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Great place. Sure to be more folks chiming in here. Baker Creek Preserve is a good spot to post up a ride. If you're like me and prefer singletrack to flow then ride up and into the Urban Wilderness. I loved Hastie. Baker Creek flow stuff is cool, especially if you like that.

I've heard plenty about other areas around the city, but you can't beat the community vibe of the Urban Wilderness and proximity to the city.

Great club there, probably can find a tour guide if you wanted.
 

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I'm new to the area as well and the Urban Wilderness is a great place to go. I stopped into the iJams nature center and picked up some trail maps. I rode the Baker Creek area, did Barn Burner - so FUN! Also did some singletrack at the quarry area. I wish it wasn't raining so much so I could get out to them, like tomorrow.... You'll enjoy this area, plenty to ride.
 

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The Urban Wilderness is the hot spot these days, and rightfully so. The proximity to Knoxville is superb as are the trails. There is a lot of diversity and personality. It's essentially several different parks/areas linked together through trails and the occasional road or bridge connector. My take on the various areas; Hastie is rockier and more raw, Meads Quarry has some great ridge trails (climbing available too!), Marie Myers is a pumptrack on a hill, Anderson School is great rhythm singletrack, Forks of the river has some nice open fields/meadows along with a greenway and some nice singletrack, and Baker Creek is the crown jewel. While there are suggested routes through some of the areas, and the Urban Wilderness loop which is one big loop through most of the areas and hits a lot of the highlights, Baker Creek is the only one with directional trails. In this case it's a good thing, because the trails are flow, berm, and jump masterpieces. They truly are first class. They progress in difficulty and it's a great place to work on your skills. When you're hitting all of the tables and gaps on Cruze Valley and Barn Burner, you can test your metal on a legit double black diamond trail on Devil's Racetrack. All of it is signed well and you can explore and feel like you're out there, but not get lost. When you're done, go find some food and drinks in town, just a short drive across the river into town.

You should pay attention to the weather, the Urban Wilderness won't ride well in the wet, a lot of it has a clay like soil.

Other areas to check out...Sharps Ridge - sections can ride better in the wet, but still not good in a truly wet period. The progressive downhill on the far end of the park has some big features and is the closest thing to Devil's Racetrack and was also professionally constructed. Big features and you can session the jumps and sections, particularly the bottom section. Not signed all that well, but it's a small area that you'll loop anyhow. Close proximity to town.

Norris Dam area - rides well in the wet. Mix of singletrack and doubletrack and fire-road Not signed as well and covers a bigger area. It can be a little more confusing to ride to find the good stuff. It has the most sustained elevation in the area. It's a little drive north of town.

Loyston Point - Further North than Norris...can't vouch for this one, never ridden personally, but hear good things.

Haw Ridge/Concord/IC King - all good spots to ride, but not really destinations as they are now. Haw Ridge was the hot spot years ago before the Urban Wilderness. It has a fair amount of miles but in a small area and can be a little confusing to navigate. Lot's of roots and rocks, so it's more typical of "East Coast" riding. Good place and the system is substantial enough for the drive over to Oak Ridge. None of these are particularly good at drying out and not good in wet weather.

Hope this helps. Enjoy the riding and all of the fun stuff in town.
 

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The .05 percent
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The Urban Wilderness is the hot spot these days, and rightfully so. The proximity to Knoxville is superb as are the trails. There is a lot of diversity and personality. It's essentially several different parks/areas linked together through trails and the occasional road or bridge connector. My take on the various areas; Hastie is rockier and more raw, Meads Quarry has some great ridge trails (climbing available too!), Marie Myers is a pumptrack on a hill, Anderson School is great rhythm singletrack, Forks of the river has some nice open fields/meadows along with a greenway and some nice singletrack, and Baker Creek is the crown jewel. While there are suggested routes through some of the areas, and the Urban Wilderness loop which is one big loop through most of the areas and hits a lot of the highlights, Baker Creek is the only one with directional trails. In this case it's a good thing, because the trails are flow, berm, and jump masterpieces. They truly are first class. They progress in difficulty and it's a great place to work on your skills. When you're hitting all of the tables and gaps on Cruze Valley and Barn Burner, you can test your metal on a legit double black diamond trail on Devil's Racetrack. All of it is signed well and you can explore and feel like you're out there, but not get lost. When you're done, go find some food and drinks in town, just a short drive across the river into town.

You should pay attention to the weather, the Urban Wilderness won't ride well in the wet, a lot of it has a clay like soil.

