Cedar Bluff Cycles; Cycology Bicycles; Fountain City Pedaler; Greenlee's Bicycle & Hospital; Legacy Parks Foundation; Little River Outfitters; River Sports Outfitters; Runners Market; Tennessee Valley Bikes; Three Rivers Market; Vick Dyer Coldwell Banker Wallace & Wallace Realtor; City Councilmen 1st District Nick Pavlis; Provision Health Alliance; and Covenant Health. Maps are available at the sponsor locations listed on OutdoorKnoxville.


Covenant Marathon Funds Help Build New Trails

Covenant Marathon Funds Help Build New Trails

The Knoxville Track Club continues to be a strong partner with Legacy Parks through a donation of $15,000 from the proceeds of both the 2012 Covenant Health Marathon and the Track Club’s Treadin’Trodden Trails Race Series. This is the second year in a row that marathon funds have been used to create trails within Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness, a project championed by Legacy Parks. Last year’s contribution helped fund the connecting trail that runs from Marie Myers Park to William Hastie Natural Area. The “Marj McClean Trail” is named for one of the Club’s active trail members. This year’s donation will be used to enhance and create trails in the Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area.

“The Knoxville Track Club is thrilled about this investment in the Knoxville Urban Wilderness Corridor. Adding more trails for activity is a great fit with our mission and our vision. The Urban Wilderness Corridor will provide more opportunities for our community to get out and be active and will certainly make Knoxville a healthier place to live and raise a family,” Kristy Altman, retired managing director of the Knoxville Track Club stated.

The Club’s 2011 contribution helped Legacy Parks acquire necessary properties for the formation of the South Loop — a 35-mile trail system along Knoxville’s South waterfront that connects 5 parks and natural areas. The South Loop is one hub of the 1,000 acre Knoxville Urban Wilderness concept championed by Legacy Parks. The initiative proposes connecting an existing nature education center, three civil war forts, a state wildlife management area, and ten city parks to promote the value of parks, recreation, and land conservation and to act as an economic driver for the community.

The Urban Wilderness initiative is funded by private and public contributions. Becoming a Friend of the Parks helps us continue to create this unparalleled outdoor hiking, biking and running venue within two miles of downtown Knoxville.


Knoxville Trails Make National News

Knoxville Trails Make National News

Knoxville parks and Urban Wilderness have been getting increased recognition by national media for our exceptional trails and outdoor recreation. Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine ranked the Knoxville Urban Wilderness trails third on the Editor’s Pick of 25 favorite adventures — Best Urban Trails. Mountain Bike magazine covered the trails in a blog titled “Single Track in the City” and commented, “This city (Knoxville) of 180,000 has a progressive attitude towards trails and an incredible outdoor community to go with it.” Outdoors Magazine praised Knoxville for promoting its waterways as public transportation by providing canoe launches and lessons. Knoxville recognition was under “The Top Outdoor Adventures Via Public Transportation”.


Barge Wagoner Sumner & Cannon

Barge Wagoner Sumner & Cannon To Create Master Plan Of River Bluff

Barge Waggoner Sumner & Cannon celebrated their 40th anniversary in Knoxville by announcing a special community initiative — the donation of their services to prepare a master plan for the 70-acre River Bluff property that is owned by Legacy Parks. The firm’s donated services include design work and an opinion of the construction costs. The firm will hold several public hearings to gather input from area residents and stakeholders. Three conceptual designs will be rendered which will then be honed to one final design to be presented to Legacy Parks. Once the plan is in place, the River Bluff property will be given to the City of Knoxville to become part of the city’s natural and historic landscape and a key component of the ongoing Knoxville Urban Wilderness initiative.


International Mountain Bike Conference

Knoxville’s Trails Praised At International Mountain Bike Conference

The Knoxville Urban Wilderness South Loop was recognized as a new model for collaboration and innovative trail development at the International Mountain Bike Conference held in October. Legacy Parks Executive Director Carol Evans and Brian Hann, President of the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club hosted a session on Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness initiatives at the conference attended by more than 400 national and international mountain bike advocates, bike industry partners and land managers.


Knoxville Garden Club

Knoxville Garden Club Wins Awards For Legacy Parks Exhibit

Knoxville Garden Club members Karen Smith and Tamara Warner took top honors at their Bi-Annual Flower Show for their display showcasing Legacy Parks Foundation. Their combined talents won the Garden Club of America’s Anne Lyon Crammond Award for an outstanding educational exhibit, and the Marion Thompson Fuller Brown Conservation Award for an outstanding conservation exhibit of exceptional educational and visual merit. The Knoxville Garden Club is a strong supporter of Legacy Parks, providing grants and technical support to several projects, including Natalie’s Garden at the River Bluff property. Our thanks to Missy Kane Bemiller and Jerry Owens for this video presentation.


New trails connect to House Mountain Natural Area

New 15-Mile Trail To Connect With House Mountain Natural Area

The announcement of the potential for a 15-mile trail connecting East Bridge Business Park to House Mountain brought applause from the crowd of almost 600 at the recent Legacy Luncheon for the Parks late last month. The trail will utilize undevelopable land within the business park and private land. The trails will provide a mix of recreational benefits for equestrians, hikers and mountain bikers. There are currently no equestrian trails in Knox County.

The initial project will create approximately 9 miles of trail through scenic woodlands bordering the Eastbridge Industrial Park. Over the next two years, Legacy Parks will work to acquire land donations and easements that will allow an additional 6 miles of trail and make connections with House Mountain Natural Area.