Greenways & Trails

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The Greenways and Trails program encourages Tennessee communities to save special green spaces, to promote the volunteer spirit of Tennesseans and to preserve and conserve the natural and cultural resources that make each community in the state of Tennessee special.

Greenways have been defined in the Tennessee Greenways and Trails Plan as linear open spaces established along either a natural corridor, such as a riverfront, stream valley or ridge line, or overland along a railroad right-of-way converted to recreational use, a canal, scenic road or other route.

Greenways can be any natural or landscaped area that allows for pedestrian or bicycle passage; an open-space corridor that can link parks, nature preserves, historic or cultural features, schools and neighborhoods with each other. Greenway trails can be used for alternative transportation,recreation and health/fitness activities.

Progress Reports

Greenways 101

The Tennessee Recreation Educational Services Division in partnership with the Commissioner's Council on Greenways and Trails and the Tennessee Division Office of the Federal Highway Administration are pleased to announce the publication of Greenways 101.

This document provides an overview of the process of developing a hard surfaced trail and has photos and illustrations showing a number of greenway trails that have been developed across the state of Tennessee. Additionally, there is budget information and a sample easement used in the acquiring of easements for public access to construct and build the trails.

Other trail building/development technical resources can be found in the Additional Reading section on page 14.

Need a Resource to understand how to build a trail at a park or track at school?

See the Trails/Tracks Resource Guide which is a booklet that was developed by a statewide task group of private and public staff that have assisted communities with these type projects across the state of Tennessee. This guide provides online resources and case studies of actual projects that have been built and shows the funding sources used to build them.

Looking for Greenways and Trails in Tennessee?

If you know about a trail that is not on the list, please send the information to Gerald Parish, Gerald.Parish@tn.gov.​

2008 Tennessee Greenways and Trails Plan

The 2008 Tennessee Greenways and Trails Plan (G&T Plan) is available and a result of over 18 months of research, planning and collaboration between the TDEC Commissioner’s Council on Greenways and Trails, TDEC –RES staff and numerous federal, state and local government agencies as well as the trail users groups from across the state. The G&T Plan references numerous locations and organizations that have developed Greenways and Trails in innovative and creative ways The G&T Plan focuses on the Benefits of Greenways and Trails from an Economic, Personal Health, Alternative Transportation, Recreation and Environmental Protection perspectives.

The Plan also has two Appendices which provide additional information on Greenways and Trails. Appendix A is an overview of all types of trails both motorized and non-motorized. Appendix B is a four page list of federal, state, and local government agencies as well as numerous non-profit organizations that can assist with numerous trail related issues.

Please contact the Tennessee Greenways and Trails Coordinator via this web page if you have questions, would like a CD of the G&T Plan or need assistance with greenway planning, trail construction or other natural resources related issues.