If you’re new to Knoxville, you’ll undoubtedly soon come across a bluegrass tune called “Rocky Top.” The song is an ode to country life, moonshine and backwoods love affairs. You’ll mostly hear the song played at sporting events where the University of Tennessee is involved, but you’ll come across it elsewhere, too. Just to keep the record straight, the song was not written in and is not about Knoxville’s Rocky Hill neighborhood.
The Rocky Hill community is in West Knoxville, enveloped by West Hills to the north, Bearden to north and northeast, and Sequoyah Hills to the northeast. Bluegrass lies to the neighborhood’s west, and the Tennessee River wraps around from south to east.
Rocky Hill has different feels to it depending on where exactly you are in the community. Lakeshore Park and south of West Town Mall has a suburban ambiance to it. Parts of Northshore Drive, which makes its southwest descent through the neighborhood, feel a bit rural. South of Northshore Drive around the river has the look of a dense forest.
If you’re looking for something to do in Rocky Hill, you might consider Lakeshore Park on Northshore Drive. This 60-acre park has six baseball/softball fields and two soccer fields. There’s a playground and lots of open space. A well-lit 2.25-mile greenway loops through the park, providing beautiful views of the river and the ball fields below. Sit on one of the green metal park benches and you can watch an entire baseball game if you want.
The Rocky Hill Ball Fields also are here. The 18-acre park is in the Morrell Road area and includes two playgrounds, as well as eight baseball/softball fields. Rocky Hill is one of several locales in Knoxville that has community baseball leagues. For 40 years, kids have competed around the dusty diamonds. League participants range from the 5- and 6-year-old Mini-Midgets up through the 13- and 14-year-old Sandy Koufax-ers.
Rocky Hill also provides lots of housing. Some homes are older and more modest. Others are larger and more expensive. The streets south of Northshore are tangled with trees and foliage. The plots of land are larger, and signs warn of deer. If Bigfoot or a wild boy raised by wolves lurched across the road in front of your car in this bac country you might not think twice about it. But you’ll also see horses in fenced-in encampments grazing on grass, too (no doubt food for the wild boy).
Near the intersection of Morrell Road and Northshore Drive is the neighborhood’s commercial outpost. Look for restaurants, salons, a hardware store, a supermarket and just about anything else you’d need in a pinch. Morrell Road will take you to West Town Mall, Kingston Pike and Interstate 40-75, placing Rocky Hill close to civilization, yet far enough away to seem like somewhere else entirely.
As for any moonshine stills or women “as sweet as soda pop” in the neighborhood, you’ll have to see if you can find those on your own.