Trail Running

Get off the road and onto the trail for some of the best running Knoxville has to offer.

Cross-country trail running people at sunset. Runner couple exercising outside as part of healthy lifestyle.

Amongst a growing number of local breweries, attractions, and dog parks, the scruffy city of Knoxville is also nationally known for its running trails—complete with gorgeous scenery. Trail running allows people to connect and stay fit while taking advantage of the fact that, in addition to such close proximity to our beautiful mountains, Knoxville offers over 80 miles of off-road trails. “A lot of it is about the experience, taking everything in. It’s gorgeous to run through,” says Kristen Stratton, an avid trail runner. “People are realizing that it puts less stress on your joints, and the impact is lighter.” These are just a few of the reasons trail running is overtaking other types in popularity. Of course, the proper footwear is also important to avoid discomfort or risk of injury. David Black, Knoxville Track Club’s Interim Executive Director, recommends visiting a runner’s shop to get the best quality for your money and having shoes professionally fitted. As always, it’s important to stay hydrated, but carrying a bottle isn’t easy. You may prefer a lean backpack that carries water, such as a CamelBak. Black suggests taking advantage of the brisk mornings and early evenings, and of course, it’s a fantastic way to start or end your day. There are several trailheads close to downtown, making the sport very accessible. If you’re new to it, make sure to pick up a map, and start out with a partner. Apps like AllTrails and TrailLink allow you to check out reviews and download trail maps, so you can use them even if you lose service. And it’s nice to have a phone with a good camera, so you can share the beautiful views and awesome wildlife with friends and family. “It’s not difficult; it’s an adjustment,” adds Stratton. With all the trails and sights to experience, trail running is a signature way to get out and enjoy our scruffy city.

Knoxville Track Club
A good resource to plug into for those looking to run around town. They host 12 trail races each year in and around Knoxville.

Moms Run This Town
A community group of women and moms doing light runs around town and popular 5ks.

Runners Market
Wednesday: 5:30 pm. Social Run from Runner’s Market. Distance varies from 4-7 miles

Bearden Beer Market Fun Run
Monday: 6:30 pm.
Group fun run open to all levels of runners. Runners receive $1 off all pints.

Popular Running Trails in Knoxville

Third Creek Greenway
3110 Sutherland Ave

Victor Ashe Park
4901 Bradshaw Rd

Ijams Nature Center
2915 Island Home Ave

Forks of the River
3140 McClure Ln

Haw Ridge Park
TN-170 & Harbour Pointe Ln

Concord Park
10960 Concord Park Dr

I.C. King Park
3440 Alcoa Hwy

Norris Dam State Park
125 Village Green Cir

Melton Hill Park
3230 Williams Bend Rd

Gallaher Bend Greenway
7620 Bull Bluff Rd


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