Trail: Calloway Ridge Trail
Length: 1.4 miles
Difficulty: 2/10 (Easy)
Last Hiked: November 2017
Overview: A short lollipop loop around a ridge overlooking
Trail Information: http://www.outdoorknoxville.com/places/trails/west/concord-park-trails
Google Map: http://www.mappedometer.com/?maproute=657808
Directions to the trailhead: On the west side of
take I-40/75 to I-140 (exit 376). Enter
eastbound on I-140. Drive I-140 east to Westland
Drive (exit 3). Exit and turn right on Westland Dr. Take Westland Dr. west
1.5 miles to SR 332 and turn right on SR 332.
In another 1.4 miles, where SR 332 turns right at a traffic circle,
continue straight on Northshore Drive. In another 0.6 miles, park in a
gravel/asphalt pull-off on the right just before you reach a bridge over an
inlet of Fort Loudoun Lake.
The hike: Owned and operated by
County comprises 900 acres along the
north shore of the Concord
Park Tennessee River’s . The park is a major outdoor recreation
destination on the west side of Fort
Loudoun Lake Knoxville,
and its list of amenities rivals that of any county park anywhere. More specifically, offers a boat ramp and marina,
a par-3 golf course, baseball, softball, and soccer fields, a dog park, and a
skate park. Concord
In terms of trails, the park features a 1 mile linear paved walking trail and 13.7 miles of natural surface trails open to hikers and mountain bikers. While many of the trails were built to suit mountain bikers and therefore are too winding to make for good hiking, the Calloway Ridge Trail described here forms a nice single loop with almost no winding whatsoever. Also, this trail is separate from the main mountain bike trail system, so bikers are not as prevalent here. I hiked this loop on a chilly Saturday morning in early November and had the trail all to myself.
|Trailhead along Northshore Drive|
From the gravel pull-off, cross
using the marked crosswalk to reach the trailhead, which consists of a sign
that bears a trail map. The paved
walking trail continues west from here to cross a bridge that leads to the
westernmost part of the park, but you need to turn sharply left to begin the
dirt and rock Calloway Ridge Trail. The
trail climbs gradually with what appears to be an old quarry downhill to your right. This hike passes several areas that appear to
be old industrial sites, but I was not able to find any sources to confirm the
history my eyes suggested.
Ignore a trail exiting right that is marked with a black diamond sign that says “very difficult.” While the trails at
are not blazed, signs such as
this one appear at trail intersections.
Black diamonds mark difficult trails, blue squares moderate trails, and
beige circles the Calloway Ridge Trail and other easy trails. At only 0.1 miles, you reach the fork that
forms the loop portion of this hike; beige circles go both directions
here. To hike the more scenic southern
arm of the loop first, I chose to turn right here and use the trail going left
as the return route, thus hiking the loop counterclockwise. Concord
|Hiking above Loudoun Lake|
The trail assumes an eastward course just below the crest of Calloway Ridge to your left.
appears nearly 100 feet below you to the right, but no unobstructed views of
the lake emerge due to the dense vegetation.
The largest trees in this forest are tulip poplars and oaks, and the
understory features large amounts of honeysuckle. Ignore the signed Claim Letter Trail that
exits left just before a few tall rock outcrops and boulders appear to the
left. The treadway remains amazingly
smooth and flat considering the rockiness and steepness of the surrounding
The trail descends gradually via a wide switchback as the relief of the surrounding land starts to ease. At 0.7 miles, the trail makes a broad swing to the left as it rounds the eastern end of Calloway Ridge. Soon you start to see why the southern arm of the loop is preferred to the northern one: not only does the northern arm have no lake views, but it parallels noisy
less than 20 yards to your right.
|Calloway Ridge Trail|
Near 1 mile into the hike, you cross an old paved road that leads to a leveled area just uphill to the left. The trail becomes wider and straighter as you pass what appears to be another old industrial area just before closing the loop. Retrace your steps 0.1 miles downhill to complete the hike, or extend your hike by walking the 1 mile one-way paved walking path that heads west from this trailhead across an arm of
. Fort Loudoun