KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Four new trails are open in Knoxville at the William Hastie Natural Area. The new trails add two more miles to Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness network of hiking and mountain bike trails.
The addition was a collaboration between the city, Appalachian Mountain Bike Club (AMBC), volunteer and professional trail builders, and Harper Auto Square. In less than a year, seven professional builders, more than 150 volunteers, and city crews finished developing the 27-acre tract.
“The addition of these four trails will change the way neighbors and visitors use William Hastie Natural Area, and the improved trailheads give legitimacy to the natural area that AMBC started building over 10 years ago,” AMBC Executive Director Matthew Kellogg said.
More than 300 people contributed to the purchase of the property for the trails, with the City of Knoxville funding $100,000, roughly half the purchase investment. Vee Hollow in Townsend also matched donations for the land purchase, and Harper Auto matched $20,000 in donations to make the construction possible.
The new 0.4-mile Spingarn Trail is a beginner-level trail and has an all-weather multi-use loop accessible from the parking lots. To open up the forest floor for the trail, AMBC volunteers spent weeks pulling invasive plants from the lowlands. Once this was done the City crew surfaced the trail.
The next trail is Mitchie’s Way, a 0.6-mile intermediate-level trail on the north side of the natural area. It was designed to be optimized for hiking.
Two other trails, the Third Circuit and Sugar & Rum trails are rated as “most difficult.” Both trails are 0.4 miles long and were hand-built. Third Circuit is a directional downhill mountain bike trail. Sugar & Rum is perfect for downhill bike traffic according to the city. The future phases of this trial will include steps for uphill hiker and runner traffic.
AMBC worked with C2 Recreation to develop the trail plan. According to their website, C2 has designed trails for over 20 years and worked in the United States, Europe and Asia.