As part of the Appalachian Mountain Region, Oak Ridge is surrounded by the Cumberland Mountains and the Great Smokey Mountains.
This location provides, along with an impressive natural skyline and local hiking and camping access, proximity to several places frequented by visitors from around the nation. The following are some these wonder of nature that Oak Ridgers enjoy:
- Greenbelts: These natural areas are protected by the government. One series of greenbelts on Black Oak Ridge contains a federally designated National Recreation Trail, the North Ridge Trail, which extends 7.5 miles along the city's northern perimeter.
- University of Tennessee Arboretum in Oak Ridge: Visitors and community members always enjoy these 250 acres of forest and horticultural gardens.
- Haw Ridge: Not only offers lakefront access, but also 865 acres to explore the natural beauty and wildlife.
- Museum of Appalachia: Located in nearby Norris, the museum is about twenty minutes from Oak Ridge. The museum offers a unique preservation of historical Appalachia, original buildings and reenactments and yearly events.
- The Appalachian National Scenic Trail: This 2,174-mile footpath can be traveled in part or in whole.
- The Smokey Mountain National Park: Hiking, camping, horse-back riding, white-water rafting, tubing, nature trails, creek hiking and exploring Cades Cove are just some of the activities available here, America’s most visited national park.
- Cumberland Mountain State Park: 1,720 acres of spectacular beauty, 147 campsites, rustic cabins and Ozone Falls State Natural Area make this park very appealing for a daytrip or a weekend getaway.