Other areas to check out...Sharps Ridge - sections can ride better in the wet, but still not good in a truly wet period. The progressive downhill on the far end of the park has some big features and is the closest thing to Devil's Racetrack and was also professionally constructed. Big features and you can session the jumps and sections, particularly the bottom section. Not signed all that well, but it's a small area that you'll loop anyhow. Close proximity to town.

Norris Dam area - rides well in the wet. Mix of singletrack and doubletrack and fire-road Not signed as well and covers a bigger area. It can be a little more confusing to ride to find the good stuff. It has the most sustained elevation in the area. It's a little drive north of town.

Loyston Point - Further North than Norris...can't vouch for this one, never ridden personally, but hear good things.

Haw Ridge/Concord/IC King - all good spots to ride, but not really destinations as they are now. Haw Ridge was the hot spot years ago before the Urban Wilderness. It has a fair amount of miles but in a small area and can be a little confusing to navigate. Lot's of roots and rocks, so it's more typical of "East Coast" riding. Good place and the system is substantial enough for the drive over to Oak Ridge. None of these are particularly good at drying out and not good in wet weather.

Hope this helps. Enjoy the riding and all of the fun stuff in town.
Lived there for college, was back to watch Vols curb stomp gators last fall. If you forget windrock xc you are doing yourself a disservice. Place is bad ass, little more big boy riding than other places around. Do agree that the south Knoxville riding is an excellent addition tho.
 

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Are there any suggestions on where to tent camp? Thinking about going for a long weekend in May. Looks like there aren't any options close to Knoxville.
 

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You can tent camp out towards WRXC at Frozen Head State Park. Close enough to Haw Ridge, WRXC, and Lone Mtn. Those have way more elevation, gnar, and tech than anything in and around Knoxville.

You can tent camp all over out near Norris and Loyston. So many options. Norris State Park, Loyston has a campground, Big Ridge State Park, Anderson County Park, etc.

Maybe find some mtber in South Knox to crash with. So many local riders live all over that area and ride directly to trails from their homes. Plus there are a ton of breweries popping up all over that area. :D
 

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I will also be in the area for the first time in April. looking to ride the Urban Wilderness area. Does anyone have a tips or recommendations for a 20-25 mile ride. (preferred direction/route/flow , starting/parking location, must do trails etc.) I will be driving over from Pigeon Forge. Thanks in advance - Matt
 

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The Urban Wilderness is the hot spot these days, and rightfully so. The proximity to Knoxville is superb as are the trails. There is a lot of diversity and personality. It's essentially several different parks/areas linked together through trails and the occasional road or bridge connector. My take on the various areas; Hastie is rockier and more raw, Meads Quarry has some great ridge trails (climbing available too!), Marie Myers is a pumptrack on a hill, Anderson School is great rhythm singletrack, Forks of the river has some nice open fields/meadows along with a greenway and some nice singletrack, and Baker Creek is the crown jewel. While there are suggested routes through some of the areas, and the Urban Wilderness loop which is one big loop through most of the areas and hits a lot of the highlights, Baker Creek is the only one with directional trails. In this case it's a good thing, because the trails are flow, berm, and jump masterpieces. They truly are first class. They progress in difficulty and it's a great place to work on your skills. When you're hitting all of the tables and gaps on Cruze Valley and Barn Burner, you can test your metal on a legit double black diamond trail on Devil's Racetrack. All of it is signed well and you can explore and feel like you're out there, but not get lost. When you're done, go find some food and drinks in town, just a short drive across the river into town.

You should pay attention to the weather, the Urban Wilderness won't ride well in the wet, a lot of it has a clay like soil.

Other areas to check out...Sharps Ridge - sections can ride better in the wet, but still not good in a truly wet period. The progressive downhill on the far end of the park has some big features and is the closest thing to Devil's Racetrack and was also professionally constructed. Big features and you can session the jumps and sections, particularly the bottom section. Not signed all that well, but it's a small area that you'll loop anyhow. Close proximity to town.

Norris Dam area - rides well in the wet. Mix of singletrack and doubletrack and fire-road Not signed as well and covers a bigger area. It can be a little more confusing to ride to find the good stuff. It has the most sustained elevation in the area. It's a little drive north of town.

Loyston Point - Further North than Norris...can't vouch for this one, never ridden personally, but hear good things.

Haw Ridge/Concord/IC King - all good spots to ride, but not really destinations as they are now. Haw Ridge was the hot spot years ago before the Urban Wilderness. It has a fair amount of miles but in a small area and can be a little confusing to navigate. Lot's of roots and rocks, so it's more typical of "East Coast" riding. Good place and the system is substantial enough for the drive over to Oak Ridge. None of these are particularly good at drying out and not good in wet weather.

