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“Meads Quarry Lake”
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Just a five-minute drive from downtown Knoxville you can find a mysterious and magical natural place to explore like none other in Tennessee. Most hot days the quarry is packed with paddlers, swimmers, people sunbathing on the two floating docks, hiking and biking the trails or picknicking and having a Yeehaw beer which can be purchased at the Qaurry. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, both Mead’s and Ross Marble Quarries within Ijams Nature Center transport visitors to a different world – a world of never-ending surprises.
Nature is tenacious. Given enough time, it can seemingly reclaim any landscape. Where life exists, grows, and thrives, nature always finds a way. Where once scarred land was littered with the empty shells of derelict buildings, industrial overburden and scattered blocks of Tennessee Marble, now sits a beautiful and expansive greenspace enjoyed by hordes of people. Where once there were thousands of piles of industrial and domestic junk there are now nature trails, gorgeous overlooks and historic and natural interpretation allowing visitors to understand the potency of this special place.
East Tennessee quarries supplied Tennessee Marble for numerous Knoxville structures and also iconic buildings such as the J.P. Morgan Library in New York and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. By the Great Depression, however, demand for the marble had drastically declined and quarrying operations everywhere hit hard times. Switching to gravel and limestone production, both quarries here limped along for several decades but in 1978 both were defunct and, particularly Mead’s Quarry, became illegal dump sites and local eyesores.
Today, following thousands of volunteer cleanup hours and the dedication of Ijams park staff, the quarries have expanded Ijams to a new level and acted as the catalyst to the emerging and nationally-lauded Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness, created and championed by Legacy Parks Foundation, which offers over 40 miles of trails within South Knoxville alone.
Mead’s and Ross Marble Quarries are unique places along the Urban Wilderness. The quarries, acquired during the past decade, now encompass almost two-thirds of Ijams’ acreage. The former home site of the Ijams family still sits on the bank of the Tennessee River less than a mile away yet the quarries both compliment and challenge one’s view of a traditional nature center experience.
Starting at the parking to Mead’s Quarry, just down the road from the main Ijams entrance the visitor can spend all day exploring history, natural and man-made landmarks, as well as enjoy the sights and sounds of local fauna. Immediately, a 25-acre lake pops into view, created toward the end of mining operations, which is now home to native aquatic species and, curiously, fresh water jellyfish that rise to the surface in the hot summer months during their reproductive cycle. Despite being just the size of a “quarter”, the notion of a jellyfish alive in East Tennessee is remarkable to most people yet it’s a species that enjoys fresh water. This is quite a discovery for a location with such a murky history as Mead’s Quarry where dumping and crime prevailed unchecked for a long time.

Meads Quarry – Visit Knoxville


Date created : 24 – 09 – 2022


Rating: 0 ⭐ ( 52871 reviews )


Top rated : 0 ⭐


Lowest rating : 0 ⭐


Summary : The beautiful rolling woodlands of Ijams Nature Center feature an array of exhibits, a museum store, over 10 miles of trails to hike, run and mountain bike, a …


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Paddle & Swim – Ijams Nature Center


Date created : 24 – 09 – 2022


Rating: 4 ⭐ ( 41215 reviews )


Top rated : 3 ⭐


Lowest rating : 0 ⭐


Summary : MEAD’S QUARRY LAKE · This area is swim-at-your-own-risk and there are no lifeguards on duty. · The quarry lake is deep with sudden drop-offs. · Jumping from cliffs …


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Mead’s and Ross Marble Quarries – Knoxville History Project


Date created : 24 – 09 – 2022


Rating: 1 ⭐ ( 10034 reviews )


Top rated : 1 ⭐


Lowest rating : 0 ⭐


Summary : Mead’s Quarry Lake. Courtesy Ijams Nature Center. Just a five-minute drive from downtown Knoxville you can find a mysterious and magical natural place to …


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Mead’s Quarry Park, Knoxville, Tennessee – The Outbound


Date created : 24 – 09 – 2022


Rating: 4 ⭐ ( 56724 reviews )


Top rated : 0 ⭐


Lowest rating : 5 ⭐


Summary : Mead’s Quarry Lake is a perfect getaway that’s located minutes from downtown Knoxville. With trails all around the lake and options for swimming, kayaking, …


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Mead’s Quarry Lake gets an upgrade to swimming area …


Date created : 24 – 09 – 2022


Rating: 5 ⭐ ( 39958 reviews )


