Walking in South Knoxville: In the Homestretch

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If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that Emily and I have set a goal of walking all forty miles of the trails in the South Knoxville Urban Wilderness.  Then we plan to walk the main trail, twelve miles, all in one day.  Rain stopped is from walking this weekend–well, not so much rain as the threat of mud and therefore unsafe walking conditions.  We calculate, though, that it should take about five more weekends to finish all the trails, which we started walking in May.  We’ve skipped around from one area to another to keep things interesting, and last weekend we finally finished all the trails in one section, Ross Marble Quarry.
This was our third visit to the quarry; I wrote about the first two here.  It was such a perfect day for walking.  Even though we hiked almost four miles, plenty of it uphill, we never broke a sweat!
Wildflowers are becoming less plentiful as the weather cools, but fall colors are beginning–not leaves so much, but berries. the bright stems of pokeweed, and other colorful surprises.
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We were walking along a ridge part of the time, so there were some pretty views that will be even better later in the fall when they are less obscured by foliage.
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The Appalachian Mountain Bike Club is primarily responsible for the maintenance of these trails.  Not only are the trails in good repair, they also have a lot of fun features for those who are biking, not hiking.
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For the most part, this trail is a shady one, making it a good choice for hot summer days.  It’s amazing how much cooler it feels when the sun is filtered through the trees.  And even when there are no flowers, the interesting shapes of the trees and the rock formations–much of it rock left over from quarrying days–offers something to look at while you are walking.  If you are riding, you probably only want to be looking where you are going!
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For more South Knoxville walks, see below:
Walking in South Knoxville I
Walking in South Knoxville II
Walking in South Knoxville III
Walking in South Knoxville IV
Walking in South Knoxville V
Walking in South Knoxville VI

Walking in West Knoxville: The Jean Teague Greenway

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A couple of weekend ago, Emily and I got a late start on Saturday morning.  And there are times when South Knoxville feels far far away.  Plus walking in the Urban Wilderness can take you deep into the woods, with no quick way to get back into civilization.  In short, sometimes you want a walk, not a hike.
So we opted to head to West Hills and the Jean Teague Greenway, a walk that I imagine almost all West Knoxvillians are familiar with.
We were sneaky and parked at the church at the west end of the greenway instead of in the YMCA parking lot.  Unless it’s Sunday, no one is parked there!  The first part of this walk runs behind a neighborhood, and I always think how nice it would be to live in a house with a greenway in the backyard!  This part has wildflowers and ornamental trees that have been planted there just to decorate the greenway.
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Walk a little farther and you will cross a street and enter West Hills Park.  This part of the greenway has a loop, so you could increase the length of your walk if you want by looping as many times as you like!  The right hand loop is shaded with trees.
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Midway around the loop you take an extension that goes past West Hills Elementary and, if it’s a school day, a playground full of staring children.  This part ends at Vanosdale Road.  You can then turn around and come back and take the other side of the loop, which is more open and goes past some playground areas.
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The playgrounds are nice if you’ve brought kids along.  You can leave them there while you walk the loop if you aren’t afraid of the other parents who may call DCS on you if you dare to let your children swing at a well-populated park outside of your direct supervision.
This is a crowded park, with lots of people walking dogs, strolling babies, and having birthday parties.
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It’s not a wilderness hike, but it’s a nice, reliable place to exercise when you are short on time but would rather enjoy the fall weather than run on a treadmill!
For more West Knoxville walks, see below:
Walking in West Knoxville
A May Stroll You Must Take
Short West Knoxville Walks

