KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Legacy Parks Executive Director Carol Evans is an expert on finding the best hiking spots in Knox County to see the changing leaves in the fall. Here are her top five:
1. House Mountain
House Mountain contains more than five miles of twisting and rocky trails up to Knox County's highest point. Evans said it's her favorite hiking spot on the list because of the views from the overlook.
"I love to get up high, and you overlook the entire valley. That's where you get that variety of color," Evans said.
House Mountain is located at 9601 Hogskin Road.
2. Melton Hill Park
With water access to the Clinch River, Melton Hill Park offers flat walking paths to see the leaves without the strenuous uphill hike of House Mountain.
"It's a great destination if you want a flat area to walk, with about six miles of trails right on the water. So, the combination of a park and water is always beautiful," Evans said.
Melton Hill Park is located at 3230 Williams Bend Rd.
3. William Hastie Natural Area
South Knoxville's William Hastie Natural Area is a 10-minute drive from downtown, making it the perfect lunch break hiking spot. There are more than 6 miles of trails, and they connect to the Urban Wilderness that offers many more.
William Hastie Natural Area is located at 1302 Margaret Road.
4. Concord Park
Concord Park is a hidden gem for hiking with more than 10 miles of trails ranging from easy to difficult levels. On the east side of the park, the trails begin just past the dog park.
Concord Park East is located at 10901 S. Northshore Drive.
5. Seven Islands State Birding Park
Seven Islands State Birding Park has a little bit of everything: views, water access, rolling hills. The 416-acre wildlife refuge borders the French Broad River with trails that run alongside it and high above it for views of the water and the Smokies. There are more than eight miles of natural trails and a mile-long paved greenway.
Seven Islands State Birding Park is located at 2809 Kelly Lane.