You’re never too old to go exploring in the summertime, and you’re never too far away from a place to explore if you live in or near Knoxville, Tennessee. Outdoor Knoxville and Legacy Parks, organizations developed to support local parks and greenways, are announcing a series of summer hikes, led by Covenant Health fitness expert Missy Kane.
Kane, a U.S. track Olympian, has traded in her Olympic torch for the trails as another way to encourage East Tennesseans to achieve fitness while having fun. Lush greenery, sparkling waters, and wildflowers in bloom await those who choose to step into the “urban wilderness.”
“Get on Local Trails” starts Thurs., June 5 with a three-mile hike from Volunteer Landing to Morningside Park. Hikes follow every Thursday morning through the last week of July.
This year two hikes will take place out of town. On June 26, participants will visit waterfalls in Putnam and White counties. On July 24, the featured hike will be at Panther Creek in Hamblen County. Cumberland Medical Center and Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare System will co-host those hikes.
The cost of the program is $35, which includes the guided hikes, plus a t-shirt, trail map, and sunscreen samples from Thompson Cancer Survival Center. Those who can’t take part in the whole series may participate in selected hikes for $10 per hike. To sign up, visit outdoorknoxville.com, or call Covenant Health at 1-877-334-4500.
- Always start with a healthy breakfast!
- Wear light, loose-fitting clothing. Long pants and long-sleeved shirts can be helpful for those who are prone to bug bites or allergic to poison ivy.
- Bring water, a hearty snack, sunscreen, and insect repellant
- Forgot your sunscreen? Thompson Cancer Survival Center will provide free samples!2014 Summer Hikes:
June 5 – Morningside Hike – We’ll meet at Outdoor Knoxville headquarters, and walk the greenways to Morningside Park (3 miles). You may sign up to participate in paddle boarding or canoeing, or bring your bike along for a ride after the hike. Extreme addition:
Hikers may choose to continue on Burnett Ridge Trail and back to the parking area for a total of 6 to 7 miles.
June 12 – Meades Quarry to Marie Myers Park – Meet at the gravel parking lot just past Ijams Nature Center. We’ll hike in the quarry area, see the “Key Hole,” and out Emery’s Trail. We’ll then link to Marie Myers Park. Extreme addition: Continue on Burnett Ridge Trail for a total of 6 to 7 miles.June 19 – Sharps Ridge – We’ll take the Sharps Ridge trails high over Knoxville (2 to 3 miles). Parking is available at the far west end of Sharp’s Ridge (off Broadway).
June 26 – Fit and Fun Road Trip – Hikers may carpool from the parking lot of Panera Bread on Peters Road at 7:45 a.m. for a hike to Burgess Falls (1.5 miles) and then Cummins Falls (3 miles). Go for a swim if you want, and be sure to bring a picnic lunch!
Special thanks to Cumberland Medical Center for supporting this hiking adventure!
July 3 – Seven Islands – Meet at Seven Islands State park off Kodak Road (Midway exit), then hike a loop of 3 to 5 miles with an expert guest guide. Bring a little extra money and join Missy for an early lunch at Tuckahoe Trading Post.
July 10 – I.C. King Park – Look for us at the picnic area inside the park. We’ll set out from there on a lower river trail to the bridge. Choose a hilly loop back, or a more level trail for a total of 3 to 4 miles.
July 17 – Forks of the River “Sunflower Hike” – Starting at Forks of the River, we’ll hike the greenway to see a beautiful field of sunflowers, then travel back on Forks of the River trails (3 to 4 miles). Extreme addition: Take Burnett Creek back to the parking area (5 miles).
July 24 – Panther Creek – Meet us near the Cracker Barrel at the Straw Plains exit. We’ll carpool to Panther Creek (4 to 5 miles). Take advantage of the swimming pool there if you want, and bring a lunch to enjoy after your adventure!
Special thanks to Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare System for supporting this hiking adventure!