Short West Knoxville Walks

I spend a lot of time promoting South Knoxville trails on this blog, and rightly so, since South Knoxville to most Knoxvillians is the Undiscovered Country.  But the fact is, it isn’t the only place to walk in town.  And it’s a good thing, because I am exiled to Northwest Knox County and I don’t have time for a thirty minute drive every time I want to take a walk.  Nor do I enjoy the only safe non-driving option of walking up our very steep hill and around a couple of cul-de-sacs.  (Knox County motto:  We don’t need no stinkin’ sidewalks.)
Lucky for me, West Knoxville offers several greenways too, and I’ve written about some of them here and here.  However, some of our very nice greenways have a drawback:  they aren’t loops.  When you are in a hurry and want to do some exercise walking, loops are what you want.  I expect that’s why Lakeshore Park, with its 2.2 mile loop, is so popular.
I have found four loop trails within five minutes of my neighborhood.  Lorelei and I go walking every Wednesday–gym for her, fitness for me!  I walk with a friend every Friday.  Emily and I try to walk during the week as well as on Sunday (even though some times it’s just up that despised hill!).  And I do hope to start coaxing John on walks once it gets cooler.  Below are some of the places we go.
1.  Nicholas Ball Park
This is the closest park to our house.  It’s on Ball Camp Pike, which if I thought about it at all when I was a child I assumed referred to the fact that the nearest baseball field was located on that road.  You can read about the actual source of the name in the picture below:

photo credit: Donald Raby

As a park, this one is replete with every attribute:  a bathroom, a picnic shelter, baseball and soccer fields, a small playground, and trails.  There are two of these, one your basic loop around the soccer field, where people always seem to be having so much fun that I almost feel interested in soccer, and the other a short climb up and down a hill where you can see majestic cedar trees and a smattering of wildflowers.
Nicholas Ball
We usually do the hill trail, then do as many loops as we have time or energy for, then do the hill trail one more time.
2.  U.S. Cellular Trails
I hate to call them that, but anyway, if you park at the soccer field you can loop around the main trail and you can also shake it up by incorporating the sidewalks on the bisecting road to do some figure eights if you get bored.  And you could easily get bored if you don’t bring a friend along to talk to, because there’s not a whole lot to see!  I did catch some pretty sunset pictures there one evening:
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And got pretty close to a bunny:
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And then there’s this house which I have always loved and would pick up and move somewhere safe if I could.  I remember when Lovell Road was two lanes and this was nestled in the woods.  I dread the day when I drive by and it’s gone.
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3.  All Saints
As part of our religion curriculum, Lorelei and I attend Mass every Wednesday morning at All Saints Church, the closest Catholic church to our house, just three miles away.  Afterwards, we walk around the trails and then I let her play on the playground.  This trail offers special opportunities for prayer as well as exercise, plus flowers and interesting trees.
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There’s a bench in the area below, where I usually take a break while Lorelei plays on the playground for a few minutes.
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One section has the Stations of the Cross, which we plan to come back to pray during Lent.
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The Marian Garden:
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4.  Fort Sanders West Trail
I don’t have any pictures of this one but want to mention it anyway.  It’s a big loop that runs around the campus of Fort Sanders West.  There’s plenty of parking, or course, and it’s ideal if you are feeling motivated to exercise after a visit to your doctor.
So there you have it!  If you live in West Knoxville and thought South Knoxville was too far, what’s your excuse for not walking now?

