Regional-first adaptive bike trail opens in Knoxville

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The region’s first mountain bike trail designed to accommodate users with disabilities has opened in Knoxville. Legacy Parks Foundation cut the ribbon to open the newest trail at Sharp’s Ridge Veterans Memorial Park on Monday.

Using adapted equipment on suitable trails, Adaptive Mountain Biking (AMTB) gives riders who typically cannot ride a standard mountain bike the ability to bike nature trails.

The 1.1-mile AMTB trail bends around the west side of the ridge to connect the adaptive trails, Independence, and the North Loop Trail – on the north side with the existing 4.7 miles of multi-use trails on the south side.

The Independence Trail is rated AMTB 2 with some obstacles on the path. A support rider is recommended on this trail. The North Ridge Loop Trail is rated AMTB 1 with no obstacles, meaning a support rider is not needed.

This new trail provides direct access from the neighborhoods on the north side to the city park, where there was previously no entry point.

The ribbon-cutting marks the completion of the Sharp’s Ridge Playspace project. The park opened in November 2020 and features also features a playground and bike skills area.

“Increasing access to these trails encourages community members of all ages and abilities to come together to play, socialize, participate in physical activity and connect with nature,” explained Carol Evans, Legacy Parks’ executive director. “The added benefit of this project will be strengthening community relationships by uniting neighborhoods together through this park.”

The property on which the trails and Playspace are located will be donated to the city of Knoxville by Legacy Parks to expand the city park to the north side of the ridge.

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