Tennessee Pink Marble Trail Map
A. Downtown Knoxville Gay Street, East Tennessee History Center, Knoxville Post Office
301 S. Gay St. (865) 523-7263
Notice the foundations of the historic buildings as you browse the East Tennessee History Center, art galleries, shops and other dining options up and down Gay Street. Great variety of color, polishing and pattern are visible. The Knoxville Post Office is fashioned from six types of Tennessee Marble and four hand carved eagles by master sculptor Albert Milani.
B. Knoxville Museum of Art
1050 World’s Fair Park Dr. (865) 525-6101
The exterior of this free museum is pink marble. Permanent exhibits include Richard Jolley’s sculptures in glass, the miniature Thorne Rooms and Higher Ground, which highlights 150 years of artistic activity in East Tennessee. Open Tues. to Sat. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sun. from 1 to 5 p.m.
C. Fort Dickerson Civil War Park and Quarry
3000 Fort Dickerson Rd. SW (865) 215-4311
Home to one of 16 earthen forts and battery positions that protected Knoxville during the Civil War, it is the best-preserved example. From this high vantage point, you can see beyond the full view of the city to the high peaks of the Great Smoky Mountains. The overlook is 70 feet above the turquoise waters of the 350-foot deep quarry lake. Picnic shelters are available and you can hike the greenway to the water’s edge. Open dawn to dusk.
D. Candoro Marble Arts and Heritage Center
4450 Candoro Marble Ave.
From the 1920s to 1970s, Candoro Marble Company served as one of the largest marble processors in the U.S. Designed by the famous architect Charles Barber in the style known as Beaux Arts, the exterior of the building is marble. Inside visitors will find the former showroom displays of inlaid marble walls and floors. Affiliated with The John J. Craig Company, marble was used in many historically significant building projects, such as the New York Public Library iconic lion statues of “Patience” and “Fortitude.” Learn about Italian-born master sculptor Albert Milani and the ornamental ironworks gates by Samuel Yellin. Open only during special events; the best time to visit is in May during Vestival Festival.
E. Marble Springs: Governor John Sevier Home
1220 W. Gov. John Sevier Hwy. (865) 573-5508
The original 350-acre farm was the home of John Sevier (1745-1815), a Revolutionary War hero, frontier militia commander and the first Governor of Tennessee. Named because of the Tennessee Rose Marble that was quarried on site and the natural springs that flow on the property, you can tour several historic structures, including the Tavern, Loom House, Spring House, cabin and detached kitchen. See the stone marker at the entrance, stone front steps to the cabin and numerous stone outcroppings in the grassy lawn. Open for tours Wed. to Sat. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sun. from noon to 5 p.m. Abbreviated winter hours.
F. Ramsey House Plantation
2614 Thorngrove Pike (865) 546-0745
Built from Pink Marble stones in 1797 by Knoxville’s first builder, architect Thomas Hope, for Col. Francis Alexander Ramsey. The Ramsey family played vital roles in developing civic, educational and cultural institutions. Once the finest house in town, guided tours of this furnished house museum are available from costumed volunteers. This 100-acre facility hosts several family friendly events, including vintage baseball games and an old-fashioned Country Market. Open Wed. to Sat. from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
G. Knoxville Botanical Garden
2743 Wimpole Ave. (865) 862-8717
Located on 47 acres of the former Howell Nurseries, this free garden features distinctive specimens of mature trees. Extensive stone walls line the property, created from rocks found on site. The restrooms in the Office Building feature floor to ceiling marble. Open from sunrise to sunset with office hours Mon. to Fri. from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
H. Ijams Nature Center and Mead’s Quarry
2915 Island Home Ave. (865) 577-4717
Ijams offers the premier location to see the massive scale of a quarry operation. The Ross Marble Quarry Loop (.25 mile hike) will take you to the giant wall of stacked stone blocks and the keyhole tunnel. Discover all that Ijams Nature Center has to offer….natural surface trails, scenic overlooks, reclaimed marble quarries, boardwalks along the Tennessee River, historic cemeteries, wooded groves, nature playscapes, creeks and wildflowers. As one of the region’s beloved landscapes, it is no wonder that Ijams is renowned as a birding hotspot and natural treasure in East Tennessee. Wander along secret trails, past moss-covered boulders lined with imposing cliffs and or enjoy the seclusion of a historic trail teeming with Lenten Roses planted by one of Knoxville’s pioneering horticulturalists. Rent a road or mountain bike or a canoe or paddle board from River Sports at Mead’s Quarry. Explore 300 acres of protected wildlife habitat and natural areas, located only 3 miles from downtown Knoxville, including 10-miles of trails, rock formations, ponds, lakes and stunning overlooks. Trails open 8 a.m. to dusk.
