We’re about to have 365 fresh days to travel, explore, and seek new adventures. The slate is wiped clean starting January 1, 2017, and the possibilities of a whole new year are endless! Which destinations do you have your eye on? If you’re the type who enjoys discovering hidden gems and loves nature, especially urban nature, then we have the perfect destination for you in 2017 – Knoxville, Tennessee.
Knoxville is a truly unique and spectacular city; it even has its own hashtag – #knoxrox. There are a variety of reasons Knoxville should be on your destination list for 2017, but the reason we’re focusing on today is the abundance of urban nature.
Knoxville, Tennessee is virtually exploding with unique, entertaining and scenic natural adventures in the heart of the city, not to mention the abundance of trails, hikes, mountains and national parks just outside the city.
There are numerous ways you can enjoy the stunning outdoor culture of East Tennessee, check them out below:
Not just one bike path or a few jogging trails, oh no, Knoxville boasts 86 miles of paved and natural pathways. Known collectively as The Greenway, the paths winds through the city, the suburbs and the wooded foothills, offering striking views and dazzling glimpses of various landscapes along the way. Go for a run along the Tennessee River waterfront or meander through the World’s Fair Park. With 86 miles at your disposal, you’ll never be short a new route to explore!
The Urban Wilderness
A mere three miles from downtown lies the Urban Wilderness: 1,000 forested acres, 50 miles of multi-use trails, Ijams Nature Center, Mead’s Quarry and Navitat – the tree-based zip line adventure park. The Urban Wilderness is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, with an urban twist. Rent a paddleboard, kayak, canoe, or bike at Ijam’s Nature Center, or explore the trails on foot at your own pace.
Outdoor Knoxville Adventure Center
Situated in the heart of downtown along the Tennessee River, the Outdoor Knoxville Adventure Center is a hub for all things outdoor recreation. There’s something for outdoor enthusiasts of all levels – informational classes, rentals, maps and more. In true Knoxville fashion, the Adventure Center partners with other local businesses to host events for students, pet-owners, beer-lovers and more.
Navitat is Knoxville’s premier tree top adventure and zip lining experience. With over 60 adventure elements, including a zip line, suspension bridges, canopy walks, climbing nets, elevated tunnels, and more, it never gets old. Navitat is an ideal location for family bonding, an adventurous date, team building or a blast with friends. Bring your energy, courage, and fears, and you’ll leave feeling inspired and proud!
Greenway, Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness, and Navitat are a few of Knoxville’s beloved urban outdoor pastimes, but the list doesn’t stop there. Less than an hour and a half away lie the iconic Smoky Mountains which offer beautiful, dynamic scenery with each passing season. House Mountain is the highest peak in Knox County at 2,064 feet, and only eight miles from downtown Knoxville, an excellent day hike.
In Knoxville, nature abounds in both the urban center and the surrounding hillside. Scenic views, new activities, and fond memories are plentiful. Knoxville’s outdoor culture and natural beauty is an integral part of what makes the city so special. When you start planning your visit to experience our wild side, consider setting up your camp at THE TENNESSEAN Hotel. The new Gemstone Collection hotel opens April 2017 and is now accepting reservations. The Tennessean Hotel’s front door is only steps from downtown’s center. Follow THE TENNESSEAN Hotel on Instagram and Facebook, or sign up for email newsletters to stay up to date on their specials and other trending Knoxville information.