Fort Dickerson Quarry: Another Hidden South Knoxville Gem

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Yesterday morning, before embarking on our usual Saturday walk, Emily and I did something different: we engaged in a little community service. Along with some other folks, we spent an hour picking up trash at Fort Dickerson Quarry.
This cleanup is a monthly affair–the third Saturday of every month, from 11 to 12–sponsored by South Knox Alliance, a group of local business owners who promote South Knoxville and who have adopted part of the park.
Although I was a South Knoxville resident–our first home was in the Lake Forest neighborhood–for six years, it’s been 13 years since we lived there. So what were Emily and I doing picking up trash south of the river? Well, we were invited by a dear friend, Antoinette Fritz, who is a long time South Knox resident, a business owner (Myrtle’s Mess), and a tireless promoter of the area.
I have known Antoinette since I met her in the kindergarten pick up line when her Andie Rae and my Emily were five-year-olds at St. Joseph School. As they say, we go way back. In those days we bonded as pretty much the only South Knoxville residents with kids at the school. Back then I used to think how much I wished I had a venue in which to write about Antoinette, who is one of the most interesting people I have ever come across. She had a small antique/junk store at that time, which just happened to be on our way home from school, and we spent many afternoons there browsing her wares and just hanging out.
Before I lived there, South Knoxville was primarily a place I drove through to get somewhere else (i.e. the mountains). I had no clue that it held such wonders as Fort Dickerson and its quarry lake. When we moved there, Fort Dickerson had an unsavory reputation but I was too naive to know anything about that, and drove up there one day out of curiosity. It was then I got my first glimpse of the quarry–which was supposedly off-limits at that time, although I’m sure it had its share of intrepid teenage swimmers and perhaps murderers looking to hide bodies.
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I was amazed by that first glimpse–could this be Knoxville or had I somehow stumbled through a rip in space? I could not believe that such an incredible sight was right here, a mile or so from downtown, and that no one who didn’t live in South Knoxville knew anything about it!
Things have changed in South Knoxville since those days, as you will know if you’ve read any of my posts on the Urban Wilderness and its trails, or as you may have heard on the news regarding the plans for the riverfront. Fort Dickerson and the quarry lake are part of all those plans–they will one day be included in the trail system though I hope not before Emily and I finish walking the current 40 miles and get our badges!
Antoinette has been excited about and supportive of the writing I’ve been doing about the trails, and she has been inviting me to come to the cleanup for awhile. Yesterday’s outing was co-sponsored by Trek South, and promised a picnic, so we decided to include the quarry in our weekly South Knoxville excursion.
We were supplied with gloves, trash-picking-up devices (is there a name for those?), and garbage bags by Carl Hensley, organizer of the cleanup. We just about filled ours with beer and soda cans and bottles, cigarettes, and assorted discarded clothing, among other things, as we walked along the partly-paved trail from the parking lot to the quarry. Along the way we enjoyed close-up views of the kudzu that threatens to swallow South Knoxville whole punctuated by wildflowers.
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We were rewarded at the end of our journey by views of the quarry itself, and then the aforementioned picnic. Only this wasn’t just any picnic, because it was planned by Antoinette. So there were table cloths and flowers, and Salade Nicoise and french bread were served alongside more typical picnic fare.
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If you or a group you are associated with is looking for service hours, feel free to just show up and join in the efforts to keep South Knoxville Beautiful. And if you are looking for a beautiful spot to hike or picnic, add Fort Dickerson Park to your list.
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For more information on places to hike in South Knoxville, see these previous posts:
Walking in South Knoxville I
Walking in South Knoxville II
Walking in South Knoxville III
Walking in South Knoxville IV
Walking in South Knoxville V

Walking in South Knoxville: Anderson School Trails

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I’m going to call this particular section of the Urban Wilderness the Anderson School Trails, because the official designation of “Private Land Easement” isn’t useful in locating these charming trails geographically.  The privacy, however, is part of the charm–it’s like a delightful secret that these land owners have been kind enough to share with the rest of us.
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Above is the sign at the Anderson School access to the trails.  You can start here, on what is fancifully named the Lost Chromosome Trail, or you can park at the other end, which is a little harder to find.  It’s located on Burnett Creek Road, and you will have to cross that road to get to the trail.  We’ve been here twice so we’ve done both.
There’s a little bit of everything along these trails.  Water:
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AS 3Meadows:
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Wildflowers:
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There are some surprises, too.  Both man-made:
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And natural:
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We’ve knocked out the Lost Chromosome and Chicken Coup trails and part of Chain Ring, and still have ACDC and MCR to go.  Someone was having fun when they named these trails.
And you’ll have fun walking on them!  Give it a try this weekend.
Click on the links below for more of my walking adventures!
Walking in Knoxville
Walking in Downtown Knoxville
Walking in West Knoxville I
Walking in West Knoxville II
Walking in South Knoxville I
Walking in South Knoxville II
Walking in South Knoxville III

