So, a few weeks ago I was telling y’all that I once had planned to write a blog called “Walking in Knoxville,” and that I planned to incorporate that idea into this blog, because eclectic. I had really meant to chronicle each or my walks separately, but I’ve been walking so much (about which more later) that I had to choose between walking and writing.
What I have therefore decided to do instead is to share pictures and descriptions of several walks at once. Knoxville readers may learn about some new places to visit. The rest of you can enjoy the view (and see why Knoxville is such an awesome place to live!).
I want to keep walking regularly and I don’t want to get bored, so Emily and I have been walking somewhere different every time we go. Since we live in Northwest Knox County, that’s mostly been in West Knoxville, just because it takes too much time to drive elsewhere on a weekday. (Yes, it seems ridiculous to me also that we drive somewhere to walk. But walking up and down this street and around a couple of cul de sacs is not going to keep me motivated.)
The first five pictures below were taken at The Cove at Concord Park. It’s pretty there, nice for picnicking, and not bad for walking if you don’t mind retracing your steps (the loop isn’t very long).
Another day we were aiming for the Parkside Greenway and ended up more or less accidentally walking on the Grigsby Chapel Greenway in Farragut instead. What a nice surprise! It’s paved; some of it is wooded; and all of it is beautiful. It runs through neighborhoods of fancy apartments, upscale condos, and fine homes, many with gardens right by the trail. One part of it is specifically set aside to showcase native trees.
I didn’t take a lot of pictures that day, though, because I was worn out! Because we got on this trail by accident we did not know that it was over two miles long, and it’s not a loop. We didn’t make it quite to the end due to fear of storms. We are going to park at St. John Neumann (below) one day next week and finish it up. That was another special feature of this trail–it goes right past a prayer path/garden which was a nice detour for us.
If you are a Knoxvillian who enjoys walking at all, you won’t need me to tell you about the park pictured below. Lakeshore Park may be the most popular place in Knoxville, with its 2.5 mile (I think) paved loop trail that offers river views on one side and children playing baseball on the other. If you aren’t from Knoxville you might be interested to know that this park is on the former grounds of an insane asylum, and most of its buildings remain (it having been still in use as a psychiatric inpatient facility until very recently).
I’m not as fond of this walk as so many others seem to be because it has killer hills. Also I’m just tired of it. But it’s a reliable option for people who are not so easily bored.
Much prettier but not as practical for serious fitness buffs is Melton Hill Park, which I had visited earlier on that same day. (Yes, I did walk about four miles that day!) Well, to be fair, the paved loop isn’t very interesting, but there are two miles or so of trails through the woods. We only attempted a bit of that, and will return when hills and climbing seem less daunting (actually, that’s already getting better!).
On another day, we hit the tried and true Third Creek Trail, known to those of us growing up in the 70s as “The Bike Trail.” Yes, it was the one and only back in the day, and is still both immensely popular and one of the best, winding along Third Creek through forests of hardwood and bamboo, connecting Bearden to Tyson Park and connecting with the Neyland Greenway to make a path for walking all the way to downtown and the river.
We parked at the Bearden end of the trail, which is accessible in several locations, and since we didn’t have time to do the whole thing, took the spur up to Kingston Pike and walked back along the road, getting a nicer view of the churches and fine homes that line it than is available while whizzing by at 40 miles an hour.
I’ll no doubt revisit this old favorite many times this summer and perhaps post more pictures since I didn’t take too many that day. One thing I especially love is that there are blocks places naming the people who granted the land for each section of the trail, giving a little glimpse into Knoxville history as you walk along.
This next set of pictures were taken at the Turkey Creek Greenway, not to be confused with the one that goes through the Turkey Creek wetland and then runs behind the shopping center next to the Interstate. This is the one that begins at Anchor Park, a much-enjoyed favorite of ours when the big kids were toddlers–and then crosses Turkey Creek Road to access the neighborhoods on the other side.
I mentioned the Cove at Concord Park up above, and we’ve also tried the trails at the main part of Concord Park on the other side of Northshore. There’s nothing paved there, and you have to watch out for bikers, and then there are those pesky hills. There are several trails to try so we will probably give it another visit when we are in better shape.
Finally, we took a quick trip to the other Turkey Creek Greenway, the Knoxville one. This is a paved trail that runs through a wetland and then along the side of the Interstate. Talk about extremes. For you non-Knoxvillians, the greenway is a concession granted by the developers who turned most of the wetland into an upscale shopping/entertainment destination several years back.
Lately we’ve been walking in South Knoxville and I look forward to sharing those adventures with you too. Where do you like to walk? Tell me in the comments!