I. Urban Wilderness: Hastie Natural Area
Parking Lot at Margaret Road (865) 525-2585
The Urban Wilderness trail system offer 42 miles of greenspace for hiking and biking within the heart of the city. Just 3 miles from downtown, Hastie is 3.5 miles of the overall system. The unique urban-wilderness combination offers the advantage to trail riders of spending a day in the woods and an evening out on the town. Rather than a system of trails within a park, it is a system of trails that connects 10 parks, four Civil War sites, public and private land offering a diversity of views, topography and scenery. The trails traverse dramatic 30’ tall rock outcroppings and weave around a brilliantly blue quarry lake, rolling farmland and sunflower fields. Hikers and bikers will travel along the Tennessee River, climb through mature hardwood forests abundant with wildflowers, and then exit surprisingly into a neighborhood though a bamboo thicket. The entire system is well-signed with four trailheads with informational kiosks, maps, and directional posts. Trails open dawn to dusk.
J. Chapman Hwy. Dogwood Trail: Lake Forest Neighborhood
Chapman Highway, 3 Miles from Downtown
The lacy blooms of mature wild dogwoods vie for attention among the red buds, wisteria and azaleas which are nearing 60 years old. A variety of birds and wildlife are drawn to this area because of the old established trees, large wooded areas and natural spring-fed lakes. Lake Forest also boasts a neighborhood entrance to The Urban Wilderness Loop, which connects William Hastie Natural Area (3.5 miles of trails) with Ijams Nature Center and Mead’s Quarry. These trails are popular with residents who love to walk their dogs, run for exercise and the thrill of mountain biking. Throughout these neighborhoods, you will see examples of Tennessee Pink Marble, once mined by over 35 quarries in the Knoxville area. Larger blocks were used in buildings all over the U.S. or carved into monuments. Local builders used the smaller left over pieces to construct retaining walls, arched doorways, chimneys, patios, and whole houses. The new neighborhood stone entry sign for Lake Forest celebrates the heritage and architecture of this lasting legacy. These modest cottage-style houses, reminiscent of the picturesque Neo-Tudor construction in the popular Cotswold style, offer the convenience of easy access to downtown and are a favorite with those who like the feeling of privacy and seclusion.
Of special note, on Centerwood Drive, there is a small fenced in graveyard where relatives of Sam Houston are buried. Sam Houston lived near here in his youth and became Governor of Tennessee in 1827 before moving to Texas to “Remember the Alamo” in 1836.
Lindbergh Forest Neighborhood
Chapman Highway, 1 Mile from Downtown
Lindbergh Forest Neighborhood, just a mile from downtown, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Initially developed as one of Knoxville’s first automobile suburbs, the neighborhood is now noted for its late-1920s and early-1930s residential architecture, and the use of East Tennessee marble detailing. The neighborhood also contains two of Knoxville’s five surviving Lustron houses, which were a type of pre-fabricated house designed by the Lustron Corporation to meet post-World War II housing shortages. The Tudor Revival style is the most common architectural style, however, Colonial Revival, Minimal Traditional, Bungalow, Spanish Eclectic, and Modern styles are also represented.
South Knoxville Map and Tennessee Pink Marble Attractions
Click on the map to enlarge and see driving directions. Pick up a brochure at any of the featured points of interest or at the Visit Knoxville Welcome Center.