Wed. Sep 27th, 2023
girl explore scenic view to Cherokee National Forest, Tennessee

Welcome to Knoxville, TN, a captivating city nestled between the Great Smoky Mountains and the Tennessee River. Whether you’re a long-time local  seeking a unique thrill or are a newcomer looking at homes for sale in Knoxville, TN, this city offers an enticing combination of urban amenities and breathtaking outdoor experiences. 

From stand-up paddleboarding on the tranquil river waters to rock climbing at the breathtaking Obed Wild and Scenic River, this Redfin article covers seven outdoor activities that make Knoxville a playground for outdoor enthusiasts.

girl explore scenic view to Cherokee National Forest, Tennessee

1. Hike the Great Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains are a must-visit for those living in Knoxville. With its majestic peaks, verdant valleys, and misty landscapes, this national park offers an outdoor playground for hikers of all levels. Take on iconic trails like the Appalachian Trail, or embark on hidden gems leading to secluded waterfalls and panoramic viewpoints. Each step unveils a new vista where nature’s wonders unfold before your eyes. From the vibrant colors of wildflowers in spring to the fiery hues of foliage in autumn, the Great Smoky Mountains provide a sensory feast at every turn.

2. River rafting on the Tennessee River

Brace yourself for an exhilarating adventure as you navigate the rapids of the mighty Tennessee River. Whether you’re a seasoned rafter seeking an adrenaline rush or a novice looking for a fun-filled day on the water, the river offers something for everyone. Feel the thrill of the current as you paddle through swirling waves, working in harmony with your team to conquer each twist and turn. Along the way, soak in the scenery surrounding you – the rolling hills, lush forests, and occasional wildlife sightings.

two women holding a yellow kayak in front of a lake

3. Cycle through the Urban Wilderness trail system

Another great outdoor activity in Knoxville, is pedaling your way through Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness, an expansive network of trails that seamlessly blends urban amenities with the serenity of nature. Hop on your bike and embark on an adventure through wooded areas, sparkling creeks, and past historical landmarks. The trail system offers a range of options, from leisurely rides on paved paths to challenging off-road terrains for mountain biking enthusiasts. As you cycle, be prepared to be greeted by the symphony of birdsong, catch a glimpse of wildlife darting through the trees, and marvel at the ever-changing scenery that unfolds before you.

Cyclist rides his bike up a steep hill

4. Stand-up paddleboarding on the Tennessee River

Embrace a unique perspective of Knoxville by  gliding across the tranquil waters of the Tennessee River on a stand-up paddleboard. Picture yourself gracefully balancing on the board, immersed in a zen state as you paddle along the river’s gentle currents. The rhythmic strokes of your paddle create a soothing soundtrack that accompanies you on your aquatic journey. You can take in the sights and sounds of the cityscape, admiring the graceful herons perched along the riverbanks or the occasional fish jumping out of the water.

5. Rock climbing at the Obed Wild and Scenic River

Channel your inner adventurer and conquer the vertical world of rock climbing at the Obed Wild and Scenic River. Nestled within a breathtaking gorge, this climbing mecca beacon with its challenging crags and stunning views. Whether you’re a seasoned climber or a beginner looking to try something new, the Obed offers a diverse range of routes to suit all skill levels. Ascend the rugged cliffs, feeling the adrenaline rush as you overcome obstacles and conquer your fears. As you scale the limestone walls, take a moment to pause and soak in the awe-inspiring panoramas that stretch before you.

person climbing a rocky mountain

6. Kayaking and canoeing on Fort Loudon Lake

Fort Loudon Lake, a sprawling reservoir formed by the Tennessee River, provides the perfect setting for water enthusiasts to paddle through its serene waters. You can drift along the calm waters, surrounded by the tranquil beauty of the lake and the picturesque shoreline.  With its convenient location, breathtaking scenery, and a myriad of waterways to explore, kayaking and canoeing on Fort Loudon Lake promises an unforgettable experience for outdoor enthusiasts of all levels.

7. Disc golf at Victor Ashe Park

Get ready to channel your inner disc golf champion at Victor Ashe Park, a haven for disc golf enthusiasts in Knoxville, TN. This exhilarating sport combines precision, strategy, and a dash of friendly competition, all set against the backdrop of this stunning park. As you enter the course, anticipation and excitement fill the air. The park boasts a well-designed disc golf course with challenging fairways, strategically placed baskets, and varying difficulty levels that will test your skills.

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