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10Explores: Ijams River Trail

Ijams in Knoxville has more than 12 miles of nature trails open to hikers and runners. An easy trail to start with is the River Trail.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Ijams has more than 12 miles of nature trails open to hikers and runners, paddleboard rentals through River Sports at Meads Quarry, a Primal Playground for kids and more.

An easy trail to start with is the River Trail, which takes you along a boardwalk over the Tennessee River.

If you start from the Meads Quarry parking lot and walk along the paved Will Skelton Greenway until you see the sign for the River Boardwalk, the trip will be around a mile, but you can access it from other Ijams trails.

It is important to keep in mind this trail does not make a full loop as part of it was washed away by floods in February 2019.

Ijams suggests three options for accessing the boardwalk on its website:

  • Tower Trail to River Trail
  • Will Skelton Greenway to River Trail
  • River Landing gravel road to River Trail

You can also access a free dock along the River Trail to launch a kayak or paddleboard into the Tennessee River.

The Ijams grounds are open every day from 8 a.m. until dusk, according to its website. Ijams is part of Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness, which has over 50 miles of trails and greenways.

Some tips before you visit:

  • Wear sunscreen.
  • Pack plenty of water.
  • Keep an eye on the weather.
  • Pick up after yourself (and your pet).
  • Keep your dog on a leash.
  • Be courteous to other park visitors.
  • Leave the plants and wildlife alone.
  • Bikes are only allowed in specific areas.
  • More information on the Ijams website

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