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Sports and Recreation in Oak Ridge, TN

Oak Ridge's outdoor attractions and activities keep locals on the move.

By Jessica Walker Boehm on September 28, 2015

Rowers practice on Melton Hill Lake
Oak Ridge / Michael D. Tedesco

Oak Ridge Parks and Recreation

Home to 16 parks, Oak Ridge offers plenty of opportunities to get active. Katie Hunter Soccer Field, LaSalle Park, Milt Dickens Park and Energy Solutions Field host soccer games; baseball games take place at the Baseball Complex. For boating and fishing, locals head to Melton Lake Park and Solway Park, and the Municipal Outdoor Pool is open for swimming during the summer. Disc golfers enjoy courses at Grove Park and Carl Yearwood Park, and there’s entertainment at A.K. Bissell Park’s performance pavilion. Other Oak Ridge parks include Big Turtle Park, Briarcliff Park, Cedar Hill Park, Elza Gate Park, Haw Ridge Park, Highland View Park, Pinewood Park and Scarboro Park. Explore Oak Ridge has refocused its efforts on promoting the area’s sports facilities for tournaments. 

Secret City Half Marathon

Each year, runners take on 13.1 miles during the Secret City Half Marathon, an event that takes its name from Oak Ridge’s former status as a “secret city” – before it appeared on maps in the 1960s. The half marathon course is scenic and mostly flat, beginning and ending at Melton Lake Peninsula and offering views of Melton Lake for a portion of the run. The event includes a 5K race, which also begins and ends at Melton Lake Peninsula.

Oak Ridge Velo Classic Bike Race

The annual Oak Ridge Velo Classic draws individual cyclists and cycling teams from across the region for its competitive bike race. Timed trials and road race divisions include categories for men, women and youth. The event has helped raise sports and recreation awareness in the area, as well as motivated residents to pursue a more active lifestyle through cycling. 

Oak Ridge Rowing Association & Rowing Events

Known as the home of Atomic Rowing, the Oak Ridge Rowing Association (ORRA) offers junior and adult programs, youth summer camps, learn-to-row classes and spring training events. The nonprofit ORRA hosts competitive events on Melton Lake, such as the Secret City Head Race and the Dogwood Regatta. In the past, it has hosted the US Rowing National Championships, NCAA Rowing Championships and various conference and regional championships.

Haw Ridge Park

Haw Ridge Park is a favorite destination for outdoor enthusiasts, thanks to its many amenities. The park has nearly 30 miles of trails ideal for runners, hikers, equestrians and mountain bikers, while its 5-mile portion of the Clinch River offers opportunities for fishing and paddle sports. Haw Ridge Park draws deer hunters during one weekend in November and two weekends in December, when the park is closed to other visitors.

UT Arboretum

The 250-acre University of Tennessee Arboretum, a research and education facility, features more than 2,500 native and exotic woody plant specimens, such as trees, shrubs, ferns, vines and wildflowers. Drawing nearly 30,000 visitors annually, the arboretum includes nine walking trails and is home to amphibians, reptiles, butterflies, moths, birds and mammals like chipmunks, squirrels, deer and skunks.

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