The trees are blooming and Spring is in the air, which means its a good time to head back out on Knoxville’s greenways, byways and hiking trails. April 8-26 is prime time to explore the Dogwood Arts Trails and Gardens to take in none other than Knoxville’s nationally recognized Dogwood Trails.
Since 1967 the Dogwood has been the city’s official tree and Jack Neely wrote an interesting article about its emergence into the fabric of our geographic identity in the former Metro Pulse. Seventeen species of Dogwood are native to the United States. Flowering Dogwoods, with their unscented white or pink blossoms blooming now throughout East Tennessee neighborhoods, have been popularized with the annual Dogwood Arts Festival (on Market Square April 17-19, 2015) and other related events throughout the month of April.
For 2015 Dogwood Arts has chosen to highlight the neighborhoods in South Knoxville. In addition to the Chapman Highway Dogwood Trail, South Knoxville has the Island Home Neighborhood, Ijams Nature Center, Fort Dickerson, High Ground Park, the 42 miles of trails in Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness, and Candoro Marble (aka The Marble City). With 30 percent more tree coverage than anywhere else in the city, South Knoxville is one of the few places where visitors can see an abundance of mature native Dogwoods.
The new Tennessee Pink Marble Trail links 10 points of interest in a driving trail highlighting the city’s best examples of the once-booming marble industry that earned Knoxville the nickname of “Marble City.” It features 177 years of art and architecture in 34 miles. It circles a 5-mile radius that connects downtown to South Knoxville attractions, and the goal of the driving Trail is to link bigger and smaller attractions together, celebrating the heritage of the craftsman who created practical pieces, as well as works of art with this special pink stone.
While its perfectly kosher to enjoy the trails with a scenic drive on a lazy Sunday morning, why not consider taking in the sites in a more health-friendly way? Enjoy the season the fit and eco-friendly way by walking, running or biking the trails. (Who knows, as an added bonus you might even find you’ll be beach ready by summer!) Coming up April 25-26 is the Bikes ‘N Blooms — a partnership with Outdoor Knoxfest that invites all you outdoor enthusiasts to get out and play on the city’s urban playgrounds.
Each organized route consists of a seven to nine mile scenic ride led by a member of Tennessee Valley Bikes that allows everyone to experience the natural beauty of East Tennessee while pedaling toward a healthy lifestyle. Riders will enjoy river views, serene forests and historic neighborhoods. Get the full schedule of events and registration information at Outdoor Knoxville.