Five Favorites

Today I’m linking up with Mama Knows, Honeychild to tell you about five of my favorite things! (Don’t be thinking Sound of Music here!)
1.  Yves Rocher
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No, I am not on their payroll, although I would do a sponsored post for them is a second if I thought I could get free things.  Because I buy stuff from them through the mail EVERY MONTH.  I don’t really wear makeup except on the most special of occasions (maybe I’ll blog about that some time too).  But I anoint myself liberally morning and night with beauty products from Yves Rocher–it’s my one self-indulgence and I’ve been indulging myself for close to 20 years, off and on.
I think I first discovered the company in one of those get-so-many-free-things-it’s-too-good-to-be-true ads in a magazine, and then I was hooked.  Because although their deals seem too good to be true, they ARE true.  Shopping with them brings me a constant supply of free samples, sales, and fun gifts.  Pretty much all of my luggage came to me as free gifts from Yves Rocher.  I’ve also got coffee mugs, blankets, and a lot of jewelry.  And their products are great!  In fact, I think I’ll do another five favorites post on my five favorite products!
Finally, it’s a French company and when you call customer service (they have good customer service, by the way, and they give you three months free credit automatically!), the people all have French accents.  So that’s pretty cool.  I’m always tempted to speak to them in French but then they might start talking really fast and that could be embarrassing.
2.  Hanna Andersson
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Buying clothes at Hanna Andersson is my only indulgence on behalf of my kids.  I’ve always been happy to dress my kids in consignment sales finds, hand-me-downs, gifts from relatives, and the occasional necessity grabbed at Wal-Mart or the like, but I make an exception for hannas (as we call them around here).  William spent most of his babyhood in Hanna Andersson clothes and it just kills me that I won’t have those to hand down to grandchildren one day.  Because I totally could.  Yes, they are expensive, but they last forever.
Since I discovered zulily, which often has Hanna Andersson sales, I’ve gone a little crazy buying them for Lorelei.  She loves them to, because she is itchy and they are soft.
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3.  Deb
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Emily recently introduced me to this shop at the mall.  They have great sales, and they have plus size clothes that are not frumpy.  If you aren’t plus-sized, you have no idea what a big deal it is to find the combination of inexpensive and non-frumpy.  I have, for example, been trying forever to find some capris that don’t look like someone’s grandmother would wear them.  These are the ones I bought last week at Deb:
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Also, I have a very hard time finding jeans that fit correctly.  I’ll spare you the details. 🙂  But I found a brand at Deb that does.
4.  Janice Holt Giles
I just posted about Janice Holt Giles in my What We’re Reading Wednesday post, but she deserves more than that.  My mother introduced me to her books years and years ago, one summer when we were visiting the library, and I think I read them all.  Hers are historical novels, with that sense of place that is so important to me as a reader.  Many of them are part of a series in that the characters are related to one another, but they can be read separately.  I think The Believers, which is about the Shakers, is my very favorite.
I am a terrible library patron.  Invariably, I start off with the best of intentions, then forget to turn in my books, run up a huge fine, and am banned until I pay it (or wait until the day when I can be forgiven by bringing in cans of food or school supplies).  Right this minute my card and William’s card are non-functional, but we still have Lorelei’s!  So I’m not a regular visitor to the library, but every summer we try again, because of summer reading.
And every summer I look to see what Janice Holt Giles books, long out of print, remain on the shelf of whatever library we are visiting, and I check some out.  We went to the downtown library last week, and I was rewarded with this:
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This was published posthumously in 2005 (Giles died in 1979).  I haven’t started it yet and I hope I like it!
5. South Knoxville Urban Wilderness
I hope y’all aren’t tired of hearing about this yet because I intend to plug it every chance I get.  It’s getting national recognition and if you are local and don’t take advantage of it you should be ashamed.  Here’s just one picture (more to follow) of our walk in the wilderness last weekend:
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And that’s the end!  Check back next Tuesday (yes, I am a day late!) to see more of my favorite things.

