Greenways & Greenbelts

Oak Ridge greenways are reminiscent of the "greenbelts" envisioned by the City planners. Originally, certain areas were set-aside as greenbelts, providing sanctuaries for wildlife, native plants and opportunities within the City, to enjoy nature in an unspoiled setting. This tradition continues today as surplus property becomes available from the Federal Government for development and recreational usage.

Oak Ridge has 48 greenbelt districts comprising approximately 1,566 acres of forested greenbelts that

serve as buffers between neighborhoods and offer miles of shaded walking trails for residents. Greenbelts, which are owned by the city, are retained in their natural setting and are protected by city ordinance (Title 13: Property Maintenance Regulations) from encroachment by developers or adjacent property owners.

Greenways provide residents with a quiet, pristine atmosphere; and in fact, some greenways are actually laid out within existing greenbelts.

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, it's neighborhoods, schools, parks, cultural facilities, and places of work and commerce.

Greenway Usage Guidelines

  • Everyone is encouraged to use the greenway trails during daylight hours.
  • Pedestrians, bicyclists, and skaters share many greenways.
  • Bicyclists and skaters must always yield the right-of-way to pedestrians.
  • Bikers are minded to pass on the left.
  • Pedestrians and handicapped individuals have the right-of-way.
  • Use caution when wearing headphones, as you may not be as alerts to traffic and other activity around you.
  • Travel on the right side of the trail.
  • No horses or motorized vehicles are permitted, other than motorized wheelchairs and official government vehicles.
  • Pets (where permitted) must be kept on leashes and droppings must be removed.
  • Skateboarding is prohibited.
  • Prevent vandalism, take your valuables with you or lock them securely in the trunk of your vehicle.

Greenbelt District Usage Guidelines

  • Hiking or walking to enjoy the natural beauty.
  • Cleared or marked trails approved by the Recreation and Parks Department.
  • Operations that are accepted practice of forestry science as necessary to maintain safety and public value in its natural state.
  • Regulatory signs for marking trails.
  • Noncommercial gardens of private lot owners, subject to annual approval of City Manager. In no case shall trees be cut to provide additional garden areas.
  • Use caution when wearing headphones, as you may not be as alerts to traffic and other activity around you.

Prohibited Uses in Greenbelt Districts

  • Operation of a motorized vehicle.
  • Dumping of domestic household garbage, yard rubbish, or other materials.
  • Cutting or removal of any trees, shrubs, flowers, or other materials from area by landowners or contractors.
  • Unauthorized gardening.
  • Camping or camp fires.

For information about Greenways or Greenbelts, call the Recreation and Parks Department at 865-425-3450.

For a more detailed description of Oak Ridge Greenways visit:

GreenwayWalk / JobPetsBicycleSkatesHorseback
North Ridge TrailYYNNN
Cedar HillYYNNN
Pine GroveYYNNN
Emory ValleyYYYYN
Gallaher BendYNYNN
Melton LakeYYYYN
Big Turtle ParkYYNNN
North BoundaryYYYNN
Haw RidgeYYYNN
Black Oak RidgeYNYNN