|August 27, 2013 - Knoxville's Urban Wilderness expanded by 100 acres today with the generous donation of future trail and parkland by the Wood family announced the Legacy Parks Foundation.
During today's announcement at the property, Carol Evans, executive director of the Legacy Parks Foundation, explained the property - located on Taylor Road off Sevierville Pike in South Knoxville - will provide a key connection between the existing parks and trails with the Urban Wilderness' South Loop Trail System and South Doyle Middle School and its Outdoor Classroom. It will also connect additional neighborhoods into the system and provide a 1.5-mile introductory mountain bike trail designed for riders of all ages.
"The location of this property and the topography it offers makes it an incredible gift to Legacy Parks and the region," said Evans. "We can offer parking and beginner trails on the flat portion across from South Doyle Middle School as well as amazing views and beautiful trails on the two ridges."
The property has belonged to the Wood family for many years, and was originally purchased by Pat Wood, a respected Knoxville real estate developer and civic leader.
"The decision to donate the property for trails and a park was a meaningful one for the family," said Kim Wood McClamroch, representing the Wood family.
The plans for the property call for a variety of trails and features to accommodate a variety of users. It will include a one-mile beginner bike trail, 3.5 miles of mixed-use trails, with two overlooks, a skills/play area and three creek-crossing structures.
"This generous donation by the Wood family boosts Knoxville's growing status as an outdoor recreation destination," Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero said. "The trails and skills/play area will attract young families and experienced outdoor enthusiasts alike. The property is a real asset to the Urban Wilderness and to our community."
According to Evans, Knoxville's Urban Wilderness is 1,000-forested acres along Knoxville's downtown waterfront that includes ten parks, more than forty miles of recreational trails, four civil war sites, incredible views and unparalleled natural features.
"Legacy Parks Foundation is championing this unique asset as a premier outdoor experience for visitors and residents alike by creating trails, connecting and expanding parks, creating an easily-navigated system of signs and kiosks, programming events and promoting opportunities for everyone to get out and play," said Evans.
Evans explains the South Loop Trail System on the east end of the Urban Wilderness opened last August with 42 miles of multi-use trail and a continuous 12-mile loop through public and private land. The Battlefield Loop on the west end of the Urban Wilderness will connect three civil war forts and a battle site into an historic loop that will ultimately be connected to the South Loop and other parks through trails, greenways and sidewalks.