Whether you're new in town, just visiting, or a lifelong resident, you'll
find more than enough running locations to keep from getting bored.
Citizens and civic leaders have made greenways a priority in Knoxville
and Knox County. Nearby Blount County and Oak Ridge also boast impressive
•City of Knoxville
•Urban Wilderness Corridor
•Knox Greenways Coalition
•Greenways in Oak
Trails & Off-road Venues
We've compiled a list of the most popular local trail running venues
on the trail running page.
However, that doesn't cover the seemingly endless supply of trails less
than an hour from Knoxville in places like the Great Smoky Mountains National
Park, Big South Fork NRR or one of our many State Parks.
Many local high school tracks are open to the public. We are also fortunate
to have the University of Tennessee's Tom Black Track. It is open to the
public except during events and when in use by the University teams.
Top Running Locations
Cherokee Blvd in Sequoyah Hills
Perhaps the most popular place to run in Knoxville, "The Boulevard"
offers a 2.6 mile crushed stone path wandering along median in one of
Knoxville's grandest neighborhoods. You'll be treated with views of the
Tennessee River, lush landscaping, and a variety of magnificent homes
as well as a few hills. A drinking fountain is located near the parking
lot at the western end (seasonal) along with a few portable toilets. A
connector trail across Kingston Pike from the Boulevard's eastern end
leads down to the Third Creek system.
Third Creek Greenway
Built in the 1970's, the original "Third Creek Bike Trail"
ran from the student apartments only to Painter Avenue, yet was known
and loved by runners throughout Knoxville. With its extension in 1992
the trail was extended all the way to Neyland Drive. Following the murky
waters of the creek, the greenway offers protection from the blazing suns
of summer as it meanders first west-east, then north-south, much of its
route bisecting an old and diverse urban forest. In 2006 a bold initiative
rerouted the creek itself and re-landscaped some of the western end of
the greenway, resulting in more open and attractive surroundings. In 2007
the Bearden Extension added more than a mile to the trail system.
Tom Black Track
A world class facility that is open to the public much of the time, the
eight-lane state of the art surface offers both an opportunity to test
oneself against the constant 400-meter oval as well as a chance to run
on a flat soft surface, perhaps to rehabilitate a running injury. Bathrooms
and drinking fountains are generally available at the northwest end of
Residents of Alcoa and Maryville are blessed with a wonderful nine-mile
greenway system that runs in a generally north-south direction through
the two cities. More rural as it winds south from its origin at a 1.5
mile loop trail within Springbrook Park in Alcoa, the greenbelt works
its way into downtown Maryville and the Bicentennial Greenbelt Park. From
there the character is more suburban as it follows Pistol Creek past Sandy
Springs Park, eventually terminating at Foothills Elementary School. The
entire trail is lit at night, with numerous water fountains available
throughout and restrooms near the midpoint.
Following the old route of the University of Tennessee Cross County course,
the 2.2 mile asphalt loop circles 60-acre Lakeshore Park. A number of
challenging hills await the runner, whichever direction is chosen, as
the trail makes its way up and down, then alongside the Tennessee River.
Bathrooms and water fountains are generally available near the baseball
fields at the southern edge of the complex.
Neyland & James White Greenways (and beyond)
Following the banks of the Tennessee River from the University Faculty
Club at its current western terminus, the Neyland Greenway traverses three
miles, offering views of the river and the high, rocky bluffs on the far
side. Intersecting with the southern end of the Third Creek Greenway,
this greenway, built in the 1990's, continues eastward, eventually coming
to Volunteer Landing, where it formerly ended. Now, however, the City
of Knoxville has continued eastward with the James White Greenway, running
another mile to McWherter Park underneath the South Knoxville Bridge.
From there a connection can be made to the Morningside Greenway in East
Knoxville, and future plans call for extension of this system all the
way across the river to the Will Skelton Greenway in the Island Home neighborhood.
From the western end of the Neyland Greenway, plans are even more exciting,
as the Knox-Blount Greenway, already under construction, will extend all
the way to Springbrook Park and the Alcoa-Maryville Greenway, at that
time offering more than thirty miles of non-stop greenway enjoyment.
• Maps &
Ijams Nature Center & Will Skelton Greenways
Running east and west from the main entrance to Ijams Nature Center,
the Will Skelton Greenway, named for the man who has done more than anyone
to actualize the bold vision of greenways throughout Knoxville and Knox
County, runs 3.6 miles from its Western end in Island Home Park to its
Eastern terminus high on a bluff overlooking the French Broad River. Much
of the trail runs alongside the river, traversing a tall riverside forest,
while toward the eastern end it runs through the flora and fauna of the
Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area. Restrooms are available at
Ijams during normal hours of operation, and a water fountain stands outside
the nature center.
• Ijams website
Maps & information
Farragut Greenways (Parkside, Grigsby Chapel, Campbell Station &
Least attractive of the four, the Parkside Greenway runs east-west between
the interstate and the unsightly mega-shopping development. Its eastern
end, adjacent to the MacDonalds on Lovell Road, bisects a nice (though
controversial) wetland area. The development and ownership of this greenway
is ambiguous at present, but it is hoped that in the near future the connections
and maintenance issues will be ironed out. The Grigsby Chapel Greenway
runs east-west through condos and homes, climbing at least one serious
hill en route, and connects with the Campbell Station Greenway, which
runs south, beginning in the woods paralleling Campbell Station Road,
running past the library to Campbell Station Park, where the trail terminates
atop a lovely hill. The Turkey Creek Greenway, nowhere near the glitz
and neon blur of the mall, runs north and west from Anchor Park on Turkey
Creek Road, with nice views of the water and nearby hillsides.
West Hills Greenways (Jean Teague, Cavet Station, & Ten-Mile Creek)
Residents of the West Hills area of Knoxville can combine several small
greenways into routes of considerable distance. The Jean Teague Greenway,
eldest of the West Knoxville greenways, was built in the mid-1990's and
runs from West Hills Elementary School through parkland below the West
Hills YMCA, continuing westward to what is hopefully a temporary terminus
in a church parking lot. From there, however, the creative runner can
connect to more greenway trails by using a quarter-mile of relatively
low-traffic roadway (Walker Springs Lane), arriving at the southern end
of the Cavet Station Greenway. Cavet Station runs northward more than
a mile along Gallaher View Road. Near the intersection of Gallaher and
Walker Springs Road, however, a new trail junction darts left through
a tunnel to begin a connector trail to Knox County's Ten-Mile Creek Greenway.
This greenway roughly parallels the creek itself as it goes west, intersecting
a spur trail up to Walker Springs Park, or continuing on its westward
route to Bridgewater Road. At that point a brand new trail continues across
Bridgewater through the woods to a parking area near Regal Cinemas. Future
construction plans take it from there south to Kingston Pike.
• Jean Teague