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Level: Intermediate
Length: 2 mi (3.2 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +912/ -957 ft
Total: 100 riders

Mountain Biking Ijams Nature Centre

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#5 of 199 mountain bike trails in Tennessee
#200 in the world

Ijams Nature Center was an old rock quarry in Knoxvvile converted to a nature conservatory with some pretty awesome hiking and biking tails. Here you'll find singletracks on Hickory and Amber trails. I would rate these as low intermediate trails. They have some technical stuff to play on and decent climbs, but provide great entry level obstacle training for the new rider. There are a few climbs but nothing too hard. The 2.2 miles listed are for the singletracks available, although Ijams offers another mile of wide, gravel road biking and also connects with the city's greenway system.

My recommended route is to take Imerys Trail (well, you have to from the parking lot to get to the Amber and Hickory trailheads) to Hickory. You'll finish Hickory at a "T" where Amber crosses. Take a sharp left and run most of the top side of Amber, which spits you out at the top of Hickory again so you I can run it backwards (its faster in this direction I think).

First added by kyroush on May 22, 2011. Last updated May 10, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
From Downtown Knoxville take the Gay Street bridge south across the river. Stay straight to Seviere Avenue for almost a mile. Turn left onto Island Home Avenue. Take the third right to stay on Island Home Avenue (you'll see pointed pillars on each side of the road, that's the community of Island Home, don't enter there, but this is where you turn). You'll cross train tracks, stay left on Island Home and you'll arrive. Ijams Nature Center main office is the first entrance to your left. The bike trails are a little further up the road on your right just over the train tracks again. The parking lot says "Meade's Quarry" Trials.
System trails (2)
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Ijams Nature Centre Trail map

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Local Info

Trail checkins

SmashiusJones (on Apr 2, 2022)
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Trail conditions

Good (on Jun 23, 2021)
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Camping & Lodging

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Ijams Nature Centre videos

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Mountain Bike Trails Near Knoxville, Tennessee

Beginner | 7 mi
Intermediate | 5 mi
Intermediate | 13 mi
Beginner | 2 mi

Rider questions

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  • Mike Hagen

    pretty fun trail. multi use

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  • J-Dogg   ✓ supporter

    This is a great loop ala Bentonville with the urban connectors to several single track areas. Ability to swerve into some other trails is there. Pretty well marked and more challenging than I expected. Definitely need gps, especially now as there is much trail expansion.

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  • TD101

    A good intermediate trail with a lot of climbing. Portions of the trail are rocky and full of roots, but nothing too technical. This was my first time on the trail, so I carried a small map with me. Most of the trail was well marked, but there were a few places that I had to refer to the map.

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  • Ben Jendrek

    Ijams is a nice park and the city location is fantastic, but it's on the small side. The single track is flows well and is pretty good overall, but the miles come from zig zagging in a small area rather than going anywhere. As a small part of a larger park system, Ijams is great. As a standalone place to ride, though, it is just alright (worth a visit, but not life changing).

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  • broncorider

    Nice 12.5 mile loop. Good medium level terrain. Greenway sections give beginner riders a little break. Overall nice ride and good way to see all the different network of trails available in S. Knox Co.

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  • LStadelmeier   ✓ supporter

    Okay I went back the following day to give the trail a fair chance and review. For an urban environment I thought this was okay. Basically you are riding in the grean space behind neighbor hoods. There are some road sections that go from trail to trail marked by a leaf on the road. Not a bad idea, but you have to pay attention or you will miss some of the transitions. The last 3 miles of the trail are on a jeep road that merges with the greenway paved trail. Future trips to the area will take me to something more advanced like Haw Ridge.

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  • LStadelmeier   ✓ supporter

    The trail head in the single tracks directions is not correct. It takes you to a trail road intersection in a neighborhood that has no parking.

    You need to go to 3412 island home dr. I ran out of daylight by the time I found it and only got to experience 2 miles of the trail.

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  • Bubblehead10MM   ✓ supporter
    Reviewing Flow:

    Cool down hill most of the way from Gravel Rd down to parking. Tough climb if you go W on it.

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  • Tuney Johnson

    Ijams is just part of a complete trail system that was connected by the city. The trails in this system has something for just about everyone. From fast flow with high banks to steep climbs and some nice downhill sections. You can spend all day riding and not be on the same trail. The system is layed out that you can pick your route based on the time or distance you want. Well maintained.

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  • CoKo

    Ijams Nature Center is really not the center of these trails. Just a bit past the nature center is the "Dirty South" and connectors where you can get over 2k of climbing in a 14 mi loop. From easy to highly technical connectors run throughout this area of trails.

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  • Keith Brewer

    Road this for an adventure race and had a blast. A lot of nice climbs and good flows. Really fun downhills. This is the place to go to learn or for advanced riders.

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  • Greg Patterson

    From Meade's Quarry Parking Lot I headed mostly south. I haven't yet identified exactly the trail names but I can tell you this. The "Dirty South" trail system is a perfect afternoon or all day mountain bike destination. The system is easy to navigate, and trails are moderate to advanced IE:lots of fun. Definitely worth a look,

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  • Zeds Dead

    Nice little trail section just south of Downtown Knoxville. Great place to hit at lunch or just after work. Nothing too daunting but some really nice flowing single track. I like to ride Flow and Hickory Loop together which can make up a 4.5 mile ride and be done in or around 40 minutes. Gets me home before dinner and not in trouble with the Miss. :)

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  • minkeyman
    Reviewing Flow:

    Fast and flowy singletrack is what this trail epitomizes. Fun ups and downs along with nicely groomed berms make this trail lots of fun to ride as long as it is dry. Recommended as a good way to get farther into the Dirty South Trail System.

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