Adding a touch of color to Knoxville: Sunflowers at Forks of the River

Man in field of sunflowers

Continuing our Summer Travel series focusing on places now open and ready for tourists, here’s another of our Places To See for those of you venturing forth whether near or far.

A sunflower field is like a sky with a thousand suns.

Corina Abdulahm-Negura

They’re back . . . and it’s once again time to view sunflowers in Knoxville! Hundreds of them, now in full bloom are ready for viewing through July at Knoxville’s Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area. And with over 60 acres of towering yellow sunflowers, you can walk the trails between fields, take pictures, and enjoy summer color — all for free!

Sunflower opening up
Sunflower Disc Floret
Single sunflower with bee

We only get this chance to see sunflowers every other year, on odd-numbered years. Because sunflowers require a lot of nitrogen, they’re replanted every two years.

Sunflower daring to be different
Daring to be different

But what a reward when you arrive! Tall stalks with large yellow flowers, loved by bees and visitors alike. It’s a photographer’s paradise, so you may want to capture your kids and grandkids in one of the golden fields or just focus on close-ups. It’s all good.

Child in sunflower field
As far as the eye can see

So, how do you get there? Head to Forks of the River Wildlife Management Area a little past Ijams Nature Center and Mead’s Quarry, about 10 minutes from downtown Knoxville at 3140 McClure Lane, Knoxville, TN 37920. Parking is available, but no public rest rooms, so you may want to stop at the Nature Center at Ijams before you explore the fields.

Afterwards, we recommend lunch or dinner at SoKno Taco Cantina — fun, urban atmosphere with great — well, what else? — tacos, of course. It’s located at 3701 Sevierville Pike, not far from the sunflowers.

Facing the Sun: 2019
Facing the sun

Sunflower fields at Knoxville’s Forks of the River — it’s summer travel at its finest.

Rusha & Bert

32 thoughts on “Adding a touch of color to Knoxville: Sunflowers at Forks of the River

  1. Greenglobaltrek

    Absolutely magnificent! Worth waiting two years for! Great photos. So bright and cheery. Sunflowers are such unique flowers I think because of how tall they grow !!


    1. Oh, the Places We See

      Thanks so much for that compliment on the unopened flower. I don’t know that I’ve ever looked at a “bud” that closely, but this one was fascinating. In fact, sunflower centers are as well. It was a learning trip and a fun one!

  2. Rose

    What a gorgeous quote! “A sunflower field is like a sky with a thousand suns. Corina Abdulahm-Negura”
    And such pretty flowers. 🌻💛

  3. Toonsarah

    Fabulous sunflower photos, especially the close-ups! Unfortunately not somewhere we can easily venture out to however – we’ll have to find our own summer pleasures closer to home this year 🙂

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