Walking in South Knoxville 2: The William Hastie Natural Area

Years ago, when my big kids were little, any walking I did consisted of pushing a double stroller around our South Knoxville (Lake Forest) neighborhood, Emily walking at my side.  I couldn’t go very fast, but I got exercise on the hills!
Occasionally, we’d make it as far as the dead end at Post Oak Road.  This intrigued us, because where the road ended there were some rocks blocking a KUB access road, and we were very curious about that path and where it might lead.  So curious, in fact, that when the kids were old enough to go walking sans stroller, the five of us walked it to where it ended at Margaret Lane, a little road off Sevierville Pike.  Along the way we spotted a sinkhole with an abandoned car in it and the body of a raccoon frozen solid by a pond.  Ah, memories.
Needless to say, things have changed at what is now officially the William Hastie Natural Area.  Y’all, you are going to amazed at all the wild and empty land that’s back there.  I am once again so proud of Knoxville for saving this land for all of us to enjoy instead of attempting to level the hills to plant some bland subdivisions.
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That’s the sign at the end of Post Oak Road, but I wouldn’t recommend you start there.  In fact, I wouldn’t even recommend you drive down there at all if you don’t live there, because not only is there nowhere to park, it will require about a 15-point turn to get yourself out of the dead end.  Instead, you want to drive to the end of Margaret Lane, but be careful, because the official entrance includes a very narrow road.
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You’ll find these helpful signs at every trailhead in the South Loop system.  And what’s even better, there’s an app for that!  Yes, there is.  It’s called PDF Maps, and it’s free.  You are going to want to go here for instructions and how to get it.  You will show up on it as a little moving dot, so you can’t get lost!
Another tip as you start walking these trails:  there are signs marking the difficulty of the trails.  But pay no attention to these if you are walking.  They are geared toward the bikers, and the challenges to someone riding a bike are very different.  I haven’t had any trouble on trails that had the highest difficulty level.
We have done approximately half of the trails contained in the William Hastie Natural Area.  Here are a few things we saw that day:
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I just love taking pictures of paths.  I do it almost every time we go walking.
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Wildflowers are a big attraction on every path in the South Loop system so far.
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These fallen trees were near the top of the trail that leads into the View Park neighborhood.  There the trail system continues through Marie Myers Park, but that’s a story for another day.
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Emily rescued this little fellow from possible death by bike by moving him to the side of the trail.
Here’s the pond now, with no raccoons in evidence, frozen or otherwise:
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Next time, maybe I will write about the Forks of the River trails, or the Ijams trails, or maybe the ones in the private land easement near Anderson School.  There are so many!
But don’t just take my word for it, y’all.  Virtual tours are nice, but no substitute for actually being there, and reading about walking isn’t exercise.  I started getting healthy barely over two months ago.  Slight hills were torture.  I started with mile-long walks on paved trails.  Yesterday we did about four miles, in warm weather, with lots of evil hills.  I’ve lost at least twenty pounds. and there’s great satisfaction in feeling your muscles do what God meant them to do.

Walking in South Knoxville

This is WAY too big a topic for just one post, y’all.  If you want to go hiking but you don’t feel like driving to the mountains, South Knoxville is the place for you.  And I’m not just talking Ijams, even though we all know how wonderful that is.
But let me back up for a minute. I grew up a Northwest Knoxville girl, and South Knoxville was that place with all the kudzu that we entered approximately three times per year, if that: twice a year to visit our dentist whose office was on Taliwa, just a couple of miles down Chapman Highway; and maybe once for our all-too-infrequent trips to Metcalf Bottoms in the Smokies.
But then I grew up, got married, had three kids, and needed to live in a house instead of an apartment.  Our first home was in the Lake Forest neighborhood of South Knoxville, on the dogwood trail, and I quickly grew to appreciate this underrated part of my hometown.  One of its charms then and now was the large parts of it that remained undeveloped–its topography is less hospitable to sprawl than the erstwhile farmland of West Knoxville.
Thankfully all that Urban Wilderness is now forever safe from McMansions.  Instead we have 40 miles of walking and biking trails with a 12.5 mile loop connecting them all.  Emily and I are working up to walking that whole loop in one day some time this fall, but in the meantime we are hitting the trails every weekend, hoping to walk on them all and get the official patch!
So far we have walked from Island Home Park (this was on the Will Skelton Greenway and not officially part of the Urban Wilderness Loop) to Ijams to walk on some of the trails there.  Of course, we’ve walked all the Ijams trails many a time, but we are doing them all again and probably need one more trip over there to finish them up for the patch.   We spent one afternoon doing some of the trails in the William Hastie Natural Area, and Saturday we started exploring the Forks of the River Trails.  Each of these places deserves a post to itself, so that’s what I am going to do.  And I encourage you to come out and explore the Urban Wilderness for yourselves.

