A Legacy Parks Treasure
The 100-acre property donated to Legacy Parks Foundation by the Wood family in 2013 is quickly transforming into a destination for outdoor adventures. The property is a major addition to Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness. “We wanted to create a unique and special place with the property,” explained Legacy Parks Executive Director Carol Evans. “The term “preserve” designates an area of importance for wildlife, flora, fauna, or other special interests. This property has a beautiful little creek, giant sycamore trees and other native plants, wildlife, and incredible views – it truly is a preserve in that we hope to enhance and create access to all of the natural assets.” All of the trails, excluding Devil’s Racetrack, were funded by a Recreation Trails Grant from the State of Tennessee to Legacy Parks.
Baker Creek Preserves features five multi-use, two-way trails, and three designated mountain bike downhill trails for more experienced riders, providing 7.1 miles of hiking and biking opportunities for beginners to extreme adventure mountain bikers! Baker Creek Preserve connects into the existing 42 miles of trail in Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness by way of a pedestrian bridge across Redbud Road. Baker Creek Preserve is connect to South Doyle Middle School by way of the Baker Creek Trail and intersecting Cherokee Trail. Both trails connect the school directly into the Urban Wilderness and adjacent neighborhoods.
Devil's Racetrack Downhill Trail is a professional designed and constructed .8 mile extreme downhill trail funded by a $100,000 Bell Helmet grant awarded to the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club (AMBC) through an online national vote. With more than 26,000 votes cast, Knoxville beat out Asheville and San Francisco to get the trail built in South Knoxville on the Baker Creek Preserve. The five multi-use trails and the other two downhill trails were funded by a $200,000 Recreational Trails Program grant from the Tennessee Department of Conservation. Five of the eight trails are for both hiking and biking and include a virtually flat beginner trail. The three dedicated downhill mountain bike trails introduce a different style of trail into the Urban Wilderness trail system.
Note: Riding a mountain bike downhill or on a gravity trail is an extreme sport with riders at high speeds on steep slopes. These trails are one way (downhill) only. Proper experience and gear, including helmets, pads, and mouth guards, are recommended as the potential for crashes and injury is high.
The Adventure Play Area includes natural and interactive features that accommodate kids of all ages. Among these fun features are a giant hanging bamboo chime for kids to run through and make music, log rounds for balancing, a miniature climbing wall, slides, and a climbing play net. Beautiful landscaping and natural seating areas made of logs and stone make a great place for parents to watch kids and for families to enjoy together.
The asphalt mini bicycle pump track was built to introduce children – and their families – to the sport of mountain biking. The addition of a kids loop trail within a few hundreds yards of a world-class double-black diamond downhill trail, and seven additional trails of varying degrees of difficulty in between, makes Baker Creek a unique place to learn outdoor recreation skills from the very beginning. The design of this trail system works to advance mountain bikers through a progression of trails and skills.
URBAN WILDERNESS MOBILE MAP APP
The mobile app for the Urban Wilderness 50-mile trail system allows you to pinpoint your exact location on the trails; measure distances by “drawing” a line on the map; record tracks and report how far you have traveled; and give you an approximate estimate on the elevation you have gained or lost. Click here for instructions on adding The Urban Wilderness trail map onto your mobile device. Once the free app is downloaded, these simple step-by-step instructions will guide you through setup. After the map is downloaded to your mobile device, read the “Getting Started” section to learn about the various features available. This is a great resource for all who set out to explore Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness! Mobile Map App includes the new trails at Baker Creek Preserve!
Trail names at Baker Creek Preserve reflect the terrain and history of the property. Devil’s Racetrack and Floyd Fox pay homage to the days of moonshine in south Knoxville. The Barn Burner Downhill trail terminates at the location of the old barn on the property. Sycamore Loop winds through some of the largest native trees in the area. Cruze Valley Run descends into the valley located in the heart of the property at a wide-open meadow between the two ridges, and Pappy’s Way, the trail up to Pappy’s Point, is in thanks to the property donor.
Sycamore Loop: 1.2 miles, multi-use trail
This relatively flat and wide trail is ideal for a family hike or ride. It meanders through two valleys and is a great introduction to the Urban Wilderness. Keep your eyes pealed to catch the largest trees on the Preserve.
Floyd Fox: 1.0 miles, multi-use trail
This trail is the most gradual climb to gain access to the South loop, or link it up with Red Bud Crest for a cross-country loop. Its curvy bermy flow trail features make it enjoyable for runners, hikers, and bikers alike. The two-way trail has great spectator views of the Barn Burner Trail one of the 3 bicycle-only trails in the Preserve.
Red Bud Crest: 1.6 miles, multi-use trail
This two way trail is the most direct way to gain access to the Urban Wilderness South loop, and it's moderate grades make it fun in both directions. Be considerate of other trail users by being aware and controlling your speed.
Best Medicine: 0.8 miles, multi-use trail
Wider than a goat trail, Best Medicine is the single track that takes you to the top of Pappy's Peak. This trail is carved into the steep north-facing slope and offers great views of the valley at the cost of exposure. Keep it on the trail.
Pappy's Way: 0.6 miles, multi-use trail
This gravel double track is an alternate way to get to the top of Pappy's Peak, and gives you access to fantastic views of Knoxville and parts beyond. On a clear day look north for the windmills on Buffalo Mountain. Pappy's Way is also a great spectator trail for many features on Devils Racetrack — the Double Black Diamond downhill mountain bike trail.
These trails are one-way directional trails — no uphill traffic allowed! Mountain bikes only, no foot traffic or dogs allowed.
Cruze Valley Run: 0.7 miles, downhill, mountain bikes only
This beginner Downhill Mountain Bike Only trail is a great introduction to freeriding, drop your saddle and get ready because Cruze Valley Run is jammed packed with rollers, berms, and a few tabletops scattered throughout. The trail snakes down the hill and leaves you with a smile and the desire to climb right back to the top to do it again.
Barn Burner: 0.6 miles, downhill, mountain bikes only
This intermediate to advanced Downhill Mountain Bike Only trail is your training grounds for Devils Racetrack. Pre-ride before you freeride. This trail builds on the skills acquired on Cruze Valley Run, with enormous berms, step-ups, step-downs, tabletops and lips. Take your time and master this trail before venturing to the top of Pappy's Peak.
Devils Racetrack: 0.6 miles, downhill, mountain bikes only
This double black diamond competition-style Downhill Mountain Bike Only trail was funded by the $100,000 Bell Helmets grant awarded to the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club (AMBC) after a nationwide competition. Built by the popular vote of over 26,000 people and ridden by few, this Downhill Mountain Bike Only trail is not for the faint of heart. Take your time to learn this trail before you shred it. With a near vertical 50' wall ride, tables, gaps, and an optional rock line you'll be challenged. Gear up and #getrad.