Uniting Communities to Create the Tennessee RiverLine
Among other things, 2020 highlighted the importance of nature and investing in Tennessee’s natural resources. The state’s parks, rivers, lakes and trails provide recreation and relaxation in the best and worst of times as well as opportunities for regional travel and tourism.
Building on the momentum the outdoor recreation industry is experiencing is the UT-initiated and led Tennessee RiverLine project. The Tennessee RiverLine is a vision to create North America’s next great regional trail system—a continuous 652-mile system of paddling, hiking and biking trails that connect communities along the Tennessee River from Knoxville to Paducah, Kentucky.
River communities that become a part of the Tennessee RiverLine benefit from economic development and entrepreneurship opportunities; quality-of-life amenities that improve public health; increased access to the river for all; and generations of river advocates who are active participants in its stewardship. To date, 15 communities have been accepted to the inaugural cohort of the Tennessee RiverTowns Program as part of the Tennessee RiverLine project. Participating Tennessee communities include: Benton County, Clifton, Hardin County, Knoxville, Loudon County, South Pittsburg, Stewart County and Roane County.
652 miles of paddling, hiking and biking trails connecting communities along the Tennessee River
Communities interested in applying are invited to do so at tnriverline.org. The next enrollment period is in summer 2021.
The project originated in 2016 in the UT Knoxville School of Landscape Architecture and the Herbert College of Agriculture and through the Governor’s Chair for Energy and Urbanism. Today, it is conducted by the Tennessee RiverLine Partnership with ongoing strong financial support from UT and Tennessee Valley Authority.
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