KNOXVILLE, Tenn — There's a new place to play and ride for people of all abilities in Knoxville.
The Legacy Parks Foundation cut the ribbon Thursday to open the Sharp’s Ridge playspace and adaptive trails. It's the first all-access trail in our region designed specifically to accommodate users with disabilities.
It is located on the 42-acres on the north side of Sharp’s Ridge on land that was donated by the Dick family. Among the amenities are a new playground, bike skills area, and two multi-use trails that connect to the existing city park at the top of the ridge.
The new trails are designed to accommodate adaptive mountain bikes and adaptive wheelchairs. In addition, Legacy Parks purchased two adaptive mountain bikes and two adaptive wheelchairs that can be rented to enjoy the trails.
The Independence Trail begins at the top of the ridge and winds to the base where it intersects with the North Ridge Loop Trail. It is a moderately technical trail for riders with experience who want a challenging ride.
The North Ridge loop will accommodate both the adaptive wheelchairs and adaptive mountain bikes and is designed for new riders or those who want a flatter, easier path.
“Having both the properly-designed trails and the equipment were important to making the woods as accessible to everyone as possible,” explained Carol Evans, Legacy Parks’ executive director. “The mountain bikes are suited for the experienced athlete and the wheelchairs can be self-powered or can be pushed like a traditional wheelchair to take a friend or family member who has limited mobility on a walk in the woods when they might not able to do so.”
The project was funded by grants from the Trinity Health Foundation.
The property on which the trails are located will be donated to the city by Legacy Parks to expand the city park to the north side of the ridge.