Outdoor Chattanooga News And Events

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Here are upcoming news and events from Outdoor Chattanooga:

Outdoor Chattanooga's 2017 Winter Workshop Series
Classroom Based Outdoor Education Workshops
Free ~ All Ages Welcome
Thursdays, 6:00-7:30 PM
Outdoor Chattanooga in Coolidge Park
200 River Street, Chattanooga, TN 37405
Call 423.643.6888 or email Outdoor Chattanooga for more information.

Knots and Rescue Systems for Paddlers January 19

Do you know the ropes for river rescue and recovery? This workshop is open to all skill levels and is most appropriate for paddlers interested in learning basic knots, types of ropes, types of anchors and mechanical advantage systems used for river rescue situations.

All attendees will get to throw a rope and learn how to re-coil quickly and efficiently for that potentially life-saving second throw!  No reservation required. Cost: Free. Instructors: Mike Shillinger is an ACA Level 4 Swift Water Rescue Instructor and has been involved with the TVCC Safety Program since 2008 and Rachel Roman is working to complete her Swift Water Rescue Certification and also a member of the TVCC (Tennessee Valley Canoe Club).

How to Plan and Lead a Day Hike January 26

Proper planning and preparation is necessary anytime you venture into the great outdoors, especially if you are the one organizing the trip into nature. Learn the elements of preparing for and leading a day hike, thus helping to make your trip safer and more enjoyable for all involved. From an essential gear packing list to information about area trails along with trail maps and suggestions for beginner and seasoned hikers, you'll walk away with the knowledge and confidence to lead a group day hike. No reservation required. Cost: Free. Instructor: Zach Bopp, Recreation Specialist with Outdoor Chattanooga.

Critter Encounters: Backyard to Backwoods February 2

In honor of Groundhog Day, Outdoor Chattanooga and Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center offer an outdoor ethics workshop related to critters on the trail. Get close to several rescued forest animals to gain a greater understanding of these creatures and learn more on how to prevent problematic and dangerous encounters while visiting the forest to hike or camp. Being good stewards starts with understanding these essential prevention techniques to properly critter proof your campsite including how to hang a bear bag. The workshop is suitable for all ages. No reservations required. Cost: Free. Instructors: Terri Chapin is a Leave No Trace Master Educator and Program Coordinator for Outdoor Chattanooga, and Corey Hagen is Director of Education/Director of Wildlife Management at Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center.

Navigate with Map and Compass February 9

We've become pretty dependent on smartphones for way finding, but what happens if the signal fails or the battery quits while you're out on the trail? Learn the basics of navigating using the "old school" map and compass. Maps and compasses are available for class. Apply your new skills on March 4 with a guided practice course, or visit Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center to participate in their orienteering course. Cost: Free. Instructor: Alan Archer, former U.S. Marine and orienteering expert, along with Zach Bopp, Recreation Specialist with Outdoor Chattanooga.

Bike Maintenance 101 February 16

Outdoor Chattanooga's bicycle guru, James Eubank, will lead participants through three different aspects of bicycle maintenance; fixing a flat tire, how to prevent future flats, quick ways to clean and lube your bicycle with minimal equipment, and how to tune your rear derailleur with ease. Participants can choose one or all three skills to learn. No previous bike knowledge is required, tools will be provided and questions will be encouraged. Hands and clothing might get dirty/greasy. Bring your bike for demonstration or use one of ours. No registration is required. Cost: Free. Instructor: James Eubank is a Certified League Cycling Instructor for League of American Bicyclists and Recreation Specialist for Outdoor Chattanooga.  

How to Poop in the Woods February 23

At one point or another, knowing how to poop in the woods will come in handy. All too often "Charmin" blooms are viewed along the trail indicating that people do not know how to go properly in the outdoors. This class explains the Leave No Trace researched principles as best practices for waste disposal. All ages are welcome to come learn one of the most fundamental parts of being a good backcountry traveler; how to answer nature's call -while in nature. No reservation required. Cost: Free. Instructor: Terri Chapin is a Leave No Trace Master Educator and Program Coordinator for Outdoor Chattanooga.

