SequoyahThe colder weather is coming, but that’s no reason to stay inside.

If you’re living in Knoxville, Tennessee, you’re lucky enough to have some wonderful scenic places to take your dog walking this winter.  So put on your coat, grab your gloves (hands get cold when you’re holding a leash!), and head out into our Knoxville parks, greenways, and natural areas to have some fun with your dog!  Here are 5 great places to take your dog walking.

1. Sequoyah Park – This park runs along the river, and is easy access from downtown, located in the beautiful neighborhood of Sequoyah Hills.  The park boasts large open fields, multiple access points to the river, and plenty of other pet lovers who will be out with their pups.  This is somewhat of an “unofficial” off-leash dog park.  Although there are not any enclosed areas, many people with well trained dogs will walk with them off leash.  Every once in a while animal control does show up, so be sure you have a leash on you.  If you’d prefer more of a trail walk, you can also access the Sequoyah Greenway from the park which is a 3+ mile nicely graveled trail running through the neighborhood.

2. Tommy Schumpert Park – This park located in Fountain City gives dogs and their owners several options for exercise and fun.  A 3+ mile paved greenway runs throughout the park as a great choice for running or walking with your pet.  There is also a wonderful dog park area that has separate areas for large and small dogs.  There is even an area that has a pond and dock specifically made for dogs!  This park is well used, and you’ll find many dogs to play with in the evenings and on weekends.

3. House Mountain – House Mountain gives you the best opportunity for some real hiking in Knox County.  There are several easy loops in the park, but the most popular trail is the more difficult, steep trail up the mountain. The mountain rises to over 2,000 feet and is the highest point in Knox County. From the top you’ll enjoy some amazing 360 degree views over Knoxville and the surrounding areas.  Be sure to bring plenty of water for your dog (and yourself!) on this hike.Tommy Schumpert Park

4. Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge – Seven Islands is a 300+ acre wildlife sanctuary open to use by the public.  This is an

amazing natural space with miles of trails, open fields, woods, access to the water, and beautiful views of the river.  Many well-trained dogs use this area off-leash due to the sprawling open areas and fewer people.  You’ll likely see plenty of wildlife including birds, deer, rabbits, and other small animals in the area, so be on alert if your dog is a chaser.

5. Ijams Nature Center – Ijams is a great place to take your dog walking on-leash, while still exploring the woods and other wild areas.  You’ll find multiple trails, including some very interesting features such as a loop around the quarry, and a wooden walkway right along the river.  You can also connect to the Forks of the River natural area for a bit more secluded walking with easy access to the river, more miles of trails, and large fields.

I hope these 5 options give you inspiration to get out there and enjoy the outdoors that Knoxville has to offer. Your dog will thank you!

Photo credits: Sequoyah ParkTommy Schumpert Park