Swim Around in a 350-Foot Quarry Surrounded by Civil War Ruins in Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness

On a visit to Knoxville, it’s easy to spend your days exploring the city’s historic district, restaurants, farmer’s markets, and museums. One thing that makes this city unique is that it has its own natural oasis right in the center of the metropolis. Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness is a refreshing break from the city streets, offering 1,000 acres of outdoor adventure area where you can swim, hike, bike, and climb.

Ijams Nature Center

At the Ijams Nature Center, you’ll feel like a true explorer that stumbled across a hidden gem. Here you can hike along winding wooden pathways that straddle between cliffs and lakes, discover twig huts and secret stone staircases. Hikers can walk along the 10 miles of trails in the park, and water lovers can take advantage of canoe rentals or swimming along the river.

Baker Creek Preserve

Another popular area in the Urban Wilderness is the Baker Creek Preserve. The first draw is Devil’s Racetrack Downhill Trail, an award-winning mountain bike trail, designed by professionals with versatility in mind. There are eight trails in Baker Creek Preserve, five of which are multi-use that are great for hiking and biking, and the other three are downhill trails for a zippier bike ride.

Fort Dickerson Park

History buffs will appreciate the Civil War history that lies in Fort Dickerson Park, home to one of the most well preserved earthen forts from the Civil War era. While perusing the ruins and the authentic replica cannons, you’ll have great views of a 350-foot deep quarry which also attracts people to the park for rafting and swimming.

Urban Wilderness to Urban Living

Balance out your urban wilderness adventure with a little bit of urban living. At THE TENNESSEAN Hotel, you’ll be smack dab in the middle of downtown and have views of the surrounding wilderness and dramatic mountains. Each room has a luxe interior design with a contemporary flair that will make you feel like a VIP. Check out all their guestrooms here.

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