More Outdoor Chattanooga Events

Community Events

Lula Lake Polar Plunge January 1

For one day only, you can plunge into the beautiful blue waters of Lula Lake in their first annual Polar Plunge on Sunday, January 1. Tickets are $100 and must be purchased in advance. Proceeds benefit Lula Lake Land Trust  projects and programs for the year. Tickets include all you can drink hot chocolate, apple cider, and bloody marys. Spectators are free to attend. Gates open at 12 p.m. Plunge starts at 1 p.m. Swimmers should bring a towel and a warm change of clothes. We will have changing stations and a fire (weather permitting). No wet suits (it ruins the fun). Swimmers should also wear shoes, as the rocks may be sharp and slippery. Water shoes, Chacos, etc are perfectly fine, flip flops are not recommended.

First Day Hikes January 1
Start your New Year off right with a First Day Hike in one of America's State Parks! Here's a list of the ranger led hikes that will be offered in the Chattanooga area. Ranger Jesse will lead an easy 1.5 mile hike along the Tennessee River at Booker T. Washington State Park from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Ranger Matt will lead an easy 1-mile hike at Harrison Bay State Park at 11:30 a.m. Ranger Jordan will lead a moderately strenuous hike on the Cumberland Trail State Scenic Trail State Park beginning at Baker Camp Trailhead from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Ranger Logan will lead a short, easy hike and interpretive tour around the council grounds at Red Clay State Park beginning at 2:00 p.m. Cloudland Canyon State Park offers a moderately strenuous 4-mile hike on the Can't Hardly trail beginning at 10:00 a.m. Ranger Angelo with the Hiwassee/Ocoee State Park will guide a short hike and wildlife interpretation along with storytelling around a campfire from 6:00-9:00 p.m. Park Ranger Jessie will lead a strenuous 5.5 mile hike of the Savage Falls Day Loop Hike in the South Cumberland State Park from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. CST.

Managing Invasive Species January 9
Tennessee Valley Wild Ones will host a free public meeting on Managing Invasive Species on Monday, January 9 at 6:00 pm at green|spaces. Pioneering invasion biologist Daniel Simberloff will discuss current issues related to regional invasive species. Invasion biology studies the patterns displayed by species introduced outside their geographic ranges, the impacts such species have on the communities they invade, and the means by which such invasions can be managed. Dr. Simberloff will highlight notable local invaders and the ecological impacts they pose, cover current efforts to stem their spread, and describe ways for the public to join this fight.

Outdoor Chattanooga Recommends

Outdoor Chattanooga's Last Minute, Local Giving Guide
This holiday season, how about gifting an outdoor adventure or experience instead of traditional gifts wrapped in boxes under the tree. The Scenic City offers a variety of outdoor activities for that special someone on your list. Not only will you give them a gift to remember, you'll be supporting a local business or organization, which strengthens our community. In compiling this list, we were reminded how awesome it is to live Chattanooga! It truly is the Best Town Ever!! 

Here's Outdoor Chattanooga's gift giving recommendations: 

For the curious climber: Give them a gift card or membership to High Point Climbing or Tennessee Bouldering Authority (TBA), two local climbing gyms that will introduce them to the sport or keep them active during the winter months. 

For the serious cyclist and much loved mountain biker: Gift them with a SORBA Membership, IMBA Membership, or GA State Parks Season Pass so they can give back to and get out on the trails they love.

For the perpetual paddler: Gift them with gift cards or future SUP/Kayak rentals so they can paddle on peaceful waters, L2 Outside or Rusty's Kayaks. For those paddlers that seek a little more adventure and adrenaline; Outdoor Chattanooga's Rapid Learning Whitewater Kayak Program may be the perfect fit.

For the wanderlust water lover: Look into these local companies to help plan your next water adventure. Scenic City Safari Shuttles and Outfitters, River Canyon Adventures, Blue Heaven River Tours. A little further out on the Hiwassee and for those that want to brave some rapids there's Hiwassee Outfitters or Webb Brothers.

For the watcher of wildlife: Sandhill Crane Cruises on the Tennessee River Gorge Explorer, Chattanooga Zoo Membership, Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center, Chattanooga Audubon Society, Tennessee Aquarium. 

For the happy hiker: GA State Parks Season Pass to access all the great trails at Cloudland Canyon State Park on Lookout Mountain. 

For the consistent commuter: Gift them with a Bike Chattanooga pass or membership so they can commute around town. 

For the adrenaline junkie: Chattanooga Skydiving Company, Lookout Mountain Hang Gliding, Ruby Falls Zipstream, Amped Super Sports Off-Roading Tours, or Ocoee River Whitewater Rafting Outfitters

If you're set on giving a tangible gift that can be unwrapped, try shopping at a local consignment shop such at Gear Closet or Four Bridges Outfitters.

