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Knoxville Urban Wilderness Trail System - South Loop

 4.3 (32)
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12.5 Miles 20.2 Kilometers



929' 283 m


-939' -286 m



Avg Grade (2°)


Max Grade (14°)

1,148' 350 m


820' 250 m


Shared By Randy Conner



Getting forecast...

The "main loop" for Knoxville's Urban Wilderness, just a couple of miles from downtown Knoxville.

Randy Conner

Dogs Leashed

Features -none-

Parts of the Forks of the River Wildlife Mgmt. is closed periodically in winter for hunting.


This is the shortest version of the Urban Wilderness loop in Knoxville, TN. This loop gives a taste of the over 30 miles of trails in the system. All trails are only 2-4 miles from downtown Knoxville.

The trails offer something for everyone. There are rock gardens, buff singletrack, paved greenways, and gravel doubletrack.

Need to Know

Ride the trails then head downtown for craft brews and great food.
Be mindful of weather. Rain makes sloppy conditions in the clay soil for a couple of days.

For more information and local rides and maps go to


There are several trailheads for this ride. There are many side trails that can be a little confusing, but the signage is pretty good and getting better. There are trail maps posted at all trailheads. Don't be afraid to check out some of the side trails. Most of the side trails are a little to a lot more technical.

This ride starts at Anderson School. From the school, head west on Centeroak Dr. Cross Sevierville Pk (careful), turn right onto Redwood. Take Redwood to the top of the hill. Keep going uphill and singletrack starts at the end of the road. About 50 feet in take the right fork onto Sydney Belle.

Sydney Belle turns left about 200 yards in. Stay left. Continue straight downhill to with Sinkhole. Stay left. Another 100 feet brings you to the doubletrack ofthe old Margaret Road. Turn right on Margaret. Look for Shadow Run at the bottom of the hill going left.Enjoy flowing Shadow Run and it's multiple bridges uphill to intersection with Marge McClean. Right is Rock Ledge, straight is View Park, slight left is an unnamed doubletrack straight up the ridge and finally, a hard left connects to Marg McClean Trail. This is the one you want. You have just completed the William Hastie Natural Area portion of the loop.

At the top of the ridge, the Marg McClean Trail intersects with View Park Drive. Turn right, down the hill. Go about 150 feet and look for the sign and bamboo grove on the left. Enter the Victor Ashe Trail. The 250' elevation lost in next two miles are some of the most fun you'll have riding the loop.

At the bottom cross a long bridge and follow the trail to intersection with Sevierville Pike. Cross carefully. You just completed the Marie Myers section. Locally this trail is often mistakenly called Marie Myers. Head straight on Southside Drive to a left at the sign for Turnbuckle Trail.

You are now entering the Ijams Nature Park (Meades Quarry section). The Turnbuckle Trail has rocks, bridges, switchbacks and short steep climbs, some along small bluffs. Follow Turnbuckle through a short uphill with switchbacks. You'll soon cross a bridge that hugs a cliff. There are flowing sections mixed with more technical sections mostly downhill. Experienced riders will love it, beginners may have to walk some sections. Stay to the right until Turnbuckle makes you enter onto the gravel road, Imerys. In about 100 feet Turnbuckle goes straight and you'll go left staying on the gravel. Follow the gravel all the way to the Meade's Quarry parking lot. You are now leaving the Ijams Section of the loop.

Go straight across Island Home Pike, then take a right onto the Will Skelton Greenway. The next mile or so stays on this paved greenway. Look for the sign for the Urban Wilderness South Loop and Auggie's Run.

You are now entering the Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area. Auggie's Run climbs to Intersection with Bluff Trail. At Bluff Trail follow the South Loop signs closley. There are very steep and technical sections of Bluff that hug the bluff and the South Loop skirts away from the bluff for a more gentle and fun ride. Follow the South Loop Bluff to it's intersection with Dozer. Turn left on Dozer and follow the doubletrack out to Burnett Creek Road. Note that during hunting season that Bluff Trail and the southern part of Dozer are the ONLY legal sections of the Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area.

The next section goes through private property. Easements and agreements cover all these trails. Please be respectful of the land owners and their generosity and stay on marked trails. About 100 yards up Burnett Creek Road turn left onto gravel. After a couple hundred yards on the gravel you'll cross Johnson Creek. In another 30 ft. turn rt. onto Lost Chromesome. Watch for the left onto a short section of doubletrack then a quick rt turns to stay on course. Follow Lost Chromesome back to Anderson School.

History & Background

Knoxville's Urban Wilderness came about by way of partnering of The Appalachian Mountain Bike Club, Legacy Parks Foundation, City of Knoxville, Knox County, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and private landowners. The trails pass by old marble quarrys, failed housing developments from the 1982 World's Fair, a wildlife management area managed for hunting and private properties. The junction of the Holston and French Broad Rivers form the Tennessee River next to the greenway. Much of the land was purchased by the Legacy Parks Foundation explicitly to complete the Urban Wilderness Loop.

Some of the trails were old hiking, motorcycle, hunters or access roads. Most of the trails were built by The Appalachian Mountain Bike Club starting in 2007.


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Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 32 votes


  4.3 from 32 votes
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Intermediate Intermediate

I didn't enjoy these trails at all. Maybe it's changed since the last review, as it was terribly eroded, rocky, and devoid of any actual flow at all. Much of the trail was essentially rock and gravel, and what wasn't was just slick clay. The texture of the trail makes is slow and loose. I can't say I'll be back MILLIONS of mosquitoes and bees swarmed us at all times. Needs some definite work. Sep 17, 2017
Rode this system in June 2018, South Loop was fun but trying to ride some of the other trail was a waste of time.(AC/DC, and Whaley Trail not maintained at all.) Jun 18, 2018
Rachel Elise
Knoxville, TN
Rachel Elise   Knoxville, TN
"South Loop" as the locals call it, is a great intermediate taste of what Knoxville's Urban Wilderness has to offer. Flow, bits of technical routes, elevation, beautiful views, and easy access other trails (IE- Baker Creek downhills) as well as to downtown via bike for post ride libations. Pro Tip--> Wear bright colors during hunting season, and plan your ride to end at Meades Quarry during the summer for a post ride swim. Nov 26, 2018

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