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South Loop Trails

Legacy Parks partnered with multiple individuals and organizations to establish the South Loop Trail system, more than 50-miles of natural surface trails connecting five parks and natural areas with public and private land. The establishment of this trail system was a major catalyst for creating Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness.

"We have a real recreational amenity, so people can stay and play in our own backyard. To be able to bike, hike and run and not have to travel two hours preserves our natural assets in a real usable way in which people have access to it." - Carol Evans

Legacy Parks Foundation raised the majority of the money to acquire eight properties from three key donors: former Knoxville Mayor and Ambassador to Poland Victor Ashe, the Knoxville Greenways Coalition, and the Knoxville Track Club. The trail system opened to the public in August 2012.

The South Loop gives users a taste of the over 60 miles of trails in Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness. The trail system never strays further than 2-4 miles from downtown Knoxville, creating exceptional recreational opportunities within the heart of the city. The loop connects Ijams Nature Center, Ross Marble and Mead’s Quarries, Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area, William Hastie Natural Area, and Marie Myers Park.

Project Partners 

City of Knoxville, AMBC, Ijams Nature Center, TWRA, private landowners

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