Alright, all you would-be pavement pounders. Winter has been long and depressing, your skin is sallow from lack of sun exposure, and you’ve been running on a gym treadmill for so long that you’ve not only picked a favorite (back row, second from the end), but you’ve also named it (Janice).
Okay, maybe I’m projecting a little bit, but I can’t be the only one who’s ready to get outside and run on something other than a hamster wheel. And groups like the Knoxville Track Club and the Rocky Top Multisport Club have enough fun runs, races, and training sessions scheduled throughout the upcoming season to get your heart pumping and your calves burning. The miles and miles of greenways in Knoxville offer beautiful options for those who want natural views, and we’ve got some great recurring social runs for you gregarious joggers.
Then let’s get going on this guide to some of the best road runs in Knoxville.
Bearden Beer Market Fun Run 5k
If you’re a West Knoxvillian looking to for a social and incentivized weekly run, the Bearden Beer Market has you covered. The “Flying Pints” runners meet on Mondays and Thursdays at 6:30pm at the Beer Market and usually number between 50-100. You can bring a group of friends of fly solo for this run/jog/walk alongside active beer lovers of all fitness levels. Whether you are a dedicated racer or just breaking into your first 5K, the BBM run is a great way to exercise in good company.
The pros at BBM have mapped out several courses through the roads and greenways of Bearden and like to switch up the route each week, so there’s no reason not to go every single time and enjoy a different experience.
After the finish, all pints are $1 for runners, so most everyone hangs out for a while in the outdoor beer garden to socialize and enjoy the atmosphere. The run happens year-round. To relax with a few post-workout brews, fans are blowing in the summer, and a fire is cranked up in the winter.
Central Flats and Taps Beer Run
If you prefer Historic Happy Holler , Central Flats & Taps and Saw Works Brewing Company host a run every Thursday at 6:00 pm . Starting at Central Flats, run half of a 5K to Saw Works, pause for a drink, run the other half (via a different route), and end up back at Central for—you guessed it—more drinks!
The best part: Your first beer at Saw Works and your first beer back at Central are both FREE for doing the run, and 12 oz Saw Works beers are $2.50 after that. Also, after participating in 10 runs and signing in each time, the fellas at Saw Works will grant you a free logo t-shirt.
Will Skelton Greenway
When you’re ready for an introspective solo run, the Will Skelton Greenway can hardly be beat. The greenway winds through Ijams Nature Center , past Mead's Quarry , and ends after 3.5 miles at the TWRA Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area —a 300-acre piece of land filled with unpaved mountain biking and running trails. With beautiful panoramic views of the surrounding farmlands, the Will Skelton Greenway provides an incredibly relaxing experience to many Knoxville natives every day. There’s even a rope swing hanging over the water along the Will Skelton, in case you want a post-workout dip during the summer.
The greenway in downtown Knoxville is a perfect destination for anyone visiting the city, attending the University of Tennessee, or working downtown. There are multiple places where you can start and finish your run, so you really do have a lot of control on where exactly you want to go. The path stretches all the way from Riverside Park to the Sequoyah Hills Neighborhood , which has a primo singletrack running through it. On the greenway, coming from Riverside Park, you can connect to World's Fair Park, via the Second Creek Greenway. Or you can continue up Neyland Drive and enjoy views of the Tennessee River and the Neyland Stadium. Runners and cyclists can continue into Tyson Park to connect to the Third Creek Greenway, which allows you to go all the way into Bearden.
Whether it's a workout before a day in the office, after a long day of classes, or a first time visit to the area, this Knoxville Greenway is an ideal spot for anyone wanting to see and experience the beauty and awe of this city.
Click here for a full map of Knoxville's Greenways.