Greenway to the Smokies: Maryville to Townsend
Imagine riding or walking a trail from Alcoa or Maryville to Townsend and the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Stretching 14 miles, the Maryville-to-Townsend Greenway is part of an effort to connect with the existing Maryville/Alcoa Greenway and extend that connection as a larger connector from Knoxville, Tenn., to the Smokies.
It is designed to be constructed in two phases, 1) Maryville to Heritage High School and then 2) Heritage High School to Townsend, which ultimately will connect Maryville to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The proposed Blount route for the Greenway utilizes existing transportation corridors – an abandoned rail line and the right-of-way along U.S. Highway 321.
Public and private funding opportunities are currently being explored for this project as well as alternative construction materials to keep costs as low as possible. The estimated fiscal benefit to Blount County is $65 million over 10 years, not to mention the health benefits to Blount County citizens and visitors to the Peaceful Side of the Smokies.
Most importantly, the Greenway will bring community cohesion, connecting areas all over Blount County to one another. This initiative is housed from the Blount Partnership / Blount County Chamber of Commerce.
The Maryville to Townsend Greenway will have economic, social and health benefits for the residents of Blount County and the region:
- The estimated economic impact of the trail is approximately $65 million over a 10-year period.
- For every $1 spent on greenway construction and maintenance there will be a return on the investment of $2.66.
- Fifty percent of U.S. residents say that walkability is a top or high priority when considering where to live.
- A National Association of Realtors and the National Association of Home Buyers joint survey listed trails as the second most important consideration for community amenities by home buyers.
- Homeowners will pay $9,000 premium on houses within 1,000 feet of bike paths.
- Tennessee ranks 48th among states for overall health. An increase in physical activity by 5% will save the community as estimated $13 million annually by reducing medical costs and lost productivity.
EVENTS SUPPORTING THE GREENWAY EFFORT
- Monday evening: Bearden Beer Market Monday Fun Run
- Every Tuesday morning: Smoky Mountain Wheelmen Tuesday Country Cruise road ride thru Knox, Blount, and Sevier counties
- Every Tuesday morning: Cycology (Maryville) group road rides
- Every Tuesday evening: BB&T Tuesday Greenway Ride hosted by Bearden Bike & Trail
- Every Wednesday at noon: Fleet Feet Knoxville Open Group Run/Walk
- Every Wednesday evening: KTC Group Run – Western Plaza
- Every Thursday evening: Greenway Social Ride hosted by River Sports Outfitters
- Every Thursday evening: Fleet Feet Knoxville Open Group Run/Walk
- Every Thursday morning: Road ride with Cycology Bicycles in Maryville
- Every third Monday: Smoky Mountain Wheelmen Monthly Meeting
- Every third Friday from August to October: City of Friendsville Antique Vehicles, Dinner and a Movie in the City
- Cycology Women’s Ride Series: Saturdays, April – September
- Southern Cycling Operations Monthly Meetings
- Smoky Mountain Wheelmen Monthly Meeting
The planned Maryville to Townsend Greenway is over 14 miles in length and is designed to be constructed in two-phases.
Phase 1: Maryville to Heritage High School
Phase 2: Heritage High School to Townsend
Master Plan Documents
- Cover, Table of Contents, Section I: Executive Summary, Section II: Introduction
- Section III: Opportunities and Constraints
- Section IV: Corridor Design
- Section V: Public Process, Section VI: Economic, Social, and Health Impact Analysis, Section VII: Overall Recommendations
- Appendix A, B, C, and D
The Regional Greenway Council hired SRW & Associates to help study the feasibility of raising funds to build the greenway from Maryville to Townsend. The availability of state and federal funding may be limited, so the potential for raising funds is being explored.
201 S. Washington Street
Maryville, TN 37804
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Thank you to these organizations spearheading the greenway initiative.