Exercising outdoors is so easy in Knoxville. Diana Patterson and her husband love getting outside for some exercise most weekends, as long as the weather cooperates. They love to go for hikes, bike rides, golfing and kayaking. They both have road bikes but Diana prefers trails. Below, they share three rides that are their favorites!
Our closest location is Sequoyah Hills. We park at the Sequoyah Park and ride on Cherokee Blvd. to Kingston Pike and then circle back. Each lap is about 5 miles and we usually go twice. It is a really pretty ride along the Tennessee River and the homes are beautiful. Car traffic is light most times, except maybe during rush hour; however, the cars are all very respectful of the riders and usually stay behind until you wave them by. Even though you are riding on roads rather than trails, it is in a neighborhood so speed is slow and folks are friendly. There is a path in the center of the boulevard, but that is used for walking and running. There are several hills which make it great for interval training.
Our second go-to is a connected greenway (Third Creek Greenway to Neyland Greenway) that begins in Bearden on Forest Park Blvd — right next to Marble City Real Estate Group! We park in the parking lot of Bearden Bike and Trail next to Emmy’s Frozen Yogurt. The Third Creek Greenway begins here and leads you all the way to Neyland Drive, where it then joins the Neyland Greenway and continues all the way to the James White Parkway. The 4.5-mile Third Creek trail winds along Third Creek and bisects Tyson Park. The 3-mile Neyland trail runs along the Tennessee River and passes through the Calhoun’s on the River parking lot.
The trails are all paved, moderately travelled, and shared with pedestrians. The signage is easy to follow and the trails are well maintained. There are several bridges which cross rivers and roads; however, there are some streets with light traffic that need to be crossed along the way. This is a pretty ride which offers lots of shade, especially along Third Creek. There are a few hills but most are short and easy. Since it is out and back, you have the flexibility of going as far as you would like and then turning around. We have also extended the ride by crossing the James White Parkway overpass and heading over to South Knoxville. On the south side, we like to ride through Island Homes and connect with the Will Skelton Greenway.
If you don’t mind a little drive, head out toward the Smokies! The ride in Townsend follows the road through town from one end to the other. It is a 3-mile paved surface and easy riding with underpasses that lead you from one side of the highway (US 321) to the other. We ride up and back for a total of 6 miles. It is a beautiful area with gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains, and a portion of the trail winds along The Little River. This ride has a few easy hills and is great for cyclists of all levels, including older children.
There are so many ways to enjoy Knoxville, so just get outside and have fun!
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