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Ijams Nature Center in Knoxville

Enjoy all that nature offers at Ijams Nature Center in Knoxville, Tennessee. This natural area, part of the Knoxville Urban Wilderness, has something everyone can enjoy. 

Ijams quarry in Knoxville

We have traveled to Knoxville several times because some close friends live there—each time, we find ourselves visiting Ijams Nature Center. 

Ijams Nature Center

Ijams is an environmental education center covering over 300 acres in South Knoxville. This nonprofit has many activities for the public, including hiking, biking, paddling, swimming, educational programs, day camps, and special events.

Ijams Visitor Center

Start your visit at the Ijams Visitor Center, which houses a gift shop, exhibit hall, gallery, classrooms, and restrooms. 

Get a trail map, snacks, or a souvenir in the gift shop. 

Ijams Visitor Center in Knox

Ijams is an Outdoor Paradise

The Ijams property has many outdoor opportunities for varying interests and abilities. Possibilities abound, from walking or biking on a paved path to ziplining to climbing up a rock face.

Ijams Nature Center Sign

Navitat Climbing Adventure

Navitat is an areal adventure park located within Ijams. This treetop obstacle course includes climbs, nets, bridges, and ziplines.

Six’ adventure trails’ of varying difficulty branch out from the main treehouse, where you start your adventure. Children 7-9 must do the experience with an adult. Children 10-17 can do the course independently with an adult watching.

Navitat Obstacle course in Knoxville

We had a lot of fun doing this zipline course with the teenagers.

2 people on an ariel obstacle course

Hiking at Ijams

We love to hike at Ijams. The property has over 12 hiking trails, nine designated for hikers and mountain bikers.

The River Trail, accessed from the visitor center, includes a wooden boardwalk built along the cliffs over the Tennessee River. 

Tennessee River Trail in Knoxville

Other noteworthy trails are the challenging Tharp Trace and the moderate Ross Marble Quarry. Ross Marble includes the Keyhole, a fun tunnel made from stacked stone from the old quarry. Access these from the quarry parking lot.

2 girls hiking at Hiking the Keyhole at Knoxville Outdoor Wilderness

Biking at Ijams

Ijams offers two types of biking trails, paved and rugged.

A greenway cuts through the park for paved riding. Ride your bike or rent one at the visitor center.

Mountain biking trails at Ijams are primarily blue (moderate). Bicyclists should yield to hikers, but usually, hikers step off and let the pedalers pass.

The Appalachian Mountain Bike Club and others in the Knoxville Urban Wilderness maintain these trails. If you love mountain biking, check out the entire area.

Educational Opportunities

Ijams hosts day camps during school breaks and over the summer.

person holding a salamander

Visit Ijams at 2915 Island Home Ave in Knoxville.

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