A Legacy Parks Treasure
Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area is part of the Knoxville Urban Wilderness, a recreational, cultural, and historic preservation initiative championed by Legacy Parks Foundation, incorporating 1,000-forested acres along downtown’s south waterfront. It creates an exceptional recreation and historic corridor inviting residents and visitors to experience the special character-defining assets of our city. With over 40 miles of multi-use trails, 10 parks, four civil war sites, incredible views, and unparalleled natural features, this unique area provides a premiere outdoor experience.
The trails located in the Forks of the River have been created over time by wildlife and hunters with those constructed more recently by the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club. There are multiple trails to experience within the WMA, all of varying degrees of difficulty, views and topography. The South Loop main route begins on the paved Will Skelton Greenway, continues along the river’s edge and meanders through forests and fields. The internal trails pass through open fields, hardwood forests, hedgerows - all home to an abundance of wildlife and songbird activity.
Forks of the River trails are part of Knoxville's Urban Wilderness. The South Loop trail is multi-use for the enjoyment of hikers and cyclists at all skill levels. Users will be exhilarated by the views over the river atop high bluffs. Look for trail renovations to be completed by 2014 through a partnership among Legacy Parks Foundation, Appalachian Mountain Bike Club, and TWRA that aims to improve the user experience of this trail system. Kiosks, signs and blazes are being installed to help users navigate the trail system.
The paved Will Skelton Greenway connects Forks of the River to Ijams Nature Center and then on to Island Home Park. Mark your calendar for the July explosion of color when the sunflower fields are in bloom, aiming their bright yellow faces towards the sun.
SOUTH LOOP MOBILE MAP APP
The new mobile app for the South Loop's 42-mile trail system allows you to pinpoint your exact location on the trails, to measure distances by “drawing” a line on the map, to record tracks and report how far you have traveled, and will give you an approximate estimate on the elevation you have gained or lost. Click here for instructions on adding The South Loop 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!
Hunting: Please be aware that the Wildlife Management Area is an active hunting area managed by the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency. Special conditions apply to this property and are listed below. This Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area is managed for hunting and habitat conservation by the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency. The TWRA works collaboratively with Legacy Parks Foundation, Appalachian Mountain Bike Club, and the Parks and Recreation departments of both the City and County of Knoxville to provide for non-motorized, recreational mixed-use within the WMA. Walking, running, and biking on the paved Will Skelton Greenway is permissible year-round. Be aware that hunting is allowed in the fields next to the greenway during legal hunting seasons. Walking, running, and biking is permitted on the unpaved trails with certain restrictions during hunting season. A complete list of regulations and more information about TWRA are available at http://www.tn.gov/twra/wildlife.html.
Hunting Dates for 2014-2015: The interior trails are closed to all non-hunters during the following times:
Sept. 6, 2014 through Feb. 28, 2015: all day on Tuesday and Thursday and before noon on Saturday and Sunday
April 4, 2015h through May 17, 2015: before noon every day
Note that the Will Skelton Greenway and perimeter trails (Augie’s Run, Bluff and southeast Dozer) remain open at all times.