Did you know that you could support several local non-profits when you shop online at Amazon? All you have to do is pick the charity, go shopping and make your regular purchases through smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate 0.5% of eligible purchases to that charity. 

Lastly, you could consider making a donation to any of these local non-profits in your loved one's name and help spread good cheer for conservation all through the year. 
Lookout Mountain Conservancy
Lula Lake Land Trust
TenneSEA - Kids for Clean Water
Tennessee River Gorge Trust
Trust for Public Land

Upcoming Events

25     Christmas
26     City Offices Closed
31     Lula Lake Open Gate Day

1         Lula Lake Polar Plunge
           Red Clay's New Year's Rockin' Hike
           Ranger Led First Hike on the Cumberland Trail
2         City Offices Closed
7         Snake Creek Gap Time Trials
           Lula Lake Open Gate Day
9         Learn to Ride a Bike Class
10       Rapid Learning Kayak Roll Class
14-15   Sandhill Crane Festival
16       Chattanooga MLK Day of Service
19       Winter Workshop: Knots & Rescue Skills for Paddlers
19-22   Lookout Wild Film Festival 
26       Winter Workshop: How to Plan & Lead a Day Hike
28       Lula Lake Open Gate Day
28-29   Wilderness First Aid Training (Class is Full)

2        Winter Workshop: Critter Encounters 
4        Lula Lake Open Gate Day
7        Rapid Learning Kayak Roll Class
9        Winter Workshop: Map & Compass
11      Wildlife Photography Workshop
         Snake Creek Gap Time Trials
13      Learn to Ride a Bike Class
20      Bike Commuting 101
16      Winter Workshop: Bike Maintenance 101
23      Winter Workshop: How to Poop in the Woods
25      Lula Lake Open Gate Day

3-5     Chattanooga Marathon
4        Map & Compass Navigation Field Class
         Lula Lake Open Gate Day
13      Learn to Ride a Bike Class
20      Bike Commuting 101
25      Lula Lake Open Gate Day

Lula Lake Land Trust Welcomes New Director Of Development And Communications

Lula Lake Land Trust announced Tuesday that Matthew Hubbard has joined the staff as the director of development and communications. Mr. Hubbard joins Lula Lake after seven years in nonprofit development. He graduated with a B.S. in marketing from Jacksonville State University and holds additional degrees in English and psychology.   As a native of Northeast Alabama, Mr. ... (click for more)

Southern Environmental Law Center Files Lawsuit Against Forest Service

The Southern Environmental Law Center, on behalf of the Tennessee Chapter of the Sierra Club, and Knoxville attorney Shelby Ward, on behalf of Heartwood and Tennessee Heartwood, jointly filed a lawsuit in federal court Thursday, alleging that the Forest Service is illegally endangering the soil, forests, and waters of the Cherokee National Forest and hiding those risks from the ... (click for more)

City May Make It Easier For Food Trucks To Operate In Chattanooga

The City Council is considering action that would make it easier for food trucks to operate in Chattanooga.  City Attorney Wade Hinton said cities like Austin and Portland have thriving food truck operations and Chattanooga is studying those models. He said, "It's truly an industry there." He said a 2013 food truck ordinance was limited and did not allow food trucks on ... (click for more)

Haslam Proposes $30 Million For School Safety

Governor Bill Haslam Tuesday proposed $30 million to improve school safety across the state in the amendment to the fiscal year 2018-19 budget proposal to be considered by the General Assembly in the coming weeks. The funding includes $25 million in nonrecurring and $5.2 million in recurring school safety grants. Earlier this month, the governor appointed a School Safety Working ... (click for more)

The Panhandling "Tax" On Gunbarrel

I’ve been reading about the panhandling problem in downtown; it is a huge problem in the Gunbarrel area, too.  It’s commonplace to be accosted by panhandlers when walking from your parked car into a commercial establishment.  And often they are aggressive.  I look carefully around my car before getting out, but sometimes someone will be lurking in between cars and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Meme From The Meanies

Hardly a day goes past that I don’t receive several strings of memes in my incoming emails and yesterday there was one particular collection that gave me pause for thought. First, here’s the definition of a meme: “An Internet meme (/mi?m/ MEEM) is an activity, concept, catchphrase or piece of media which spreads, often as mimicry or for humorous purposes, from person to person via ... (click for more)