You can go paddling right in the heart of Knoxville. Just grab your stand up paddleboard, kayak, or canoe and throw your boat in the Tennessee River at River Side Landing Park. Paddle upstream for an hour around Island Home airport. Turn around and head back for the city. You'll be floating with the current at this point; it'll take about 45 minutes and you'll have brilliant views of the Knoxville skyline as the sun sets and casts long shadows over the water.
The Ijams Nature Centeris a must-experience destination in Knoxville. Within its 300-acres, you'll find 10-miles of trails, scenic trails, creeks, streams, mossy boulders, and historic sites.
The Holston River Park has it all when it comes to a family-friendly, activity-packed park close to downtown Knoxville. Flatwater kayakers or canoeists and paddleboarders can go either upstream or downstream from the park; in both directions there are plenty of small inlets worth exploring. If heading downstream, paddlers will merge with the Tennessee River and bend towards downtown for a great riverfront tour.