View from the Ijams River Trail
View from the Ijams River Trail

A May Stroll You Must Take!

Let me start by saying that I love love love the smell of honeysuckle.  That’s probably not an earth-shattering revelation because who doesn’t?  But when I had to answer all those email questionnaires that want to know what’s on your mouse pad and whether you like chocolate or vanilla better, honeysuckle was what I always named as my favorite smell.
This love has roots in my childhood, when we had a fence in our side yard that was covered with honeysuckle and wild roses this time of year.  I remember my mother teaching me how to suck out the nectar, and when I was little I probably was more excited about that than smelling it!  My mother also had honeysuckle perfume–just a very simple roll-on variety from Avon, I think–that I would just love to have if I could ever find something similar.  We all loved honeysuckle so much that we even named our collie Honeysuckle!
After Emily was born, for many years our summer visit to Baltimore was timed for Memorial Day weekend.  When we’d get back home, it was usually late at night, and the first thing we would notice upon getting out of the car was the strong scent of honeysuckle in the air.  So not only is it just an awesome smell, it also holds nostalgic associations of childhood and homecoming for me.
In these parts, May is prime time for honeysuckle, at least for the wild (some would say invasive) and strongly scented variety I’m talking about here.  And all of this has been a lead into a very brief Walking in Knoxville post because I don’t want anyone who loves honeysuckle to miss the chance to take this particular walk before it’s too late to experience the intoxicating scent.
I mentioned Grigsby Chapel Greenway briefly in my most recent greenway post.  It comprises 2.25 miles or so of asphalt trails interspersed with walks through several neighborhoods on their sidewalks.  If you do the whole thing, you’ll get to see many beautiful houses and gardens along the whole route.  But if you don’t have time to do that, or don’t want to walk that far, at least do this:  Park your car at St. John Neumann Church and walk the portion of the greenway that connects it to the next neighborhood.  The smell will probably hit you before you even reach the trail.  The air is positively redolent with it.  (And yes, I know that’s an overused phrase, but it’s really the only way to say it.) You will be walking through what amounts to almost a tunnel of honeysuckle.
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After that, there is just honeysuckle EVERYWHERE.  Back in the woods, next to the trail, bushes of it, vines of it well up into the trees.
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Seriously, go there as soon as you can.  Early morning and twilight will afford the strongest smell experience, plus it won’t be as hot.  And if you do go, let me know!
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Walking in West Knoxville

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).

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Emily looks out over the water

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Staircase to nowhere – I haven’t researched this place but obviously it was once privately owned

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Snowballs in full bloom

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.
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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.
Lakeshore Park
Lakeshore
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!).
melton hill 1
Overlooking the Clinch River

 
melton hill 4
Redbuds by the river

 
melton hill 6
Start of one of the wooded trails

melton hill 7
Wildflowers

melton hill 8
melton hill 9
melton hill 10
melton hill 11
melton hill 12
melton hill 13
Another visitor to the park

 
Melton Hill 15
Melton Hill 16
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.
TC greenway 1
A bird nesting in a pavilion at one of the trailheads

TC Greenway 2
Old school playground behind one of the churches–just see all that fun and dangerous stuff outlawed elsewhere!

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.
Turkey Creek 1
Turkey Creek 2
A heron takes flight

 
Turkey Creek 4
Crabapple blossoms

Turkey Creek 5
Glimpse of an old barn

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.
Concord Park
View of the golf course and water near the end of the trail

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.
Wetland 1
Wetland 2
 
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!