I’m excited to kick off this weekly column by featuring our newest and most fun place to get out and play – the Baker Creek Preserve. Working with a host of great partners, Legacy Parks transformed this 100-acre property into an outdoor adventure destination within Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness. Just three miles from downtown, Baker Creek Preserve’s outstanding variety of outdoor recreation amenities are easily accessible and loads of fun for anyone from novice adventurers to extreme downhill mountain bikers!
Baker Creek Preserves features five two-way trails for hiking, biking and trail running that wind through wooded valleys, giant sycamores and to hilltop views. One of these trails is a virtually flat, 1-mile loop, which is perfect for beginners. Also featured are three designated downhill mountain bike trails for more experienced riders, introducing a different style of trail into the Urban Wilderness trail system. Together these eight trails provide 7.1 miles to explore with loops and connections throughout.
At the entrance of Baker Creek Preserve, we’ve constructed a Kid’s Adventure Play Area, which includes natural and interactive features that accommodate kids of all ages. Among these fun features are a giant hanging bamboo chime for kids to run through and make music, boulders for climbing, log rounds for balancing, a miniature climbing wall and slides built into the hill.
Beautiful landscaping and seating areas made of logs and stone make a great place for parents to watch kids and for families to enjoy together. We built the adjacent Junior Pump Track and Little Devil Junior Trail to introduce children, and their families, to the sport of mountain biking with gentle hills and short distances.
There is ample, convenient parking at the top of the Play Area, with ADA accessible parking located at the bottom, along Taylor Road. From Baker Creek Preserve, trail users can connect to the additional 42 miles of trail in Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness by way of Redbud Bridge, which safely leads pedestrian and bicyclists over Redbud Road.
The area is also connected to South-Doyle Middle School by way of the Baker Creek Trail and intersecting Cherokee Trail, which both link the school directly into the Urban Wilderness and adjacent neighborhoods. As you wander these trails, you’ll find new ones under construction along with the beginnings of the Baker Creek Play Forest, which will feature more exciting adventure play features geared toward getting middle-school-aged students more active.
You’ll find all this fun at Baker Creek Preserve at 3700 Lancaster Drive, so make this your destination to get out play this weekend!