Outdoor Chattanooga News And Events

Wednesday, November 1, 2017 - by Outdoor Chattanooga

Here are upcoming news and events from Outdoor Chattanooga:

Rapid Learning Whitewater Kayak Program: Winter Dates

Outdoor Chattanooga's Rapid Learning Whitewater Kayak Program continues through the winter months at the Hulsey Wellness Center at Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, TN. Classes held Tuesdays, 7-9 p.m. Nov. 7, Dec. 5, Feb. 6, March 6, and April 3. No reservation or experience required. The first class is always free and includes all equipment and instruction.

There is a $2 pool use fee charged by the Wellness Center. Please bring cash. For more info or questions, email Outdoor Chattanooga or call 423-643-6888. 

Special offer for Rapid Learning Members Only!  
Outdoor Chattanooga has a special offer for our Rapid Learning Members!!! Current Rapid Learning Members can attend indoor roll classes at the UTC ARC Pool in downtown Chattanooga. The pool has special features including a kayak drop and moving current to practice eddy catches and peel outs. The special "members only" winter dates are Thursday, Nov. 16, Jan. 18, and Wed. March 7 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. **Note: you must be a current Rapid Learning Member to participate. Email Outdoor Chattanooga or call (423) 643-6888 to renew or purchase an annual membership. Individual membership is $75 or $125 for a family membership. We cannot accept payment at the pool and are limited to only accepting current members per agreement with UTC. Rapid Learning Members have access to instruction and equipment for an entire year, along with discounts on instructional river trips offered in the summer. Becoming a Rapid Learning Member just got a little cooler! 

More Outdoor Chattanooga Events

Community Events

Head of the Hooch Rowing Regatta
Saturday, November 4-5th 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
The Head of the Hooch is an annual rowing regatta held in Chattanooga on the first Saturday and Sunday of November. Competitors row a 5,000-meter (3.1 mile) course on the Tennessee River ending at Ross's Landing Park. With 2,000+ boats racing over two days, it is one of the largest rowing regattas in the world! Here is a spectator's guide for watching this unique sporting event this weekend. Spectators can watch the races along the Tennessee River from various locations. The course map shows where the races start and finish. The best place to view the finish line is at Ross's Landing Park, where you can also enjoy the crews tents, the Chattanooga Market and the crowds supporting the crews on and off the water. The Walnut Street Bridge offers a unique way to watch the race and a perfect location for aerial pictures of the rowers as they approach the finish line. Coolidge Park on the North Shore offers a quieter location for spectating on the opposite side of the river. Finally, the Tennessee Riverwalk offers a paved path along the shore to view the races by foot or by bike.

Ranger Guided Hike on Lookout Mountain
Saturday, November 4th 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park invites the public to explore the history of Lookout Mountain on a ranger-guided hike along the Hardy, Mountain Beautiful, Bluff, and Cravens House Trails. The 4 mile hike will cover nearly 600 feet of elevation change over rocky and uneven terrain. Participants should dress appropriately for the weather, wear supportive footwear, bring water, and are encouraged to bring a daypack and light trail snacks. For more information about programs at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, contact the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center at 706-866-9241, the Lookout Mountain Battlefield Visitor Center at 423-821-7786, or visit the park website.

Family Volunteer Day at Sterchi Farm Park
Saturday, November 18th 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is collaborating with The Walt Disney Company on Meet Me at the Park, a program aimed at improving access to outdoor play - including trails, mobile play, play spaces and sports. The City of Chattanooga was selected to receive funding for its Sterchi Farm Adventure Trail at Sterchi Farm Park and was one of only 25 grant recipients nationwide to be selected through the program. Family Volunteer Day provides an opportunity to connect volunteers in our community with our Meet Me at the Park project. Please join the City of Chattanooga for Family Volunteer Day to Help Spruce Up Sterchi Farm Park. Some of the possible projects include: Planting non-invasive plants Mulching around trees Trash removal Graffiti removal Invasive removal Fence staining Volunteering is great ways for kids and adults to make new friends, develop compassion for their neighbors, and even pick up a new skill or two! It's an amazing day - don't miss out on this incredible opportunity!

After Thanksgiving Hike at Red Clay State Park
Friday, November 24th 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Join the Ranger's at Red Clay State Park for an After Thanksgiving Day Hike and chose to opt outside instead of waiting in lines. Hikers will learn about local flora and fauna, native animals, as well as the local geography. The hike is free and open to all ages.