Top rated : 4 ⭐


Lowest rating : 1 ⭐


Summary : Apr 26, 2022 Mead’s Quarry Lake gets an upgrade to swimming area with new floating walkway. Ali James. Shopper News. There will be more …


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Floating walkway to be installed at Mead’s Quarry Lake


Date created : 24 – 09 – 2022


Rating: 2 ⭐ ( 25961 reviews )


Top rated : 5 ⭐


Lowest rating : 5 ⭐


Summary : Apr 19, 2022 Knox County and Ijams Nature Center are almost finished with a project that they hope will improve access for recreation at Mead’s Quarry …


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Mead’s Quarry Lake In Tennessee Is Perfect For A Day Of …


Date created : 24 – 09 – 2022


Rating: 2 ⭐ ( 46381 reviews )


Top rated : 1 ⭐


Lowest rating : 2 ⭐


Summary : May 20, 2020 Mead’s Quarry Lake is located in the wildlife sanctuary and offsets the beauty of the lush woodland hiking trails with sparkling blue waters.


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Mead Quarry Park – Knox County


Date created : 24 – 09 – 2022


Rating: 1 ⭐ ( 53252 reviews )


Top rated : 3 ⭐


Lowest rating : 4 ⭐


Summary : The sparkling blue quarry waters at Mead’s Quarry run 80 to 100 feet deep and are surrounded by tall rock cliffs creating a beautiful setting for a paddle.


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Mead’s Quarry Lake, Knoxville, TN – Pinterest


Date created : 24 – 09 – 2022


Rating: 5 ⭐ ( 28777 reviews )


Top rated : 0 ⭐


Lowest rating : 2 ⭐


Summary : Mead’s Quarry Lake, Knoxville, TN. Visit the post for more.


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Picture for Meads Quarry Lake


Quick view
Just a five-minute drive from downtown Knoxville you can find a mysterious and magical natural place to explore like none other in Tennessee. Most hot days the quarry is packed with paddlers, swimmers, people sunbathing on the two floating docks, hiking and biking the trails or picknicking and having a Yeehaw beer which can be purchased at the Qaurry. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, both Mead’s and Ross Marble Quarries within Ijams Nature Center transport visitors to a different world – a world of never-ending surprises.
Nature is tenacious. Given enough time, it can seemingly reclaim any landscape. Where life exists, grows, and thrives, nature always finds a way. Where once scarred land was littered with the empty shells of derelict buildings, industrial overburden and scattered blocks of Tennessee Marble, now sits a beautiful and expansive greenspace enjoyed by hordes of people. Where once there were thousands of piles of industrial and domestic junk there are now nature trails, gorgeous overlooks and historic and natural interpretation allowing visitors to understand the potency of this special place.
East Tennessee quarries supplied Tennessee Marble for numerous Knoxville structures and also iconic buildings such as the J.P. Morgan Library in New York and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. By the Great Depression, however, demand for the marble had drastically declined and quarrying operations everywhere hit hard times. Switching to gravel and limestone production, both quarries here limped along for several decades but in 1978 both were defunct and, particularly Mead’s Quarry, became illegal dump sites and local eyesores.
Today, following thousands of volunteer cleanup hours and the dedication of Ijams park staff, the quarries have expanded Ijams to a new level and acted as the catalyst to the emerging and nationally-lauded Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness, created and championed by Legacy Parks Foundation, which offers over 40 miles of trails within South Knoxville alone.
Mead’s and Ross Marble Quarries are unique places along the Urban Wilderness. The quarries, acquired during the past decade, now encompass almost two-thirds of Ijams’ acreage. The former home site of the Ijams family still sits on the bank of the Tennessee River less than a mile away yet the quarries both compliment and challenge one’s view of a traditional nature center experience.
Starting at the parking to Mead’s Quarry, just down the road from the main Ijams entrance the visitor can spend all day exploring history, natural and man-made landmarks, as well as enjoy the sights and sounds of local fauna. Immediately, a 25-acre lake pops into view, created toward the end of mining operations, which is now home to native aquatic species and, curiously, fresh water jellyfish that rise to the surface in the hot summer months during their reproductive cycle. Despite being just the size of a “quarter”, the notion of a jellyfish alive in East Tennessee is remarkable to most people yet it’s a species that enjoys fresh water. This is quite a discovery for a location with such a murky history as Mead’s Quarry where dumping and crime prevailed unchecked for a long time.

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