The Kingsport Greenbelt is a linear park that connects the residential neighborhoods, traditional parks, downtown, commercial districts, schools, and activity centers.
A special feature of this unique park is a pathway for pedestrian and bicycle use. The pathway meanders along gentle streams, wanders through the marshlands, glides across open meadows, and passes by sites of historical and aesthetic value.
Development and operations of The Greenbelt are guided by a citizen advisory committee and the Kingsport Parks and Recreation Department.
The Greenbelt is funded in part by grants from the Local Parks and Recreation fund (LPRF), Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), Recreation Trails Program (RTP) and Tennessee Department of Transportation.
Kingsport’s Greenbelt walking/cycling trail concept became a reality in the 1970’s when Riverfront Park and The Boatyard was developed.After the initial construction of a trail in this park, interest in additional pathways grew and a Greenbelt master plan was created in 1989.
This master plan outlined future efforts for developing a trail to extend along Reedy Creek and the Holston River that would connect the East and West sides of Kingsport.The Greenbelt is an 10-mile long linear park that connects residential neighborhoods, traditional parks, downtown, commercial districts, schools and activity centers.
The project has been funded through Grants, City of Kingsport budgets, land donations and community contributions.The Kingsport Greenbelt has gained recognition by being featured in Southern Living, receiving an award from the White House and for receiving multiple Statewide Recreation Awards.
The Kingsport Greenbelt was also a key factor for Kingsport’s designation by Walk Magazine as “The Best City to Walk”.
In 2021, The Greenbelt was awarded the Governor's Environmental Stewardship Award. The Governor's Environmental Stewardship Awards (GESA) are presented annually to recognize outstanding achievements by individuals, local governments, businesses, organizations, educational institutions, and agencies for successful environmental projects and conservation measures.
Today the trail has an average daily attendance of over 1000 people. Among the unique features of the 10-mile trail is the “Bluebird Trail,” a wetland preservation area, wildflowers, two trailhead historic sites, natural springs, a suspension bridge, elevated boardwalks, bike repair stations, fitness stations, picnic spaces and a riverside boat ramp.
The volunteer Greenbelt Advisory Committee was established in 1988 and many of the original members are still actively involved. This committee advises of policies, construction priorities and special requests. They also assist with promotions, special projects, community advocacy and donations.