Sunny hikes for a cold day

Carol EvansUncategorized

A friend recently declared that “there is no bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.” So, layer up your warmest wear this weekend and enjoy a fun hike that keeps you out of the woods and in the warm sunshine. There are a number of beautiful parks in our area with gentle trails though fields and open spaces.

Seven Islands State Birding Park, features eight miles of mowed trails that weave through this diverse ecosystem. Along the route, the trails crisscross the 1.2-mile paved greenway that bisects the park as it winds from the parking area to the water’s edge. The landscape at the Refuge ranges from upland hardwoods to river-bottom fields sown in native warm-season grasses. A mowed path clears the underbrush to welcome hikers, trail runners, photographers and bird-watchers. Location: 2809 Kelly Lane, Kodak.

In addition to the greenway trail at Melton Hill Park, there are several miles of natural surface trails that make a series of loops around the park. The mowed meadow trail begins north of the swimming beach, paralleling the greenway trail. On your way around, there will be a spur trail to connect to the adjacent loop which heads over to the eastern boat dock, weaving through the meadows in that section. Location: 3230 Williams Bend Road, Knoxville.

The 10.6 miles of trail within the Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area are a mix of single-track and dirt/gravel roads. The South Loop route winds from Ijams Quarry Trails along the paved Will Skelton Greenway, skirting the Tennessee River and the fields of the WMA. The greenway ends at the woods edge and merges onto the single-track Whaley Trail which snakes along the river to the Anderson School Trails. Location: 3140 McClure Lane, Knoxville.

Cross-country runners, hikers and dog-walkers enjoy the 1.5 miles of natural surface trails that circle Victor Ashe Park. The trails weave through the woods, pass through the disc golf course and loop back to the sports fields. Location: 4901 Bradshaw Road, Knoxville.

Beverly Park features both a paved greenway and a natural surface trail. The trail starts in the woods and then opens to a wide mowed path. The trail skirts the junior golf course before splitting into two loops. Heading to the left, the path goes slightly uphill and then makes a loop with the golf course butting against one edge. The other loop heads to the right and climbs a short hill before circling a large grassy meadow. At the end of the loop, a short trail leads to the pond. Location: 5311 Beverly Park Circle, Knoxville.

There’s a wonderful natural surface trail in Holston River Park that you can access from the paved greenway. The trailhead to the Perimeter Trail is just off the southern edge of the greenway loop. This scenic one-mile natural surface trail contours the Holston River for a short distance, meandering under a beautiful oak and beech tree canopy. Trail winds through the woods passing by several rockfaces and crosses over an abandoned rail line. Location: 3300 Holston Hills Road Knoxville.

Winding along the shoreline of the Tennessee River between Carl Cowan Park and Admiral Farragut Park, there is a woodsy little trail that is delightful to hike. In addition to providing picturesque views of the river, there are several access points to the water’s edge. Location: 10058 S Northshore Drive Knoxville.

For more trails or places to start your adventure visit

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