Knox County may become home to new Tennessee state park

Knox County may become home to new Tennessee state park

Posted:
Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge sits along the French Broad River in East Knox County between Seymour and Kodak. Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge sits along the French Broad River in East Knox County between Seymour and Kodak.
"If you love nature, this is the place to be. It's a beautiful area up there," said Knox County Commissioner Mike Brown. "If you love nature, this is the place to be. It's a beautiful area up there," said Knox County Commissioner Mike Brown.
"I think that they should make it nice but also still let people come out here and go fishing," said Wilburn Bunch of Knoxville, fishing at Seven Islands on Sunday. "I think that they should make it nice but also still let people come out here and go fishing," said Wilburn Bunch of Knoxville, fishing at Seven Islands on Sunday.

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Tennessee could soon have a brand new state park in Knox County.

Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge sits along the French Broad River in East Knox County between Seymour and Kodak.

On Monday, the Knox County Commission will consider a measure to transfer the 400-acre wildlife sanctuary to the state.

Seven Islands includes several wooded islands, eight miles of hiking trails, a boat launch and acre after acre of gorgeous scenery.

"If you love nature, this is the place to be. It's a beautiful area up there," said Knox County Commissioner Mike Brown.

Brown, whose district includes part of Seven Islands, says the county had been considering turning it into a park for some time. But in the past, the money wasn't there.

The state stepped in with the idea to turn it into a state park.

"Being able to preserve this I think is going to be of big benefit to Knox County," said Brown.

The commission will consider the measure on Monday.

Brown says he believes the amount of visitors a state park would bring to Knox County would result in a big economic boost.

"State parks bring people. People come in and have to eat and sleep. People bring money and will spend money and help our local merchants," said Brown.

Brown says Governor Haslam's office has not released its exact plans for Seven Islands if it does become a state park.  But he says there's talk of building a bridge connecting one of the largest islands to the mainland, as well as building cabins on it.

Brown says Seven Islands would receive better upkeep and be a lot safer under the state's care.

"If you like the outdoors, this is the perfect place to go for a little peace and serenity," said Brown. "It's just unlimited what can be done with it. We're excited about it."

Locals who visit the area to relax say they're excited with the news, just as long as the peacefulness of the refuge remains the same.

"I think that they should make it nice but also still let people come out here and go fishing," said Wilburn Bunch of Knoxville, fishing at Seven Islands on Sunday.

Right now, Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge is managed by the Legacy Parks Foundation.

Brown says he expects the commission to approve the state park resolution at its next regular meeting, scheduled for September 23.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WATE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.