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Whether it's a trip to the city or into the wilderness you don't have to travel far from Knoxville to find it! Come explore the region (and more) with me, because no matter what day it is, it's always "trip time."

Winding along the north shore in Knox County

Winding along the north shore in Knox County

 Admiral Farragut Park along the Northshore of Ft. Loudoun Lake sits near the spot where the nation's first Navy Admiral was born. 

Admiral Farragut Park along the Northshore of Ft. Loudoun Lake sits near the spot where the nation's first Navy Admiral was born. 

Across the lake from Admiral Farragut Park, remnants of the area’s agricultural roots can be seen in the form of an old silo rising above the water.  Today, the farms have been replaced by large modern homes lining the banks of Fort Loudoun Lake along the Tennessee River.  The wild nature of the area still appears in places, like a rugged outcropping of brightly covered rocks across the bend, and in several small parks found in this part of Knox County.

Located about a mile off Pellissippi Parkway, Admiral Farragut Park gets its name from the nation’s 1st Commissioned Admiral of the Navy born in the vicinity of the park in 1801.   An historical marker near the shore of the lake reveals some of his story, especially the role he played in the Civil War.

While the significance of the location might draw history buffs to the park, it’s the beauty packed into it that keeps people coming back for more.  Whether you pick a bench or a large rock along the shore to sit on, the gentle lapping of the water helps you forget all the suburban sprawl around you.

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Either a short drive, or a short walk through the woods, will take you to another park along the lake’s north shore.  Carl Cowan Park sits on a few acres donated by the Tennessee Valley Authority.  Its perhaps best known for its splash pad which draws hundreds of kids in the summer.  However there are plenty of other reasons to spend time here.   The lake surrounds the park on three sides and there are several paved and natural trails for enjoying the natural elements.  Of course you’ll also find basketball and tennis courts mixed in with the picnic tables, playgrounds and views of the lake.

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Drivers along Northshore Drive in this part of the county are probably familiar with the roundabout.  Just past it a TWRA Public Fishing area provides a couple of spots to walk out onto the lake.  These wooden fishing piers are often filled with people hoping to catch something big, while at other times, they provide just the spot for quiet reflection.

The water from this area makes its way under Col. Bill Felton Memorial Bridge and into the broader waters of the lake.  A walking path that is part of a larger greenway system crosses an older bridge here where you can stop and watch sail boats gliding along the water or just take in whatever array of colors surround you.

 Sailboats take to the waters of Ft. Loudoun Lake on a warm November Day.

Sailboats take to the waters of Ft. Loudoun Lake on a warm November Day.

While these four places provide ample opportunities to enjoy the lake there are many others including Concord Park, home of Lakeside Tavern and a Par 3 Golf Course.  An extension of the park called the Cove is also a popular spot.  Panoramic views of the lake are just part of the attraction there.  During the Christmas season, the Cove comes to life with an amazing array of lighted displays as you walk the main trails.

 During the Christmas season, the lights at the Cove at Concord Park attract thousands of people to this part of Ft. Loudoun Lake's Northshore. 

During the Christmas season, the lights at the Cove at Concord Park attract thousands of people to this part of Ft. Loudoun Lake's Northshore. 

An historic detour in West Knox County

An historic detour in West Knox County

And the shows go on and on and on at Dollywood in 2018

And the shows go on and on and on at Dollywood in 2018