K-Town South: Enjoy the Sunflowers on a Greenway Jaunt

What: Sunflower Fields on Will Skelton Greenway

When: Through about July 21stFINALKTownlogo_150

Where: The 3.2 miles of paved Will Skelton Greenway, which can be entered at Island Home Park (225 Estelle Circle); Ijams Nature Center (2915 Island Home Ave.) or Forks of the River (3003 and 3140 McClure Ln.)

A not-so-long and winding road, the Will Skelton Greenway hugs the banks of the Tennessee River, snakes through the woods, and pops bike riders and walkers out right on the doorstep of Ijams Nature Center. Of particular interest in these first few weeks of June: sunflowers! A bright, smiling field of them at the Forks of the River—be sure to bring a camera!

Tip: On Saturday, July 12, at 8 a.m., hikers ages 10 and up will depart from Ijams under the leadership of naturalist Stephen Lyn Bales to explore the part of the Knoxville Urban Wilderness South Loop that contains those self-same sunflower fields. The hike will cover 3-4 miles and take about two hours; free to Ijams members, $5 for non-members. Call 865-577-4717, ext. 110 for registration and information. 


Plus: Race Around the Quarry

What: Stalk Your Quarry Trail Race

When: Sunday July 13, 9 a.m.

Where: Leaving from the parking lot at Ijams Nature Center

Cost: $10 for pre-registration and online registration; $5 students 14 and younger; $15 at the race

As part of its Treadin’ Trodden Trails series, the Knoxville Track Club has created 5- and 10-mile courses that include a nice bit of the brand new Barnett Ridge and Ross Marble trails in the Ross Marble Quarry area, and a swing through Tharp’s Trace. Course designers are known for always adding some fun riffs to the run, and organizers note that course changes are just something to look forward to. Another neat new thing: a kids’ trail run that starts at 8:30 a.m.—a miniature version of the adult runners’ course.

Tip: Points will be awarded for overall finish (and volunteerism) at each of the TTT Series races. Top point earners at the end of the series (10 each male and female, and under 40/over 40) will receive TTT Series awards. Overall top male and female and top male and female masters qualify for free entry to the entire 2015 Treadin’ Trodden Trails racing season. For more information and to register: ktc.org or e-mail race director Scott Gibson at gibsonjs@att.net