Charter E. Doyle Memorial Park, 5100 W. Martin Mill Pike, is just what many people think a city park should be – green, peaceful and laidback.
But the 35-year-old park is no forgotten hideaway. With its 26 rolling acres and two greenways, the park is a key piece of an elaborate effort to connect the park system in South Knoxville.
The Doyle family goes way back in South Knoxville history. Land for the park was donated to the city in 1984 by the Doyles. Mildred Eloise Doyle, superintendent of Knox County Schools for 30 years (1946-1976), is the best remembered today, but it’s her father, Charter E. Doyle, a squire in the county government before it was reworked as county commission, for whom the park is named.
A single tombstone in a family cemetery marks the grave where ancestor John Doyle (1748-1837) is interred. He fought in the Revolutionary War and before 1800 came to Knoxville, where he received a 460-acre land grant.
The park includes a paved .4-mile loop that surrounds the green space, playground and tennis courts and a .1-mile natural trail. A PetSafe dog park with sections for both large and small dogs was opened in 2011.
The city plans to connect the Charter Doyle Greenway to the Mary Vestal Greenway along the abandoned Smoky Mountain Railroad corridor. The short but ambitious connection will include the Gary Underwood Greenway for a total of 2.6 miles.
Betsy Pickle is a veteran entertainment, features and news reporter who particularly enjoys spotlighting South Knoxville.