Greenways concept

The Oak Ridge Greenways project is an effort to weave natural corridors through the City to community resources such as parks, schools, cultural centers, shopping areas, and areas of employment. The greenways are founded on three principles. First, where possible, the greenways follow natural corridors such as floodway zones or existing right-of-ways thus reducing conflicts with private land holdings. Second, the greenways are conceived as interconnected loops. Finally, the greenways are conceptually designed to connect those areas and resources which are of value to Oak Ridgers and which distinguish Oak Ridge as a special place in which to live. These areas include the striking natural landscape of the city, its neighborhoods, schools, parks, cultural facilities, and places of work and commerce.

Greenways history and organization

In July, 1992, Oak Ridge City Council authorized a citizens group to create a concept for City greenways. The task force was to determine the need, feasibility, and funding strategy for a system of greenways in Oak Ridge. A formation meeting was held in August, 1992, with area residents and representatives from the City and conservancy groups. Over the next year, numerous volunteers developed a greenways report. A Task Force Report was presented to City Council in September, 1993. The Council adopted the report by unanimous vote with resolution 9-154-93. A state grant of $8,000 was used to open the Cedar Hill trail on September 18, 1994.

The Greenways committee consists of a dozen or so volunteers, with additional assistance from neighborhood groups, clubs, civic organizations, and the City. The Greenways committee meets the second Wednesday of each month at 6 pm in the Craft Room of the Oak Ridge Civic Center. Guests are welcome.

See D. Ray Smith's Oak Ridger articles on history of Oak Ridge Greenways: Oct 19, 2010 Oct 26, 2010 Nov 10, 2010

Greenways projects

              Greenways Oak Ridge 
    Greenway            Length(miles)  Status
    Cedar Hill            2.5          OPEN, completed 1994
    Melton Lake           5.7          OPEN (5.7), completed 4/12
    Emory Valley          3.2          OPEN (3.2), completed 8/05
    Pine (Elm) Grove      1.3          OPEN, completed 1994
    Turtle Park           0.8          OPEN, completed 11/98
    Gallaher Bend Rd      2.3          OPEN, completed 12/97
    North Boundary       14.0          OPEN, completed 3/00
    South Hills           0.8          OPEN, complete 1999
    Worthington Tract     0.8          OPEN, complete 1999
    Wildflower Trail      0.8          OPEN, complete 4/26/02
    Wheat District Trail  1.2          OPEN, complete 2007
    Black Oak Ridge      13.7          OPEN, in process  10/3/07
                         47.0 miles OPEN as of 10/2012
    Tuskegee Drive        0.9          approved, awaiting construction
    Jackson Crossing      1.0          approved, awaiting construction
    Old Bethel Valley Rd  4.5          approved, deferred 9/11/01

    MLG Phase IV          2.2          OPEN, complete 2012 map
    CSX greenway          4.7          proposed rails-to-trails map
    ED-1                               proposed
    Woodland/Downtown                  proposed

    East Fork Poplar Cr.               in our dreams
    Ernie's Creek                      in our dreams
    Mississippi                        in our dreams
    Middle Boundary Rd                 in our dreams
    Haw Ridge                          exisiting 28+ miles  bike/hiking trails
    North Ridge Trail                  exisiting  7.5+ miles hiking trail

Greenways Oak Ridge in the news

Do you know these facts?
Oak Ridge city intern Sharon Ho-My recently collected information about the amount of sidewalk, greenway, trail and park space in Oak Ridge. The information was presented to the Environmental Quality Advisory Board. Amended by Tom Dunigan in 2008.


  • Projected 1996 population: 27,742.
  • 104 miles of sidewalk.
  • 3.6 miles sidewalk per 1,000 people.

Greenways and trails in OR

Area of Open Spaces and Greenbelts in Oak Ridge

  • Parks -- 1,282 acres.
  • UT Arboretum -- 260 acres.
  • Greenbelts -- 1,336 acres.
  • Total area -- 4,877 acres.
  • 176 acres per 1,000 people.

Greenways maps

    related info

How you can help

The success of the greenways depends on volunteers. If you have suggestions for greenways or can help with trail maintenance (adopt a greenway), please contact a greenways member or the Oak Ridge Recreation and Parks office. If a greenways trail needs some maintenance work, please fill out this maintenance request form.

Related information

Ecology of Greenways : Design and Function of Linear Conservation Areas
Greenways : A Guide to Planning, Design, and Development
Greenways : A Guide to Planning, Design, and Development : The Conservation Fund
Greenways for America
Greenways for America (Creating the North American Landscape)
Greenways : The Beginning of an International Movement

The Economic and Social Benefits of Off-Road Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities
How hiking trails benefit your neighborhood (pdf)
The Trust for Public Land
Research Triangle greenways
Sierra Club and Appalachian Trail Conservancy ATC
Benton MacKaye Trail
Tennessee Trails Association TTA
American Trails and their greenways and urban trails links
TVA trails and trails map
rails to trails

Trail design & maintenance
USFS trail construction manual
trail maintenance and trail design and construction
IMBA trail building
AT trail work manuals
constructing trail bridges
trail building/maintenance books
US DOT trail contruction and maintenance
trail blazes guidelines

Oak Ridge has over 40 miles of shoreline, see proposed Pellissippi Blueway Clinch River
Haw Ridge Park canoe trail -- Paddle the Park
TN river blueway chattanooga
Tennessee scenic rivers Clinch River at Melton Hill Lake
NPS rivers, trails and conservation assistance program Click for Oak Ridge, Tennessee Forecast

Oak Ridge
Greenways Oak Ridge on facebook
City's greenways page
CROET Heritage Center Greenway K-25 at 35.924745,-84.397789 greenway map
Oak Ridge Visitor Bureau and Recreation and Parks
USGS new and old topos 1940's quads of Oak Ridge
See old USGS topos or here
Oak Ridge walking trails in UT arboretum and weather
the Advocates For Oak Ridge Reservation AFORR and facebook
Friends of Haw Ridge Park
Oak Ridge Rowing Assocation
Oak Ridge webcams and marina webcam and NOAA weather webcam
Oak Ridge historical markers and Tennessee historical markers

Tennessee Greenways & Trails TDEC greenways and parks
Knoxville greenways and maps, or here or here and Will Skelton greenway
Knox county greenways trails, greenways, parks
KTC trail runs or Oak Ridge track club
Knox County greenways
Great Smoky Mountains regional greenways and blueways
Maryville/Alcoa greenways and Townsend 5-mile bike path
Tellico East lakeshore trail or here
Chattanooga's Greenways and Urban Trails
find a greenway in TN
Tennessee Trails Association or Cumberland Trail
Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association TSRA
Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning TCWP and North Ridge Trail article
Save Our Cumberland Mountains SOCM
Tennessee Sierra Club
Tennessee landforms waterfalls, arches, etc.
Tennessee State Parks and natural areas
national wilderness areas in Tennessee
East Tennessee wildflowers Kris Light
TN watchable wildlife

Greenway maps:
  map index   North Ridge   Cedar Hill   Pine Grove   Emory Valley   Gallaher Bend
  Melton Lake   Big Turtle   Worthington   North Boundary   Wildflower   Haw Ridge   Black Oak Ridge   Google map

Return to Greenways Oak Ridge home page.

accesses since Jan 1, 2002