More Community Events

Community News

Veterans Day Weekend: Fee Free Entrance to Point Park
Saturday, November 11 & Sunday November 12

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park will offer free entrance for ALL visitors at Point Park, atop Lookout Mountain, on Friday, November 11 in honor of our US Veterans on Veterans Day. All park entrance fees, including commercial tour entrance fees, will be waived at all 413 national park sites. This fee-free day provides an opportunity for individuals and families to find inspiration in America's national parks. The National Park Service preserves many patriotic icons and majestic landscapes that commemorate and honor the service of American Veterans. For more information about upcoming programs at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, please contact the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center at (706) 866-9241, the Lookout Mountain Visitor Center at (423) 821-7786, or visit the park's website.

Prentice Cooper Fall 2017 Hunt Dates
November 3-5 & November 25-30
Prentice Cooper State Forest and Wildlife Management Area will be holding managed deer hunts on the dates listed below. The area west of Highway 27 (Suck Creek Road) will be closed to visitors except hunters on these dates. The area east of Highway 27 including Edwards Point will remain open for hiking on these dates: September 16-22, October 5-7, 21-22, 26-28, and November 3-5, 25-30. (T-Wall is closed during these scheduled hunt dates)

Outdoor Chattanooga's Local Outdoor Adventure to Try in November

This year, we've highlighted a local adventure for our faithful readers to try each month. Our hope was to inspire you to get out and play and try something new. As we near the end of the year, we hope that you've felt adventurous enough to try a few of our suggestions. If you haven't, it's not too late start. This month, we highlight bouldering as the local adventure and we're going to show you how easy it is to give this growing sport a try. 

But Why Bouldering?
Chattanooga is known as an outdoor mecca and rock climbing tops the list of things to do when visiting the Scenic City. An article in Climbing Magazine boasted Chattanooga as "America's New Climbing Capital" and the best place to spend autumn as a climber. Chattanooga sits at the center of a band of sandstone cliffs and boulder fields scattered along the Cumberland Plateau, offering up all types of climbing options for all levels of climbers. Combine that with the cooler temps that November brings to the Southeast and you have a recipe for tacky rock and sweet ascents. 

What is Bouldering?
Bouldering is a form of rock climbing that is performed on large boulders, small rock formations or artificial rock walls, without the use of ropes or harnesses. While it can be done without any equipment, most climbers use climbing shoes to help secure footholds, chalk to keep their hands dry and provide a firmer grip, and bouldering mats to prevent injuries from falls. The challenge is to climb short, tricky bouldering "problems" (a route, or sequence of moves) using balance, technique, strength and your brain. The V Scale is used to rate problems that range in difficulty from a V0 (easiest) to V16 (difficult).  Since Bouldering doesn't require expensive equipment or any experience, we think it's a great activity for the whole family to try.
Where to Go (Indoors)?

The three indoor climbing gyms in Chattanooga all have dedicated bouldering walls; High Point Downtown, High Point Riverside and Tennessee Bouldering Authority. Gyms are a great place to start as they have rental equipment, and plenty of staff on hand along with regular climbers to seek advice from. The gyms are also a great place to get ample practice in, especially on poor weather days. Bouldering is an incredibly social sport, so don't be afraid to ask questions of others or strike up conversations with fellow climbers.

Where to Go in the Great Outdoors?
But ultimately, we want you to get outside and play, so we recommend Stone Fort as the beginner friendly bouldering destination in the Chattanooga area. Stone Fort, known to climbers as Little Rock City, is just a short, 30-minute drive from Chattanooga and one of the best boulder fields in the Southeast. Located in Soddy Daisy, next to the Montalke Golf Course, Stone Fort is one of three venues for the Triple Crown Bouldering Series that occurs each fall. Since the boulder fields are on private property, climbers must check in at the Clubhouse and pay the entry fee before climbing. Clubhouse Hours: 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Nov-March. Check in, sign a waiver and pay the $8.75 fee (tax included). The Clubhouse also rents bouldering mats (crash pads) for $10 per visit, plus they have typical clubhouse offerings such as beverages and snacks along with other climbing necessities like guidebooks, chalk, and tape for sale. Once you've completed the necessary check in process, grab your gear and your friends and head on down the path. You won't have to travel far to reach the "Front Area" also known as the Forbidden City, which is a great place to find V-easy problems to start on. Use this free sample guide to navigate your way through the boulder maze and locate some V0 and V1 problems. Don't forget, bouldering is a very social sport so don't be afraid to ask other people people in the boulder field what they'd recommend for a first time climber.

Safety First:  
When placing bouldering pads on the ground, make sure they are directly underneath the area you will be climbing, they are in a single layer, and there are no gaps between bouldering pads. Falling into a pad gap or onto the edge of stacked pads could mean a twisted or broken ankle.
When going with a group, it's important that those who aren't climbing "spot" the climber. Spotters make sure that the pads remain in a single layer with no gaps, and they keep their arms raised and oriented towards the climber's waist. If the climber falls, the spotters don't catch the climber. Instead they guide the climber to make sure they fall directly onto the pad and don't tumble off the pads. 
No one should stand directly underneath someone climbing. The climber could fall at any moment. Spotters should stand back just enough to ensure they can steady the climber's waist in a fall, but not close enough that the climber could fall onto them.

