Do you really live in Knoxville if you don't visit the epic sunflower fields at the Forks of the River Wildlife Management Center? It's just a short walk away from the parking lot at Mead's Quarry at Ijams. Alternatively, you can risk the crowds and turn directly onto the street the fields are next to and park in a smaller lot that's tucked away. There were so many people when we visited last Sunday that a young boy was raising money for his football team by selling cold drinks and parking spots in his family's yard!
Depending on what time of day you go, be prepared to SWEAT. They are called sunflowers for a reason and are most spectacular when it is nice and bright outside. It was probably around 95 degrees when these pictures were taken, so I'm glad I opted for the laid back approach when I got dressed. While Ijams usually has a few more fields, they do rotate the crops to ensure that the soil nutrients remain optimal.
This is definitely a high foot traffic area, much like the bluebonnet fields in Texas, so it is important to be respectful of each other as well as the wildlife. Not littering or tromping through the plants means that future generations get to enjoy the same beauty for years to come!