Saturday, March 18, 2017
This scenic spot not far from downtown Knoxville might be well known to the locals, but was a surprise for an out-of-towner like me. The water is so green, I should have posted this for St. Patrick's Day yesterday.
Several times over the years, I would pass through Knoxville along the Chapman Highway on the way to Gatlinburg. Not far after crossing the Tennessee River, I would see the steep drive on the west side of the road pointing up to Fort Dickerson. I often wondered what was up there, but I always forgot to research it further because I was on my way to Gatlinburg. In recent years, Knoxville, has made the road up there a little less steep, and more inviting.
In addition to the actual Civil War Fort Dickerson atop this small mountain, is this scenic overlook to the Fort Dickerson Quarry (aka Lambert Quarry). Now that water has filled into the quarry, it has turned into this emerald green color.
Not far from the Fort is Lambert Overlook. All one can do here is take a look as the city has installed some fencing to prevent people from trying to access the water from this side. You may be able to tell there is a road that leads down to the water on the other side.
For many years, the locals wanted this to be a swimming hole - a place of calm water so close to downtown. It was illegal for a long time, but a couple of years ago the city made it ok to swim here. However, swimming has it's risks as you choose to swim to the other side and get tired, you have to swim all the way back to where you started as there is only one place to enter and exit. Plus there have been a few people who made poor decisions and lost their life when jumping from the bluffs. This has forced the city to reconsider whether or not swimming should be permitted here.