South Knox Countians are blessed with a 230-acre park just minutes from home.
I.C. King Park features mostly undeveloped land with entrances at 3412 Alcoa Highway (just south of UT Medical Center) and 2625 Maryville Pike. Improvements began under Mayor Tim Burchett and were completed by Mayor Glenn Jacobs in 2019.
Managed by the Public Building Authority, the $1.28 million project added a playground, dog park, restroom, fencing, tree plantings, lighting, security cameras, ADA compliant sidewalks and parking, mostly on the Maryville Pike side.
Chuck James, director of Parks & Recreation for Knox County, said the park’s 8.25 miles of natural-surface trails are easy to moderate for hikers, trail runners and mountain bikers.
“A unique feature we are adding is emergency locator signs along the trails. A Boy Scout did his Eagle project on this at Concord Park, and Mayor Jacobs liked it so much that he told us to install them in other parks.” The signs are numbered to help police and rescue personnel find people who might require emergency aid.
Visitors cannot drive vehicles through, but the trails connect from Alcoa Highway to Maryville Pike. There is fishing off a pier and a boat ramp near the Alcoa Highway entrance.
“Commissioner (Carson) Dailey lobbied to keep an entrance open on Alcoa Highway. We have about 20 parking spaces there,” said James.
The project was funded by a PetSafe grant of $100,000; a TDEC grant of $500,000; and Knox County added $681,628. In addition, Knox County Engineering and Public Works helped with paving.
The two-acre dog park has separate areas for large and small dogs and a dog wash. Eventually, I.C. King Park will connect to Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness – a project designed to draw tourism while providing a daily benefit to Knox County residents.
Outdoor Knoxville is a fantastic resource to discover the parks and playspaces of the community. Check it out here.