City of Athens Parks and Recreation
Known as The Friendly City, Athens offers plentiful parks and recreation opportunities to its citizens and visitors. Following is a flavoring of all of the facilities offered.
Located on Decatur Pike this 160 acre park offers five lighted softball fields, four soccer fields, concession building with restrooms, large picnic pavilion with seating for around 200 people with restrooms and a catering kitchen, two duck ponds, the Southeast Tennessee Trade and Conference Center and a three mile nature trail for walking, mountain biking and in-line skating.
Located on Old Englewood Road this park offers a picnic shelter with seating for approximately 60 people with restrooms, large playground area, two tennis courts, full size basketball court, outdoor volleyball, and a softball field (Gilbert Field) with concessions.
Located on Slack Road this park offers a large picnic shelter with seating for approximately 50 people with restrooms, a small picnic shelter that seats 30 people, a little league lighted baseball field with concessions and a duck pond with sitting area.
Veteran’s Memorial Park
Formally known as Sunset Park, located on Sunset Drive, this park offers sitting areas, picnic areas and a .5-mile walking trail. The park was dedicated in September 2000 to honor area veterans. Located in the park are monuments to area serviceman. On June 8, 2002 the park was dedicated with the new plaza area that consists of bricks that were purchased in honor of veterans, monuments representing the five branches of service and a plaque in honor of Charles R. Ware.
Located on Cook Drive it has a picnic shelter with restrooms, playground and a basketball court.
Ingleside Recreation Complex
Located on Forrest Avenue this complex has eight lighted tennis courts with concessions and also has a pool with a slide, restrooms, showers and concessions.
Located on the corner of Washington Avenue and Jackson Street, this small park offers a sitting area.
Located on Tellico Avenue this field has one lighted softball field with restrooms and concessions.
City of Etowah Parks and Recreation
The non-profit organization KaBoom has recognized the City of Etowah as a Playful City USA for providing children the opportunities to play. Along with their parks, the City operates a Community Center that provides fitness equipment, activity rooms, and more. The City of Etowah provides a variety of youth sports with separate fields for baseball, football, and soccer. Etowah also has facilities for basketball and tennis and a municipal pool. The Parks and Recreation Department is responsible for the Community Center, Hopper Baseball Complex, Cox Athletic Field, City Park, a soccer complex and a walking trail.
Being at the Foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Cherokee National Forest offers many recreation opportunities. The scenic views within and surrounding McMinn County are second to none. There are over 50 waterfalls within 30-60 minutes of McMinn County ranging in height from 5 feet to 130 feet.
Golfing is a favorite past-time in McMinn County and the region with championship courses within a short driving distance.
McMinn County Golf
Springbrook Golf and Country Club
123 Country Club Rd.
Niota, TN 37826
Rock Springs Golf Course
118 Congress Parkway N
Athens, TN 37303
Ridgewood Golf Course
387 Chestuee Rd.
Athens, TN 37303
White Oaks Golf Course
705 County Road 105
Athens, TN 37303
Regional Golf Courses
Within less than an hour drive, you can be playing 18 holes at any of the following courses.
- Cleveland Country Club Cleveland/Bradley County
- Dayton Golf and Country Club Evensville/Rhea County
- Dead Horse Lake Golf Course Knoxville/Knox County
- Fox Den Country Club Farragut/Knox County
- Honors Course Ooltewah/Hamilton County (Ranked in Top 100 Golf Courses in the World)
- Rarity Bay Golf and Country Club Vonore/Monroe County
- Lakehaven Golf and Country Club Decatur/Meigs County
- Landmark at Avalon Lenoir City/Loudon County
- Tellico Village Golf Courses Loudon and Vonore/Loudon and Monroe counties
- Tennessee National Golf Club Loudon/Loudon County
- Willow Creek Golf Club Farragut/Knox County
- Windriver Golf Course Lenoir City/Loudon County
Hiking, Biking, and Horseback
McMinn Rails-to-Trails is a new project focused on building an active trail along the abandoned railroad beginning at Highway 307 in Athens and ending at Highway 39 in Englewood. This is a multi-purpose trail to encourage hiking, biking, and horseback riding.
- Tennessee Overhill Regional Hiking Guide
- Tennessee Overhill Regional Mountain Biking Guide
- Tennessee Overhill Regional Horseback Riding Guide
The Hiwassee River serves as a natural border at the southern end of McMinn County. The Hiwassee offer many recreational opportunities, including rafting, boating, fishing and more. We are blessed with four rivers, including the Hiwassee, and numerous lakes within a 30 mile drive of McMinn County.
- Tennessee Overhill Regional Rivers, Lakes, and Blueways Guide
- Tennessee Overhill Regional Whitewater Rafting Guide
- Tennessee Overhill Regional Waterfall Guide
- Tennessee Overhill Regional Fishing Guide
Planes, Trains and Automobiles
If you enjoy a scenic ride or learning about aviation and rail history, there are a variety of options available for you in McMinn County. Motorcycle enthusiasts will enjoy the twists and turns of the mountain roads, and all motorists will enjoy the regional scenic byways.
Athens Air operates the McMinn County General Aviation Airport where you can lean to fly, charter a plane, or just sit and watch planes take off and land at one of their occasional fly-ins. Enjoy the Athens Air Movie at http://youtu.be/1xaHvFqdabI.
Passengers step back in time when they ride restored vintage trains alongside the Hiwassee River, into the Hiwassee River Gorge, and over the famous Hiwassee Rail Loop. Trains run from April-November on a half-day round-trip excursion from Etowah to the Hiwassee Rail Loop or a day-long excursion from Etowah to Copper Hill, with a mid-day layover for lunch and shopping. Tickets are available at the Historic Etowah Depot. Please make sure to visit the train museum while there.