When people relocate for school or work to Knoxville, Tennessee, probably their biggest misconception is that, with the Smoky Mountain National Park in their backyard, they will be hiking almost every weekend. However, most people end up hiking no more once, twice or a maximum 5 times a year around this area. But no fear, you can experience the vibe of the mountain in the proximity of Knoxville, TN. Here are my favorite urban hikes around this city minus driving all the way into the park:
1. Concord Park (shown above) offers easy multiple trails and is also perfect for mountain running. Beautiful views of the river. You can mountain bike as well. Bring your dog if you have one. Perfect for a shaded walk or run during summer.
2. Ijams Nature Center. Just minutes from the downtown. Pleasant and easy wooded paths with views of the river plus the learning center and mini-nature museum. It is a great place to have kids attend camp for summer, fall and spring breaks.
3. House Mountain is about 20 minute ride from downtown, but beats going to the Smokies if you don’t have a full day to spare. The trail is more challenging and longer than the other two. It offers spectacular panoramic views. Bring water, snacks, better yet a picnic (wine, cheese, the whole thing :). Great place to propose.
Walking, hiking, running in nature are great to keep your mind and body in good shape. These three urban paths offer beautiful landscape that will give you a taste of the mountains if you are pressed for time. I hope if you come to Knoxville, TN you get to experience these wonderful urban walking and hiking trails.