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Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness Gateway Park is in progress. This park acts as a key entrance to the network as well as a standalone recreational area as well.

James White Parkway Terminus: Parking and lighting completed. Programming and facilities planned.

Baker Creek Pavilion and Adventure Playground: Baker Creek Pavilion opened in March of 2024.  Planning continues for the adventure playground

Scroll down to learn about the progression of past, current, and future amenities planned at the Urban Wilderness Gateway Park.

Urban Wilderness Gateway Park design
Urban Wilderness Gateway Park

Knoxville's Urban WildernessWes Soward
Urban Wilderness Coordinator

[email protected]

Baker Creek pump track aerial view
Aerial view of the nearly-completed Baker Creek Bike Park

Knoxville's Urban Wilderness is a spectacular outdoor adventure area where you can hike, bike, climb, paddle, or just wander in the woods – all within the heart of the city. Over 60 miles of trails and greenways connect you to a beautiful nature center, pristine lakes, historic sites, dramatic quarries, adventure playgrounds, five city parks, the Tennessee River, and a 600-acre wildlife area. There's an adventure for everyone!  Check out Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness site to plan your adventure. 

Urban Wilderness Gateway Park construction continues. The initial phase of construction, which included a bike park, utilities, a greenway, and additional trail amenities, was completed in 2020. Baker Creek Pavilion was the next phase of construction and opened in March 2024. This new facility offers additional parking, bathrooms, a shade structure, a water-fill station, and plaza space. 

Planning for the final phases of construction for the remaining elements of the Urban Wilderness Gateway Park continue.  This will act as a main entrance into the Urban Wilderness.

Knoxville's Urban Wilderness Urban Wilderness Gateway Project    Knoxville's Urban Wilderness Urban Wilderness Gateway Project


In her April 27, 2018 State of the City Address, Mayor Madeline Rogero proposed a $10 million investment to create a gateway park and entrance to South Knoxville  and the Urban Wilderness at the southern end of the James White Parkway. The City and the community appreciate the support of Governor Bill Haslam and the Tennessee Department of Transportation in deeding this state property to the City for public use.

This new park proposes to include amenities such as a landscaped access point and gathering space at Baker Creek Preserve and at the James White Parkway terminus, parking, pedestrian and bike pathways and trails, a bike park, additional children’s nature play areas, improved connectivity and safety to existing neighborhoods, businesses, and schools.

Community input has helped the planning process and will continue to be valuable as the various phases of the project are completed. 


Knoxville's Urban Wilderness Concept Design ReportThe Framework, Vision and Concept Design Report report establishes guiding principles and a conceptual design framework for the James White Parkway Corridor, making the connection between East Knoxville, Downtown and South Knoxville by parkland and greenways.

View the full report including appendices that include supplemental information regarding other projects in South Knoxville and items that are influencing the park's plans.


James White Parkway Terminus Concept Design Renderings - click images for larger views

Knoxville's Urban Wilderness James White Parkway Terminus Concept Design Renderings    Knoxville's Urban Wilderness James White Parkway Terminus Concept Design Renderings

Baker Creek Preserve Area Pavilion   

Pavilion at Baker Creek   Pavilion at Baker Creek