KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A new 20-mile river trail on the French Broad River is coming to Knoxville. The Legacy Parks Foundation announced the new trail along with several other projects during their annual legacy luncheon.
Rock legend Chuck Leavell, who is a respected leader in conservation, helped the foundation celebrate their efforts of conserving natural resources in Tennessee during the event. The Legacy Foundation has helped create public places and connect communities around East Tennessee.
“Once a year, we gather. It’s a fundraiser. We talk about what activities we’ve had over the year and we get to announce a new project,” said Carol Evans, executive director of Legacy Parks Foundation.
The new project announced was a 20-mile river trail on the French Broad River from Seven Islands to Downtown Knoxville. Three accessible docks will be installed along the trail at Seven Islands, Cruze Landing and Asbury Landing. The goal is to create access at five to seven-mile intervals along the river.
“This project is really a partnership of TVA, TWRA, Legacy Park, State Parks, city and county. So there are a lot of people involved in this and it does take a little while. We’re all used to collaborating, so it’s a great announcement. Everybody sort of shares the value of getting people on the river. So it’s a great project,” said Evans.
Also during the luncheon, a 90-acre land donation from the Claussen family was announced. The land will be incorporated into the Seven Islands State Park.
“The Claussen’s extraordinary land donation and unwavering support for Seven Islands State Birding Park have transformed a vision into a reality, creating a place where nature and people thrive. Their generosity is monumental, and we are profoundly grateful for their enduring commitment to the park’s mission and its future,” said Deputy Commissioner Greer Tidwell of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.
Other Legacy Parks projects highlighted included the French Broad Veterans Memorial Park, which is set to finish by spring 2024, and the Angora Frog Farm in Powell, which will offer visually stimulating and imaginative play areas for young children.