Ijams Nature Center in Knoxville

ijams-nature-center-heysmokiesVisit Ijams Nature Center and find out why people love it so much! Ijams is a wild place filled with rocks, rivers, trees, trails, owls and salamanders. Visitors of all ages and ability can hike, bike, paddle, stroll, learn or simply enjoy the day. Ijams is a sanctuary for all visitors to learn and connect with the natural world and be made better by that connection – a place where living with the earth and caring for the earth become one and the same.

Ijams Nature Center is a member and visitor-supported nonprofit organization. Your generous support is needed to continue the ongoing legacy for generations to come.

Where to find Ijams Nature Centerironweed-butterfly-urban -wilderness-knoxville-heysmokies

2915 Island Home Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37920

Approximately three miles from downtown Knoxville. Please call 865-577-4717 if you need special assistance with directions.

  • From Downtown Knoxville via Gay Street – Take the Gay Street bridge south and turn left onto Sevier Avenue. Follow Sevier Avenue; after passing through two traffic lights turn left onto Island Home Avenue. Follow Island Home Avenue, which turns right by the entrance to Island Home Park. Follow green directional signs to Ijams, approximately 1.5 miles on your left.
  • From I-40 West –  
 Take James White Parkway Exit 388A. 
Continue on in two left lanes down James White Parkway
, cross over the Tennessee River and take the Sevier Ave/Hillwood Dr. exit. 
 Turn left onto Sevier Ave. (turns into Hillwood Drive)
. Turn right onto Island Home Ave. at bottom of hill. 
Ijams is approximately 1 mile on the left.
  • From I-40 East –  Take James White Parkway Exit 388A
. Merge onto James White Parkway, cross over the Tennessee River and take the Sevier Ave/Hillwood Dr. exit. 
Turn left onto Sevier Ave. (turns into Hillwood Drive). Turn right onto Island Home Ave. at bottom of hill.
  Ijams is approximately 1 mile on the left.

Hours

THE GROUNDS AND TRAILS ARE OPEN EVERY DAY FROM 8:00 AM UNTIL DUSK.
The Visitor Center, including exhibits, gift shop, offices and restrooms is open during the following times:
Monday – Saturday: 9 am to 5 pm
Sunday: 11 am to 5 pm
Admission: Free. However, they gladly accept and are grateful for cash donations, especially in U.S. currency. Seriously though, Ijams is a nonprofit organization, supported in part by the City of Knoxville, grants, program fees and the generosity of its members and visitors. If you enjoy your visit please support them.

Ijams is Dog Friendly!

You’ll find a Pet Welcome Station near the Visitor Center with leash holders and a doggy water fountain. For everyone’s enjoyment they ask that pets keep their owners leashed at all times.dog-playing-heysmokies

Please Pick Up After Your Pooch! Poop bag stations can be found near the Visitor Center and pet waste bags are for sale in the gift shop.

Hiking

Ijams is a 300-acre urban greenspace featuring over 12 miles of natural surface trails plus a stretch of the Will Skelton Greenway. All of the trails are hiker friendly, although 9+ miles incorporating Mead’s Quarry and the Ross Marble Natural Area serve both hikers and mountain bikers.

When you visit, pick up a trail map at the Visitor Center (only $1) and experience Ijams’ beautiful landscape featuring trails, woodlands, meadows, ponds, and an extensive boardwalk along the Tennessee River bank.

Ijams is also part of South Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness. This urban greenspace incorporates 1,000-forested acres along downtown’s south waterfront. It creates an exceptional recreation and historic corridor inviting residents and visitors to experience the special character-defining assets of our city. With over 40 miles of multi-use trails, 10 parks, four civil war sites, incredible views, and unparalleled natural features, this unique area provides a premiere outdoor experience. Check out the links below for detailed maps of sections of the Urban Wilderness.

Biking

Explore the expansive multi-use trails at the Ross Marble Natural Area, Mead’s Quarry and Will Skelton Greenway. Ijams has teamed up with the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club to create 9 miles of beginner-intermediate bike trails weaving through rugged terrain, undisturbed woodlands, and along the former quarry gorge. Explore the Ross Marble Quarry loop with unforgettable views from the rock bridge and below through the “keyhole”.

Urban Wilderness

canoe-dog-heysmokies

Experience Mead’s Quarry Lake by canoe or paddle board!

Close to downtown, Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness presents a unique urban experience for hikers, mountain bikers and trail runners! Designed and championed by Legacy Parks Foundation, phase 1 of the Urban Wilderness project is the South Loop, 35 miles of natural surface trails connecting five parks and natural areas along with public and private lands creating an unparalleled outdoor venue! The South Loop connects Ijams, Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area, William Hastie Natural Area and Marie Myers Park with trailheads and parking along the route. The main trail along the 11.5 mile loop features easy to moderate trails for all users. An additional 24 miles of secondary trails accommodates users from beginner to advanced on dozens of trails of varying terrain. Whether on foot or on a bike, plan on experiencing the splendors of the trail today!

