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Sharp's Ridge Loop

Intermediate
 4.0 (1) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Close to downtown, this easy escape features rolling trails through thick forest with occasional city views.


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Map Key

3.3

Miles

5.3

KM

91%

Runnable

1,346' 410 m

High

1,158' 353 m

Low

452' 138 m

Up

504' 154 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

25%

Max Grade (14°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

About 5 miles of trails traverse the side of the Sharp's Ridge, offering many running options of various lengths from different access points. This 3.3 mile loop is an excellent introduction, sampling all three of the multi-use trails in the park.

There's parking along Sharp Ridge Memorial Park Drive at both the east and west ends of the trail network. Pullouts and small parking areas line the single lane, paved road. There are also neighborhood access points—but not parking—at the end of Hanover Street and Dill Street.

Fire Break Trail, the uppermost trail, is 1.2 long and has a series of short, steep hills. Sharp Shin Trail, the middle trail, is 1.6 miles long and has the narrowest, most technical singletrack. Lincoln Trail, the lowest trail, is 1.9 miles long and is wider and gently rolling.

Need to Know

Knight Fall Downhill is a bike only trail—no foot traffic! Because this is a multi-use trail network, be prepared to encounter mountain bikers.

Description

To get to the first picnic area/trailhead, drive to Sharp's Ridge Park, continuing on Sharps Ridge Memorial Park Drive at the intersection of Freemason Street and Ludlow Avenue. Continue along Sharps Ridge Memorial Park Drive for about 0.6 miles, past the radio towers, and the picnic area will be on the right. Park along the road or in a pullout.

Begin running along Fire Break Trail (the uppermost trail). It's pretty mellow, rolling along but mostly contouring along the hillside. There are a number of social trails crisscrossing between, above, and below the established and mapped trails, and even the established trails are poorly signed making this park fairly challenging to navigate. However, because it's a pretty compact and contained trail network, it's pretty low consequence if you find yourself on the wrong trail—up leads back to the road and down takes you to the neighborhoods below. The Trail Run Project mobile app is a great tool if you're looking to stay on course!

If you follow the Fire Break Trail to its end, you'll pop out into the cul de sac at the end of Sharps Ridge Memorial Park Drive. Near the end, you'll also pass the start of Knight Fall Downhill, a mountain biking only trail, which is signed and begins with a wooden feature. Respect the trail signage and please don't run on the mountain biking trail!

Sharp Shin Trail actually splits off of Fire Break Trail a bit below the mountain bike trail and the road. The junction isn't signed, but the Sharp Shin Trail drops down to the left. It's a narrow trail that descends the hillside with a couple of switchbacks. There's a junction with Push Line, the uphill-only trail used by mountain bikers to climb back to the top of Knight Fall. Pass through this intersection to continue on Sharp Shin Trail.

About 0.6 miles along the trail, there's a connector trail linking Sharp Shin Trail and Lincoln Trail. Drop down to the Lincoln Trail, and follow this mellow, mostly flat trail about 1.3 miles back to the road and trailhead.

Contacts

Shared By:

Amber Scott

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#3599

Overall
  4.0 from 1 vote
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#72

in Tennessee

#3,599

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Photos

A dead tree hangs precariously over Sharp Shin.
May 11, 2017 near Knoxville, TN
Fire Break Trail in the evening.
May 3, 2017 near Knoxville, TN
Overlooking Knoxville from the west end of the park.
Mar 27, 2020 near Knoxville, TN

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May 7, 2020
Stacia W
3.5mi — 44h 13m