Outdoor Recreation

The East Tennessee region is internationally renowned for some of the most spectacular and accessible natural beauty anywhere.  Nature-lovers can choose from numerous parks and recreational spaces including vast forests, abundant fresh-water fishing streams, and lakes. 

Hikers, campers, skiers, rock climbers, kayakers, boaters, hunters, fishermen, golfers and other outdoor sportsmen find East Tennessee to be the ideal outdoor sports location.

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited national park in the country, with over 500,000 acres of rugged mountains, waterfalls, lush valleys, and breath-taking vistas, just minutes from downtown Knoxville.
  • Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, 90 miles of scenic gorges and valleys
  • Obed Wild and Scenic River is part of the National Park System
  • Two national forests, nine state parks, numerous hiking trails, and three whitewater rafting rivers
  • Seven Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) managed lakes covering 266 square miles and nearly 3,500 miles of shoreline
  • Outdoor Knoxville Adventure Center  Adventurers of all levels can rent paddle boards, bikes, and kayaks 
  • Legacy Parks Foundation is a non-profit organization which works to assure that the community enjoys exceptional recreational opportunities, natural beauty and open spaces
  • Knoxville Urban Wilderness, 1,000-acre outdoor adventure area will connect ten parks, over 50 miles of recreational trails, three civil war forts, historic settlement sites, and diverse ecological features and recreational amenities.
  • Ijams Nature Center, a 315-acre wildlife sanctuary where people can hike, bike, paddle, climb, learn, explore, or simply enjoy outdoors
  • Over 100 miles of greenway trails in the Knoxville area
  • Numerous golf courses throughout the region