Additional Resources: 
Outdoor Chattanooga-Stone Fort Climbing
Outdoor Chattanooga-Rock Climbing
Travel Southeast Tennessee Rock Climbing Guide
Mountain Project App
Southeast Climbers Coalition-Stone Fort
RootsRated-Stone Fort Climbing

Looking Ahead...Upcoming Events

2        2017 Fly Fishing Film Tour
2-4     Forever Bluegrass Festival
3        BouldeRave 8
          Reel Rock 12
          Night Hike @ Cloudland Canyon
          LGBTQ Youth Hike on Stringer's Ridge
          Paddling by Moonlight
          Party in the Park at Sculpture Fields
3-4     Wilderness First Aid Class
3-5     Storm the Fort Bouldering Comp
4        Taylor Talks: Breakfast in a Bag
          Taylor Talks: Read Wolf Feeding
          St. Elmo Park Spruce Up
4-5     Lula Lake Open Gate Day
          Head of the Hooch
          TYMBR Series Championship
          Daylight Savings Ends
11      Midnight Rampage 
          Upchuck 50K
          Sunset Stroll to Sunset Point
          Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon, Half, Jr. & Fort Oglethorpe 5k
          Chattanooga Mountain Bike Skills Camp
11-12  Veterans Day Weekend-Fee Free Weekend at National Parks
13       Bikepacking 101
17-30  Ice on the Landing     
18       Sitton's Gulch Hike @ Cloudland Canyon
           Head of Sequatchie Open Day
           6th Annual Beer for Gear
23       Happy Thanksgiving!
24       Night Hike @ Cloudland Canyon
           After Thanksgiving Hike at Red Clay
25       Sitton's Gulch Hike @ Cloudland Canyon
           Sunset Stroll to Sunset Point
25-26  Lula Lake Open Gate Day

1         BouldeRave 8
1-2      The Chattanooga 50 Mile / 100 Mile / 100 Relay
2         Stillhouse 100K
           Lula Lake Open Gate Day

Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park Seeks Volunteers For Annual National Public Lands Day On Saturday, Sept. 22

Join volunteers across the nation on Saturday, Sept. 22, taking part in the 25 th annual National Public Lands Day - the largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands in the United States. This year the effort is being made to recognize NPLD events that highlight restoration and resilience. At Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park, we will focus on a section ... (click for more)

155th Anniversary Of The Battle Of Chickamauga Programs And Tours Begin Sept. 14

Visitors are invited to join the staff of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park as they commemorate the 155th Anniversary of the Battle of Chickamauga with a series of ranger-guided tours, hikes, lectures, and living history demonstrations. Programs are scheduled to begin Friday, Sept. 14 and to conclude Sunday, Sept. 23.   "Beginning Sept. 18, 1863, ... (click for more)

Authorities Say Hixson Man Shot And Killed His 15-Year-Old Son On Saturday Night; Also Killed Family Dog

Authorities said a Hixson man shot and killed his 15-year-old son on Saturday night. A report says Mike McElrath, 46, who was found naked at a neighbor's house, also killed the family dog. McElrath was a former Hamilton County corrections officer from 1996-1999. County deputies responded at 10:24 p.m. to 1846 Cotter Road. The residents said there was a man on their front ... (click for more)

Gary Douglas, 25, Shot Early Sunday Morning; Dewayne Stanley, 24, Is Arrested

Gary Douglas, 25, was shot early Sunday morning, and Dewayne Stanley, 24, was arrested.   The Chattanooga Police Department responded at approximately  3 a.m.   to a person shot on the 4700 block of Murray Lake Lane. Upon arrival, officers were able to locate Douglas, who was suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound.   Investigators ... (click for more)

Use Purse Building For Chattanooga Museum Of History And Industry

I was caught off-guard and pleasantly stoked by Eric Atkins' editorial on Chattanoogan.com last week suggesting that one of the soon-to-be surplused city buildings could be turned into a history museum.   I didn't think anyone other than myself that I didn't know cared, or at least would turn their thoughts into the topic of an editorial.  I believe that most of the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Many Math-Tragic Replies

The reaction to my Sunday story, “90% Can’t Do Math,” was fast and furious yesterday. A surprising number of the replies were from teachers, confirming the fact that only nine percent of the pupils in our Hamilton County Public Schools are getting the education that every taxpayer know will actually shape the lives these students will live. Because my stories are shared on the ... (click for more)