Get Out & Play: Sharps Ridge Memorial Park

Carol EvansFeature

Just 10 minutes north of downtown Knoxville, Sharps Ridge is situated on a steep limestone ridge. The 200- to 300-foot ridge offers a great view of the city skyline and the distant Great Smoky Mountains peaks. Sharps Ridge Memorial Park, a city park dedicated to the honor of the area’s war veterans, makes up 111-acres of the seven-mile ridge. The park offers two picnic areas with a view, hiking, bird-watching and downhill mountain biking trails.

There are 4.7 miles of multi-use trails that wind across the wooded hills. Terrain runs from flat and rolling to short and steep climbs. About three-quarters of the way to the top of the ridge, you’ll find an overlook platform featuring signage identifying the mountain peaks that are most familiar to us. Sharps Ridge trails are a great place to hike or ride when other Knoxville trails are too wet.

Sharps Ridge is one of the best sites around for migrant songbirds in the spring. Birdwatchers might want to join one of the Knoxville Chapter of the Tennessee Ornithological Society’s bird walks or simply enjoy the sing-song birds while exploring the park on your own.

The downhill mountain biking trails are rated extreme on difficulty level. The gravity jump Knight Fall Trail is a 0.6-mile downhill/expert-only, black diamond trail for mountain bikers. Riders will drop in off the wooden qualifier into a series of berms, followed with rollers, table tops, and drops that lead to the signature g-out section. Five g-outs lead to a final series of table tops.

Next weekend, you can help support the upkeep and future projects at Sharps Ridge by registering to participate in the second annual fundraiser 5k – The Veterans Heritage Ridge Run.

Visit Outdoor Knoxville for a full list of activities and more ways to get out and play!

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