Hope this helps. Enjoy the riding and all of the fun stuff in town.
@MTB7000, I found this to be very helpful, thank you very much. Yeah, I'm not a big fan of riding in the mud due to what it does to the trails so I can understand why Urban Wilderness closes off in wet. Man, you all get some serious rain over here. What is usual dry out period for the trails? Would 3 or 4 days suffice?

Now I've got sharps ridge on my radar next, you peaked my interest so I want to check that out next. Thanks a bunch.

@M320, I'm a bit new to this area and wish I could help you more as I have been exploring the Urban Wilderness myself. I suggest reading what MTB700 posted here if you have not already. I found it very helpful. I do know there is only one place to ride in the Smokies, which is strange, but I think it's like $45 if you have your own bike. Its basically for tourists. Not worth it. You'll love urban wilderness in Knoxville, really great riding.

Also, don't know how long you'll be in Pigeon Forge, but you are not too far from Brevard, NC, the Pisgah area. Some really good riding about 2 hours from your location and really well worth it. If you go there, I recommend Dupont State Forest.
 

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its not like its a real wilderness. there are maps everywhere. Just start riding. If you ride it for at least 2 days you'll hit everything. Only got one day, then just do the South Loop and split off to hit the Baker Creek Preserve.
 

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Will be here March 24-26; planning to ride Urban Wilderness the 24th and 25th, and Windrock bike park on the 26th if anyone is interested in meeting up to ride. Also for those looking for a place to stay, check out Airbnb there a few places for under $30/night in South Knoxville
 

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Good info, thanks for sharing. 10 of us will be doing a day road trip to Bakers Creek from Ellijay in September. Cant wait to ride those flowy clay trails all day and than try out some breweries.At least the ones that actually make normal beer and not the fufu aromatic with a hint of flower crap.
 

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Sorry for the delay. Now that Spring is here and things are starting to grow, it shouldn't take more than a day or two even if there is fairly significant rain. Once growing season is in full swing, it's pretty reasonable.
 

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Had a great time this past weekend in Knoxville. Ended up riding just Friday and Saturday as it was supposed to rain Sunday. We rode the Urban Wilderness and Baker's Creek on Friday, Urban had some fun little techy sections and my brother couldn't get enough of the crazy flow at Baker's. Saturday was at Windrock, holy crap that place was crazy, definitely gnarliest trails I've ever ridden. Loved it though!
 

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Good report, glad to hear you enjoyed it. I'm planning on getting out there in the next couple days depending on weather. I have heard good things about Windrock. When you say gnarliest, in what way? Technical, flow, or jumps? That is a shuttle right?
 

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Good report, glad to hear you enjoyed it. I'm planning on getting out there in the next couple days depending on weather. I have heard good things about Windrock. When you say gnarliest, in what way? Technical, flow, or jumps? That is a shuttle right?
We only rode the shuttled bike park but there are pedal trails out there too, called "XC trails". Gnarly in that the blue trails were still 30% or more grade, super steep. The black trails were even steeper, big rocks, lots of tech. Big jumps on the jump trail "Talladega".
 

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How crowded are the Urban Wilderness trails?
I'll be in Gatlinburg with family for 3 nights(Mon-Wed) in a couple of weeks, and may drive over on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Taking an extra day or two to myself, so could ride there again or somewhere around Chattanooga on the way home. Probably just camp at Cloudland Canyon SP in Trenton, GA that last night and ride 5 Points, though.
 

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Been riding there all last week and as packed as the parking lot was, it's not that bad on the trail. Tues or Wens will definitely be better though and less crowded. You'll have a fun time there for sure, I've been having a blast. Chattanooga has some nice trails as well, the enterprise south is a fun ride and so is the "biology trail" or the white oak mountain, which ever they call it.
 

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Cool. Downloaded the maps, and it doesn't look hard to find your way around with everything divided into sections.
Heading to Knoxville Sunday afternoon, and riding all day Monday if the weather permits(then 5 Points is otw home from Gatlinburg).
I need to stay off anything with mandatory jumps or drops, as my back can't take the impacts. Anything I need to look out for?
Saw a video of Devil's Racetrack, and can just roll everything that was shown. I may risk a little jump or two, but will try to resist that urge:nono:
 

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Is it possible to ride Bakers Creek, Sharps Ridge, and Wind Rock.. in one full day? Also, anyone up for riding with 13 firemen are more than welcome to join our Band Aid of Brothers, and drink some beer in between. We will be heading over to Knox from Elijay, via FL, for 1 day and want to make the most of it. None of us has been to Knox before, but we are really stoked to finally get to ride there. We will be there Sep 12th.
 
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