Before we get too far into this, two things are helpful to know:
1.) Greenways are wide trails (often paved) free to use for full-on adventures, pleasant strolls, or – at their most functional – getting from one part of Knoxville to another. (We’re not kidding. You can find them in the north, south, east, west, downtown, and everywhere in between.)
2.) Any greenway that doesn’t technically connect to another greenway uses sidewalks and bike lanes to supplement.
Knoxville is a biker, hiker, and runner’s dream!
Now for the fun stuff: one of our favorite routes starts on the Third Creek Greenway.
We like to access the Third Creek Greenway in Bearden initially. You can start your greenway experience by parking in the shopping center near El Mezcal Mexican Restaurant, where Kingston Pike crosses Forest Park Blvd. You’ll see the paved trail running right beside the parking lot on the El Mezcal side.
You can run down Third Creek Greenway for a mile or so, experience the beautiful trees, hop over a cute bridge, and then run back – feeling quite good about yourself and ending your excursion with some chips and queso at El Mezcal or continuing your run just a bit longer and ending across Kingston Pike at the Bearden Beer Market. Because you earned it, gosh darn it!
Want to push yourself further, though? Keep going!
Third Creek Greenway will take you from Bearden to Fort Sanders, passing through Tyson Park and by the UT veterinary campus. From there, you’ll hit Neyland Greenway. Neyland Greenway will lead you past the Thompson-Boling Arena and the famed Neyland Stadium before landing by Calhoun’s on the river. You’ve made it downtown, friends!
You’ve specifically made it to the skinny but beautiful Volunteer Landing Park. Enjoy the Tennessee River views, or cool off from your run by heading out onto the river itself! You can do so by checking out the Knoxville Adventure Collective. Not only is that the one-stop shop for tons of information about Knoxville’s outdoor scene, but you can rent a paddleboard or a kayak on the spot. (We highly recommend renting a paddle board here because Tennessee River views of downtown just don’t quit.)