Knoxville Outdoor Activities
The Smoky Mountains surround Knoxville and its outlying areas in a truly natural and majestic way. This is just one example of how nature is such a big part of life in Tennessee. When you consider the large number of the various national parks and other outdoor destinations in the city, there's so much for the nature lover in Knoxville to see and enjoy without having to venture out too far from home.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park
has the distinction of being the most visited national park in the country, and with good reason. The park sprawls out over an impressive 520,000 acres that include 735 miles of streams and 800 miles of some of the most scenic hiking trails in the world. The mountainous views are nothing short of amazing, with the highest point reaching over 6,000 feet. For information and a place to rest, look for several visitor centers throughout the park.
Address: US 441, Gatlinburg, TN - MAP
Phone: (865) 436-1200
is somewhat of an oasis for city-dwelling nature lovers. This very popular park is located in the downtown area, and is a favorite outdoor destination for office workers who brown bag their lunch and find a spot on the many benches to enjoy the park's lush scenery. The park is beautifully landscaped, and beds of colorful flowers adorn the area that also features a tranquil, relaxing pond that attracts lots of visitors to its quietly calming shores.
Address: 504 Market Street, Knoxville, TN 37902 - MAP
Phone: (865) 215-2090
knows that it's visitors want to reach for the sky...literally! This is the highest elevation point in Knoxville, and that alone makes it a favorite of nature lovers and camera-toting tourists in search of unforgettable outdoor shots of the city. To say that Sharps Ridge offers excellent photo opportunities is more than an understatement, as sunsets from this vantage point are perhaps the most beautiful in America.
Address: 329 Sharp's Ridge, Knoxville, TN - MAP
Cherokee National Forest
invites you to take a hike! Hiking enthusiasts cite Cherokee National Forest as a big favorite for lots of reasons. This expansive, 625,000-acre national forest features more than 105 well-marked trails that lead to some unforgettable vistas or look-out points. The outdoor trails also accommodate horseback riders and mountain bikers.
Address: 2800 Ocoee Street North, Cleveland, TN 37312 - MAP
Phone: (423) 476-9700
You'll find it difficult to sit still when you visit Concord Marina
. From there, you'll be struck by the several picnic areas and open spaces that are inviting for leisurely walks, a quick jog or even taking your pet out for a stroll in the great outdoors. There are also tennis courts, a place to play roller hockey, and a play ground for the kids. Another popular amenity is the outdoor swimming pool that is open during the summer months. The 450-acre park is surrounded by winding trails that are perfect for running or in-line skating.
Address: 10901 Northshore Drive, Knoxville, TN - MAP
Phone: (865) 966-5831
History and nature intertwine perfectly at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
. This is the largest historical park in the country. Located 60 miles north of downtown, this park attracts visitors and locals alike because of its several outdoor amenities that include various picnic areas and trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. The historical component of the park is displayed quite prominently and numerous examples of Native American history are featured at various vantage points. Another big draw for kids and adults alike is the mile-long tunnel through a mountain that must be traveled through to get to the park.
Address: Hwy 25E, Newport, TN 37821 - MAP
Phone: (423) 248-5766
Giddy up! Head over to the Douglas Lakeview Riding Stables
and experience a horseback riding adventure. Whether you want to ride for an hour or four, Douglas Lakeview Riding Stables offers 200 acres of trails rolling through a beautiful natural landscape. The trails boast scenic views of Douglas Lake and the Smoky Mountains. If you've never ridden before, no problem! Your guides will take it slow.
Address: 1650 Providence Road, Sevierville, TN 37876 - MAP
Phone: (865) 556-3869