If you're anywhere near downtown Knoxville on the weekend of April 24th, it's going to be hard for you to avoid this delightfully ubiquitous outdoor festival. Clinics, hikes, paddling trips, and a whole variety of adventures will be going on all around Knoxville. So the question isn't so much whether you'll experience it, but whether you'll experience it right. So we're here to help. Here's a quick list of the best of the best Outdoor KnoxFest has to offer.
1. Scavenge on your bike
Get ready for the best scavenger hunt on two wheels! (And honestly the only scavenger hunt on two wheels we've heard of until now.) Following the Tennessee Bike Summit , an open-to-the-public, night-time, bike scavenger hunt will kick off the festival with with registration at The Public House courtyard, 212 W. Magnolia Avenue. Scavengers will be biking around the city through the twilight hours, trying to check off all the destinations on their list.
2. Hike Through History
A weekend celebrating Knoxville's outdoor resources wouldn't be complete without a little historical context. And as one of the most deeply divided cities during the Civil War, Knoxville has some pretty incredible wartime history related to both Confederate and Union troops. You can follow the McClung Museum's Civil War Curator, Joan Markel, on a history hike through Fort Dickerson Park and the Battlefield Loop of the Urban Wilderness to experience the city's bloody wartime landmarks.
3. Paw around the Urban Wilderness
New this year is a "Hike with Your Hound" event sponsored by PetSafe. Knoxville is becoming an increasingly pet-friendly city, with furry friends welcomed on many downtown restaurant patios, throughout most parks in the Urban Wilderness, and, of course, in the very dog-friendly Mast General Store. This is just another great opportunity to take your four-pawed pal out for a memorable day in Knoxville.
4. Try something new
Whether you're a total outdoor newbie or a skilled thrill-seeker looking to branch out, Outdoor KnoxFest has great beginner-level clinics for a range of outdoor activities including fly-fishing and mountain biking. Trained instructors and volunteers will help you get the basics down in a friendly environment.
5. Challenge Yourself
More interested in testing your well-honed skill amongst athletic peers of equal caliber? Most of Outdoor KnoxFest's activities are now set up with three different experience levels, so you can find the perfect niche.
6. Open up
Running on the tail end of the much lauded Rhythm and Blooms festival, it seems like Outdoor KnoxFest catches the spring season at perfect pitch. Many activities during Outdoor KnoxFest such as the Wildflower Hike and the Bikes and Blooms scenic bike ride are planned specifically to highlight our the radiant natural display of teeming spring life around the city. Windows, flowers, and eggs are are opening up all around the city, so why not spread your arms wide to welcome them?
7. Win a sweet prize
Specifically a sweet, Sweetwater paddleboard for one lucky participant in the Sweetwater cleanup. An Army of volunteers in canoes will be on the river to help beautify Knoxville's downtown waterfront, and all volunteers will be eligible to win the cool new paddleboard donated by Sweetwater Brewing Company .
8. Do it all for free
Aside from a few competitive events, all the equipment trials, clinics, and guided tours are free! This is made possible by sponsors Humans and Legacy Parks , a host of wonderful volunteers, and through partnerships with Knoxville's amazing outdoor clubs , non-profits, and businesses, the Knoxville Track Club, Blue Ridge Mountain Sports, CHOTA, and Ijams Nature Center, just to name a few.
Alright. Helmets on, folks. Outdoor KnoxFest is coming up quick! Find more information and a full list of activities at Outdoor Knoxville's website.