Legacy Parks Announces Full Accessible Water Trail

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
[email protected]
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Legacy Parks Announces Full Accessible Water Trail

Posted: 09/28/2023
New access to our waterways and new partnerships were announced today to a sold-out crowd of more than 1,100 guests at Legacy Parks Foundation’s annual Legacy Luncheon for the Parks.
Carol Evans, executive director of Legacy Parks Foundation kicked off the announcements with a big advancement for recreation on the French Broad River. Last year, Evans announced the goal to create access for all to outdoor recreation so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of playing in our beautiful woods and waterways with an announcement of an adaptive dock to be installed at Cruze Landing. “Through an invaluable partnership with Knox County, the City of Knoxville, TWRA and TVA our vision for this project has expanded significantly over the last year and we are excited to announce a 20-mile world-class, fully accessible water trail on the French Broad River from Seven Islands to Downtown Knoxville,” said Evans. 
In addition to the accessible dock at Cruze Landing, two more accessible docks have been fully funded and will be installed at Seven Islands and Asbury Landing to create ideal access at 5-to-7-mile intervals along the river providing a truly adaptive and complete paddling experience for all. “This accessible water trail will be the first of its kind in the state and what we hope will be the first of many,” said Evans.
The Luncheon Parks is the Foundation’s annual fundraising event that celebrates the accomplishments of the organization over the past year. 
To date, Legacy Parks has raised more than $11 million for parks and trails, added over 600 acres of parkland in Knox County, and created over 60 miles of trails within Knoxville’s city limits. 
A special announcement for Seven Islands, the site of the luncheon, was also made during the luncheon: a generous land donation of 90 acres from the Claussen family that will be incorporated into the state park. Deputy Commissioner Greer Tidwell of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation expressed deep gratitude for the Claussen family's generosity. "The Claussen’s extraordinary land donation and unwavering support for Seven Islands State Birding Park have transformed a vision into a reality, creating a place where nature and people thrive. Their generosity is monumental, and we are profoundly grateful for their enduring commitment to the park's mission and its future," said Tidwell.
Other project highlights included fundraising efforts to create the Angora Frog Farm in Powell, the SoKno Art Trail in south Knoxville, the Play Every Day campaign; and the opening of the Foundation’s Intergenerational Playspace next month.
In celebration of Legacy Parks’ work, keynote speaker, Chuck Leavell, shared his inspiring life story of balancing the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, family and his love of forests.  To close out the luncheon, Leavell charmed the hundreds of business and community leaders in attendance with his incredible piano mastery on stage.
Learn more about Legacy Parks at LegacyParks.org