About Oak Ridge
What Makes a City "Great"
Whether it is a safe community, low crime, top-rated schools, parks, greenways, athletic fields, close proximity to a national park, or strong historical significance to our country, you will find it in Oak Ridge. Please look around our website for information on city services and amenities. If you have any questions not answered on our site, please contact us.
Oak Ridge was built under a cloak of secrecy by the United States government during World War II as a major site of the Manhattan Project, the massive wartime effort that produced the world's first atomic weapons. In 1942, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers bought an estimated 60,000 acres of rural farmland to construct a "temporary" city and three facilities to develop technology that ended the war. After the war, Oak Ridge transitioned from a "temporary" military town into an independent city and became self-governing in 1959 as residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of incorporation under a modified city manager-council form of government.
The City of Oak Ridge is located in the eastern part of the State, approximately 22 miles northwest of Knoxville, with a population of approximately 31,402. The City occupies a southern portion of Anderson County and an eastern portion of Roane County. Oak Ridge borders the Clinch River's navigable waterway for 42 miles along the shores of Watts Bar and Melton Hill Lake.
Oak Ridge is approximately 92 square miles in area and includes plant and facilities of the U.S. Department of Energy. Residential, commercial, and municipal-owned portions of the City make up nearly 30 square miles. The remaining area of the City is owned by the Department of Energy. Oak Ridge is home to United States Department of Energy facilities - a national laboratory and a national security complex - and high-tech/high-wage employers. It is also home to a regional medical center. Oak Ridge is the first retail destination for residents within five East Tennessee counties.
Currently, there are four industrial parks in the City that were developed by the municipality and two parks that were developed by private firms. Oak Ridge also has a new industrial park, Horizon Center, with 1,000 acres of undeveloped federal land.
Oak Ridge offers a variety of recreational activities that include:
- Swimming tennis
- Soccer hiking
- Biking disc golf
- Basketball billiards
- Summer camps
The City is home to Melton Hill Lake which is recognized as the home of the Oak Ridge rowing course. Melton Hill Lake offers 173 miles of shoreline for boating, fishing, and rowing. Melton Lake Greenway, one of Oak Ridge's 12 beautiful greenways, runs along the western shore of Melton Hill Lake for people to enjoy scenic, outdoor activities.
Oak Ridge is also home to 16 beautiful parks that are strategically located throughout the City to be within one-half mile of each residential area, and are open year-round from dawn until dusk. For more information on these parks, please visit the Recreation and Parks Department.
Oak Ridge also has a variety of special parks, including:
Carl Yearwood Disc Golf Course-a challenging, but short Par 3 disc golf course
Groves Park Disc Golf Course-18-hold disc golf course that has four tee lengths on each hold to provide a fun challenge for beginners, intermediate players, advanced players, and professionals.
Haw Ridge Park-an excellent 780 acre park for walking, running, bicycling, and horseback riding.
Oak Ridge also has an array of aquatic programs that take place at either the indoor or outdoor pool.
The year-round indoor pool facility is located in the Oak Ridge Civic Center Recreation Building. This pool is a seven-lane, 75 feet by 48 feet, with depths ranging from 3 feet 6 inches to 10 feet 6 inches. The pool is open six days a week throughout the year, and the pool schedule varies depending on the season.
The Oak Ridge Outdoor Swimming Pool was originally constructed in 1944 by the Corps of Engineers, the pool underwent major renovation in 1992-1993 and reopened for the 1994 summer season. The renovation included state-of-the-art equipment. The pool is spring water fed and considered one of the largest in the nation. Depths range from zero to 13-1/2 feet. It opens each summer during the first part of June and closes in mid-August.
To learn more about recreational activities in Oak Ridge, please contact the Oak Ridge Recreation and Parks Department at 865-425-3450.
To learn more about economic opportunities in Oak Ridge, please visit the following sites: