A biker rides along the Maryville-Alcoa Greenway.

We love walking and biking our greenways in East Tennessee, and we’re lucky to have them all around us! This week, head to Maryville – just a 20-minute drive south of downtown Knoxville – to explore a beautiful nine-mile path. It connects more than 10 parks, nature areas, and schools within Maryville and the adjacent city of Alcoa, giving you lots of fun places to stop along the way.

Part of the beauty of this greenway is that it winds alongside beautiful bodies of water including the one at Greenbelt Park in Maryville and Spring Brook Park in Alcoa. Between the two city centers, it runs alongside Pistol Creek.

Maryville-Alcoa greenway

This greenway system has several access points with great features to make your journey a healthy and enjoyable experience. Ample parking, picnic tables, playgrounds, swimming pools, a pavilion, restrooms, and tennis and basketball courts make this a complete network with something to offer all walkers, bikers and their families.

There is also a nine-mile stretch of greenway running along both sides of Lamar Alexander Parkway in Townsend, which is just another 20-minute drive southeast. The trail runs next to the Little River and passes restaurants, shops, motels and historic sites. This section even features bike tunnels to help riders safely cross to the other side.

Legacy Parks is working with a consortium of local and regional government and non-profit agencies to help connect these two greenways, which would also connect Knoxville to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park by greenway. The vision is to construct the greenway in two phases – from downtown Maryville to Heritage High School, then from Heritage High to the existing greenway in Townsend.

You can show your love for our greenways and participate in this exciting plan through the #LoveMyGreenway photo contest. Just take a photo on the trail and submit it online for a chance to win. Each week the top five voted photos will be entered into a random draw for a chance at a prize, such as gift cards from area organizations like Cycology Bicycles or Little River Trading Company or tickets to the Grains & Grits Festival. So be sure to submit often, share this contest with friends and use the hashtag #LoveMyGreenway so they can vote on your photo. For more information, see the #LoveMyGreenway contest page.

And for more information on how to get out and play on the greenways in our area, explore our greenways page on OutdoorKnoxville.com. See you on the greenways!

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Written by Carol Evans
Get Out and Play info@legacyparks.org