One of my favorite outdoor summer activities in Knoxville is seeing the sunflower fields at Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area in South Knoxville near Ijams Nature Center (pronounced “eye-yams,” not “eye-jams”). I first heard about these massive sunflower fields when I was in college, but each summer I’d travel back home to Nashville, so I wasn’t able to see the sunflowers when they bloomed in July.
Since we now live in Knoxville full time, I’ve taken advantage of seeing the sunflowers the past two out of three summers they’ve been planted. They are planted every other year so that the soil has time to regenerate.
I went to see them twice this past week, and even though they haven’t reached their full height, they are still a glorious sight to behold.
If you plan to visit the sunflower fields, you’ll notice the first field near the parking lot where there are sure to be lots of photographers and visitors. Many people don’t know that the fields cover 70 acres and there are many more sunflower-filled fields in addition to the first field you’ll see when you pull in. I advise following the greenway or the gravel road that borders the first sunflower field to explore the many other fields that are far less crowded.
Take your camera or a picnic lunch and bask in these fields of gold!
For other Ijams-related outdoor activities, check out these previous blog posts: