I discovered this gem during the late winter of 2015, and I've been back multiple times. As I made the trek back and forth between Knoxville and South Carolina, to finish the move, I passed the sign for the Seven Islands State Birding Park. The sign was just off of I-40, about 20 minutes from Knoxville. The sign indicated hiking, and I kept figuring that I'd give it a look. But it took some months before I went out there.
I'm certainly glad that I did go, as the park is a beautiful place to walk and admire the scenery. The park itself lies along the French Broad River, and is a refuge for many types of birds. As it was winter, I did not bear witness to many of the avian denizens of the park, but it is still a beautiful place to go. Set among rolling hills and rivers, it can be a calming place.
The hiking is not the most strenuous in the area, certainly. However, one can get a good walk by chaining different trails together. On the occasion that I took these pictures, I went along the Upland Trail Inner Loop and connected up with the Seven Islands Loop Trail, about 2.5 miles in all. This takes one through the various terrains in the park, beginning with a walk along an upper ridge, down through a small forested area, and then along the river. The trail finishes up crossing the main island, through fields of grasses.
I don't have much more to say about this hike, other than to note that I'm looking forward to coming back many times, especially in the spring to see the wildflowers blooming and the birds flying.