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Ijams Nature Center

Nature or Wildlife Center
Red-Tailed Hawk presentation. – Vickie Henderson

Located only two miles from Downtown,Knoxville, Ijams is a 300-acre urban greenspace and encourages stewardship of the natural world by providing engaging outdoor experiences.

Things to Do and See:

Trails: Ijams has approximately 12 miles of stunning natural surface trails and a section of paved trails including the Will Skelton Greenway. All trails (except Tharp Trace) at the Ijams Quarries are multi-use for hikers and mountain bikers. Numerous overlooks and interpretation enhance the visitor experience.

Quarries at Ijams: Two former quarries that once provided Tennessee Pink Marble to numerous local and national monuments and buildings have been transformed into a rugged post-industrial natural area. Key spots include a 25-acre lake, overlooks, boulder fields and an amazing man-made stone structure known as the Keyhole.

A short hop from the Keyhole is a short yet truly memorable trail along the quarry gorge’s moss-covered boulders to a stunning view of sheer rock walls towering hundreds of feet above. An essential spot that evokes the vastness of the Big South Fork, yet is so close to downtownKnoxvilleit defies the senses.

Ijams Family Home Site: For so long the Ijams family homestead, the 20-acre Home Site is the birthplace of the nature center; and although the old house is long gone in many ways it is still the same. Wander the myriad trails around terraced gardens, ponds, rock pools and take a stroll to the overlook on the Tennessee River and imagine where shirt-and-tied ornithologists documented countless bird species in days gone by.

Jo’s Grove: A nature playscape designed just for children to imagine, explore, and find whimsy and merriment; a special place for children to touch the earth, and in turn be transformed by it. The annual fairy house and gnome home competition is held here.

Tennessee River Boardwalk: Located barely a mile downstream from the birth of the Tennessee River the extensive boardwalk has long been a visitor favorite. Look for elegant Great Blue Herons and other shoreline birds from this beautiful vantage point.

Lost Species Exhibit: Ultra-rare ivory-billed woodpeckers specimens highlight this nationally unique, interactive, natural history exhibit in the Visitor Center on the enigmatic ghost bird and the extinct passenger pigeon. Turn the crank and see Sonny Boy emerge from his the nest, be spellbound by vintage footage of ivory-bills in their native habitat and learn how flocks of wild pigeons gave their name to Pigeon Forge.

Programming: Ijams’ dazzling array of outdoor programs provides you with almost endless opportunities to get outdoors and experience the heart ofKnoxville’s urban wilderness. Ijams’ programs cater for all ages. From adult programs featuring classic combinations like wine tasting on the trails to family bug nights and day camps for your children, Ijams has it all.

Hours: The grounds and trails are open every day from 8:00am until dusk.

The Visitor Center, including exhibits, gift shop, offices and restrooms is open during the following times:Monday -Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Learn More: Visit or call 865-577-4717

Eco-Friendly Notes

Please recycle where possible and dispose of trash safely in receptacles.

Drive an electric vehicle? Recharge at our EV Chargers by the Visitor Center.

How to Get There

Ijams Nature Center is located at 2915 Island Home Avenue, Knoxville, Tennessee, 37920, approximately two miles from downtown Knoxville.

From I-40, take James White Pkwy Exit 388A, merge onto James White Pkwy.Cross over the TN River and take theSevier Ave./Hillwood Dr. exit. Turn Left onto Sevier Ave. (turns into Hillwood Dr.) Turn Right onto Island Home Ave at bottom of hill, bear left and Ijams is approximately 1 mile on your left.

Or 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 mile on your left.

Pet Friendly Notes

Ijams is Dog Friendly! By all means bring your favorite pooch. For everyone’s enjoyment, we just ask that all pets keep their owners leashed at all times.



Seasons Open

All year.



Free but donations welcome!

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