Legacy Park's Treasure — Ross Marble Quarry was the first land donation to Legacy Parks Foundation. The 104 acres of abandoned quarry is now a beautiful addition to Ijams Nature Center, boasting miles of natural walking and biking trails and an abundance of wildlife. Teamed up with Ijams, AMBC, TWRA along with the City and County of Knoxville, we are developing the 1,000-acre Urban Wilderness Corridor, that when completed, will connect ten parks, feature thirty miles of recreational trails, three civil war forts, historic settlement sites, and diverse ecological features and recreational amenities. We invite you to become a Friend of Legacy Parks where your donations help us build trails and expand this unique urban playground!
Our very own wildlife sanctuary — and only minutes from downtown! The beautiful rolling woodlands of Ijams Nature Center feature an array of exhibits, a museum store, over 10 miles of trails to hike, run and mountain bike, a quarry to fish, and during summer months, canoes and kayaks to rent for paddling. At the raptor exhibit, a red-tailed hawk and a turkey vulture sit on their perches, but on the trails you might catch the hoot of an owl or hear a medley of tunes from the assortment of birds that call Ijams their home. Keep posted of all the events on the Ijams' calendar. It brims with environmental teaching programs, classes, hikes and camps for adults and children — we'll keep you posted on what's happening in the woods and on the water!
Bicycling: Whatever your preference, there are great places to road, greenway or mountain bike around the Ijams area. If you prefer road cycling, Ijams is a start location to many scenic backroads around South Knoxville. For the greenway rider, the scenic Will Skelton Greenway bisects Ijams on its run from Island Home Park to Forks of the River. Centered in the Urban Wilderness Corridor, the mountain bike trail system at Ijams links the Ross Marble Quarry Trails to the trails at William Hastie Natural Area. If you want to rent a bike, Ijams is partnered with River Sports Outfitters offering bike rentals for use on the trails and greenway.
Paddling: The sparkling blue quarry waters surrounded by tall rock cliffs makes a beautiful setting for a paddle. River Sports Outfitters has partnered with Ijams to provide both canoe and SUP (stand-up paddleboard) rentals for use on Mead's Quarry.
Trails: Wander along the quiet nature trails of the Wildlife Sanctuary Trail System that wind their way over to the Tennessee River boardwalk. Or explore the more rugged terrain of the Quarry and Natural Area Trail System — perfect for cross-country hiking, running and mountain biking. Stop and fish along the shoreline of the Mead's Quarry lake. Add more adventure to your trip to Ijam's by starting at Island Home Park, and taking the paved Will Skelton Greenway. The route hugs the shores of the Tennessee River before ingressing the peaceful woods of the nature center. The greenway continues through the center then follows the river over to the Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area.