The National Park Service recently named Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness South Loop a National Recreation Trail. Selected for its outstanding scenery and connections to recreation destinations, the South Loop trail system links Ijams Nature Center, Mead’s Quarry, William Hastie Natural Area, and the Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area.
Legacy Parks Executive Director Carol Evans and board member Susan Williams were in Nashville on June 6, National Trails Day, to receive the award.
The National Recreation Trail designation is awarded to trail systems that connect communities to recreational opportunities on public lands and local parks. A set of National Recreation Trail markers comes with the award, as well as a letter of congratulations from Sally Jewell, secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior.
The South Loop Trail system includes a 12.5-mile multi-use main loop with easy to moderate trails, and an additional 30 miles of secondary trails that accommodate beginner to advanced users on varying terrain. Many of the trails have been constructed and are maintained by the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club.