For more information visit Ijams Nature Center.

More Hey Smokies Features:

Smoky Mountain Pinball Museum's
Smoky Mountain Pinball Museum's...
  Smoky Mountain Pinball Museum's. Gatlinburg’s Pinball Museum offers a step back in time for gamers. The metallic sound of quarters dropp[Read More >>]
Biltmore Gardens Railway
Biltmore Gardens Railway...
Biltmore Gardens Railway is on display at Biltmore Estate from May 24, 2019 through September 29, 2019. For a limited time, in the Conservatory [Read More >>]
Rhododendron Festivals
Rhododendron Festivals...
Rhododendron Festivals at Roan Mountain and Grandfather Mountain herald the beginning of summer. Roan Mountain and Mother Nature team up to show[Read More >>]
Cades Cove Car Ban
Cades Cove Car Ban...
Cades Cove Car Ban began May 2019. Cades Cove Loop Road will be closed to motor vehicles from sunrise until 10:00 a.m. on both Wednesday and Sat[Read More >>]
Catawba Brewery White Zombie 5K
Catawba Brewery White Zombie 5K...
Catawba Brewery White Zombie 5K. Asheville’s Catawba Brewing Company sponsors White Zombie 5k. The first-ever White Zombie 5k on will be run Sat[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Strawberry Moon
Smoky Mountain Strawberry Moon...
Smoky Mountain Strawberry Moon will be viewable Monday, June 17, 2019. The name Strawberry Moon was universally used by the Algonquin native Ame[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Stargazing Event
Smoky Mountain Stargazing Event...
Smoky Mountain Stargazing Event. Star gazing is always a Smoky Mountains special event. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is hosting a stargaz[Read More >>]
North America's Longest Footbridge
North America's Longest Footbridge...
North America's Longest Footbridge. Gatlinburg Sky Bridge Opens May 17, 2019. When you travel to Gatlinburg you will have no trouble finding the[Read More >>]
Fourth Annual Appalachian Bear Fest
Fourth Annual Appalachian Bear Fest...
Fourth Annual Appalachian Bear Fest is scheduled for Saturday, June 1, 2019 from 11 a.m. til 3 p.m. at the ABR Visitor and Education Center, 121[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Trillium Gap Rehabilitation Closes Trail
Smoky Mountain Trillium Gap Rehabilitation Closes Trail...
Smoky Mountain Trillium Gap Rehabilitation Closes Trail. Beginning May 13, 2019 work begins on improving the much loved Trillium Gap trail. This[Read More >>]
HighlandersUnite Highland Games Gatlinburg
HighlandersUnite Highland Games Gatlinburg...
HighlandersUnite Highland Games Gatlinburg. The Highlander Games of Gatlinburg (HUGG) are always a Smoky Mountain special event! The games retur[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Tamale Recipe
Smoky Mountain Tamale Recipe...
Smoky Mountain Tamale recipe. Homemade tamales are always a Smoky Mountain special event! Did you know that the Smoky Mountains are on the edge [Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Cinco de Mayo Events
Smoky Mountain Cinco de Mayo Events...
Smoky Mountain Cinco de Mayo Events. Cinco de Mayo (which actually means May 5 in Spanish) is always a Smoky Mountain special event and is proba[Read More >>]
Dollywood Welcomes Wildwood Grove Guests
Dollywood Welcomes Wildwood Grove Guests...
Dollywood Welcomes Wildwood Grove Guests beginning May 2019. This is sure to be a great year for America's favorite theme park. The Wildwood Gro[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Ramp Pesto Recipe
Smoky Mountain Ramp Pesto Recipe...
Smoky Mountain Ramp Pesto Recipe. Ramps, allium tricoccum, have been a Smoky Mountain secret delicacy for generations. This delicious bulb and i[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Synchronous Firefly Dates Announced
Smoky Mountain Synchronous Firefly Dates Announced...
Smoky Mountain Synchronous Firefly Dates Announced. Every year in late May or early June, thousands of visitors gather near the popular Elkmont [Read More >>]
14th Annual Master Gardener Flower And Garden Show
14th Annual Master Gardener Flower And Garden Show...
14th Annual Master Gardener Flower And Garden Show is a great Smoky Mountain event! The event is scheduled for Saturday, April 27, 2019 from 9 a[Read More >>]
Dolly Parton Mural
Dolly Parton Mural...
Dolly Parton Mural in Asheville, North Carolina. Sevierville’s own Dolly Parton is larger than life in Asheville this year. Sevierville's favori[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Grist Mills
Smoky Mountain Grist Mills...
Smoky Mountain grist mills. Mountain streams and rivers provided water power for early grist mills. The fast-moving creeks of the Great Smoky Mo[Read More >>]
Fourth Annual Color Me Mutt 5K
Fourth Annual Color Me Mutt 5K...
Fourth Annual Color Me Mutt 5K is scheduled for Saturday, April 27, 2019. Nascar Speed Park in Sevierville, Tennessee will host the event again [Read More >>]