Best Outdoor Park in Knoxville- Carl Cowan Park

Wesley Shotwell
Published on March 11, 2019

Best Outdoor Park in Knoxville- Carl Cowan Park

Are you tired of being stuck inside?  Long hours at the office or days stuck at home can have you longing for the great outdoors.  Don’t just stare at the sunshine from your window: we’ve found a hidden gem for you to beat those end-of-winter blues, and it’s right here in Knox County.  On this very first episode of What’s Up Knox, we’re taking you to Carl Cowan Park, a beautiful piece of land situated on Northshore Drive with many amenities and gorgeous views of the surrounding Tennessee River.  If you’re looking for a change of pace and want to explore Knoxville’s natural habitat, this is one place you’ll definitely want to check out.

While most people are familiar with the Concord Parks along Northshore Drive, Carl Cowan Park is an often overlooked but must-see part of the area.  Named for Carl Cowan, a lawyer and the first African-American Assistant District Attorney in Knox County, the park sits on Fort Loudon Lake and is bordered on three sides by the Tennessee River.  Being surrounded by so much water makes the park an ideal spot for fishing, with a large boat ramp and pier available for fishing enthusiast to try their hand at landing a good catch. Both paved and natural trails are available throughout, including one that connects to Admiral Faragut Park that’s a great walk for all fitness levels.

Families will enjoy a variety of kid-friendly activities, including a full playground equipped with climbing walls, slides and swings for hours of play.  In the Summer months, the SplashPad offers kids a great place to cool off with tons of fun water spouts and fountains. Covered pavilions provide great spots for picnics or parties and are located throughout the park.  For older kids or athletically inclined family members, there are also many areas to get a workout in while being surrounded by nature. A quarter-mile track runs around the front of the park, surrounding a big open field perfect for games of soccer or ultimate frisbee.  Two basketball courts and two tennis courts offer even more options for recreation.

You’ll also find a large tile quilt square on a sign near the park’s entrance; Carl Cowan Park is a stop on the Appalachian Quilt Trail, part of a movement that began in 2001 in Ohio.  The American Quilt Trail Movement started as a way to celebrate Americana folk art and draw in tourism to support local business and points of interest. The Appalachian Quilt Trail connects you to a variety of beautiful natural areas, shops, artist studios, farmer’s markets, and many other gems throughout Tennessee.

Whether you just want to take a stroll outside, get your blood pumping or lounge with your favorite picnic foods, make sure to visit Carl Cowan Park for a small taste of the peaceful outdoors that Knox County has to offer.  What’s your favorite thing to do at Carl Cowan Park?  Let us know in the comments on our video, and don’t forget to subscribe to see where we go next on What’s Up Knox!