7 Outdoor Events to Attend in Knoxville This Summer

Joel Kramer
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We showed you how to while away the summer in Knoxville, but that list would be incomplete without a quest-seeking correlative. I mean, sure, relax a bit. Chill out. Kick your feet up. But not too much! Otherwise you'll miss these great outdoor events happening this summer in The Marble City.

1. Chota Canoe and Kayak School, June 19-21

Learn to paddle this summer at Chota's Canoe and Kayak School.
Learn to paddle this summer at Chota's Canoe and Kayak School. Chota

This summer, take the plunge into wilder waters with Chota's Canoe and Kayak School . Skilled instructors offer an exciting weekend for beginner and intermediate paddlers. You'll start out Friday night with orientation and gear check out at the OAR (Outdoor Adventure Rafting) Campground near the Ocoee River and, from there, set out for a great weekend of learning and fun tailored to your paddling interest and skill level.

When the weekend is over, you'll come away with great friends, great memories, and the basic skills necessary to set out down one of Southern Appalachia's  numerous flatwater and whitewater playgrounds. Check out the Chota website for more info and sign up.

2. Lakeshore Trail Trek Marathon and 10k, June 20

Ultra runner Kathy Smith and the other organizers of the Treadin’ Trodden Trail Series have outdone themselves with this one.

This 5k turned 10k turned full-blown off-road marathon has evolved into a mammoth of a race along the East Lakeshore trail system. Runners will start at the Coytee Trailhead and do an out-and-back along the Lauderdale trail, returning to the starting line sweaty and winded. But the fun's not over—after returning to the Coytee Trailhead, runners will do another out-and-back north to Glendale and the Davis Ferry Branch trail, finally returning to the start after this 26.2 steambath of a race.

A little too much for you? Don't sweat it. An abbreviated 10k version of the race will be available, too. But I was totally kidding about that "don't sweat it" bit. This is still a 10k, this is still June, and this is definitely still East Tennessee. Sweat will be plentiful. But so will smiles!

Check the Knoxville Track Club's trail race page to sign up!

3. Slide the City, June 20


What could be a better cool down from the Lakeshore Marathon (see above) than skimming down the water of a 1,000 foot slip-n-slide in the heart of Knoxville. A 1,000-foot stretch of street next to the Civic Auditorium & Coliseum will be shut down for the sole purpose you embracing your inner child via this momentous summer event. If you can stomach the $40 registration fee and long lines, you'll be set for a memorable day sliding the city.

4. Knoxville Brewfest, June 20


So the 20th is admittedly a very busy Saturday in Knoxville. But we've got the perfect way for you to relax after a fun-filled day. Enter Knoxville Brewfest!

From 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., 80 local, regional, and national breweries  will be offering a myriad of beer samples to ticket holders, with all net proceeds going to benefit Cure Duchenne, an organization working to heal a particularly devastating type of muscular dystrophy.

For details visit [knoxvillebrewfest.com.](knoxvillebrewfest.com/)

5. Stalk Your Quarry Trail Race, July 12

Knoxville's Urban Wilderness is rapidly expanding. New multi-use trails are being added all the time, and, as the recent winners of the Bell Built Grant , this beautiful outdoor resource is set to grow even more. Which is why, even if you’re a frequent Ijams or Forks of the River visitor, you shouldn't pass up any opportunity to rediscover the Urban Wilderness. And the Stalk Your Quarry 10 Mile Trail Race is the perfect excuse to do just that.

The race will start at the Ijams parking lot and wind through the thickly wooded wildlife sanctuary behind the nature center, eventually cutting over to the new trails at Barnett Ridge and Ross Marble Quarry. After that, runners will rise above Mead's Quarry via Tharp Trace and then descend town to the Tower Trail back at Ijams. There's a shorter 1 mile race for kids as well as a 5 miler, but neither explore the heart of the Urban Wilderness quite like the full race does. Check out the full race schedule and registration options here.

6. Secret City Triathlon, July 19

I'd never consider myself a triathlete type. Something about swimming across huge unstable bodies of water with dozens of other people just kind of freaks me out. But the Secret City Triathlon actually seems a little less intimidating. Instead of using a natural body of water, this triathlon begins in a 100-meter pool. The relatively short course includes 5 laps in the pool, a 15 mile bike course along rural roads in Oak Ridge , and finishes with a 5k run course for a total of about 18 miles. Compared to the 140 mile Ironman, the Secret City Triathlon seems pretty doable. Want to give it a try?

7. Questival, August 28-29


If you've been pining for an Amazing Race-style scavenger hunt with just too many llama puns, then you're in luck! Cotopaxi's Questival is coming to Knoxville with a citywide, make-your-adventure challenge race, where teams compete by choosing from a myriad of objectives including outdoor activities and service projects. Most participants will be in it for the memories and opportunity to explore their city, but some will be going for the gold: a chance to compete against the winners of the other participating cities in a championship race held in Central America. Check out the video above or click hereto learn more about the Questival Knoxville.

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