Tennessee: Need some help with that New Year’s resolution?
Healthy restaurants and innovative urban parks across the state have what you need to reach your goals.
Resolution time is here. Rest assured, Tennessee has many great restaurants and urban trails to help keep you on track. Whether you’re traveling for work or taking the family on a weekend trip, here are a few suggestions for where you can eat healthy and burn some calories outdoors in these cities.
If you’re an avid two-wheeler, the Scenic City is the place to be. Chattanooga has plenty of adrenaline-pumping mountain biking trails, but you can simply enjoy a leisurely road-biking trip on the Tennessee Riverpark greenway, which connects downtown to Chickamauga Dam. Round trip is 16 miles. Fuel up with the Unicorn Breakfast Bowl from the Sweet Heart Beet at the Local Juicery + Kitchen and grab a cold-pressed juice to go.
If you’re a Knoxville local or frequent visitor, set the goal of earning the Parkwest Urban Wilderness Patch. In order to get the patch, you must traverse all 42 miles of trails in Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness, a 1,000-acre forested park just 3 miles from downtown. Devour a locally sourced, protein-rich breakfast at OliBea in Old City after an early morning hike.
Need some fetch time with Fido? Exercising with your pooch is a great way to prevent a paunch. Shelby Farms Park offers The Outback, a more than 100-acre area that’s designated off-leash within the otherwise leashed park. Afterward, replenish your energy at dog-friendly Cheffie’s Café. Cheffie’s allows well-behaved leashed pups on the patio, but the build-your-own-salad setup also makes it easy to grab your food to go.
Trail running will keep you on your fitness toes, and parks in Music City have great offerings. Shelby Bottoms, a 960-acre park in East Nashville, has more than 5 miles of wide, grassy, mostly flat, wooded trails for urban running. After a jog, grab food at The Wild Cow Vegetarian Restaurant. For hillier trail running options, head out west to the Warner Parks system. The Mossy Ridge Trail in Percy Warner Park (marked red) is a 4.5-mile moderate hiking loop that’s great for a trail run. Add mileage by using the Cane Connector Trail. For a post-run meal, head to AVO, a raw plant-based restaurant in Midtown.