Outdoor Chattanooga News And Events

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Here are the upcoming news and events for Outdoor Chattanooga: 

Guided Cumberland Trail Hike Aug. 5
Join Outdoor Chattanooga  for a free, guided hike on the Cumberland Trail on Saturday, August 5 from 9:00 a.

m. to 2:00 p.m. You'll experience a variety of terrain over the 5.8 mile, rated as moderately strenuous, but extremely beautiful hike from the top of Mowbray Mountain down to Big Soddy Creek Gulf. Shuttle will be provided for the one way, mostly downhill trek so you can enjoy the scenic views and sounds of nature without the worry of getting lost. Appropriate for ages 12+. Reservation required in advance as space in the shuttle vehicle is limited. For more info and to get registered email Outdoor Chattanooga or call 643-6888.

Intro to Mountain Biking Skills Course Aug. 8 & 18
Mountain Biking is so much more than just riding a bike through the woods. Outdoor Chattanooga's Intro to Mountain Biking  classes teach the basics and reinforce the skills needed to get the most out of mountain biking. Use of open fields, built features and instructional skill drills; our instructors teach in a format that can be structured to your pace and individual learning style. Mountain bikes are available by reservation to use for class thanks to grants from the Ironman Foundation  and Friends of Outdoor Chattanooga . *Participants must already know how to confidently ride a bike for this class. Fee: $10 per person per class. Ages 10 and up. Reservations required. Email Outdoor Chattanooga or call 643-6888 to register and learn more.

Family Funday at Greenway Farms Aug. 13
Pack a picnic, load up the family and come to Greenway Farms Park to have the ultimate Family Funday full of activity. Outdoor Chattanooga will provide equipment for families to try archery, paddle the creek by canoe or take a self guided nature hike between the hours of 4-7 p.m. on Sunday, August 13. All activities meet at the archery range by the dog park. A liability release form will be required for canoeing and archery. Severe weather or changes in water level may cancel or delay this program.  For more information email Outdoor Chattanooga or call (423) 643-6888.
All ages can take aim at the outdoor archery range located by the dog park at Greenway Farms. Outdoor Chattanooga staff will provide all the equipment and instruction for this activity. Available between 4-7 p.m. Cost: free | first come, first served. Just show up, take aim and give archery a try.  Outdoor Chattanooga will provide all the equipment needed to paddle the creek at your own pace including tandem canoes, PFD's, and paddles. Canoes are available from 4-6 p.m at the boat ramp behind the gardens. Cost: $25 per canoe | first come, first served. We can only accept cash or check on location.
 
Chickamauga Battlefield Bike Tour Aug. 19 
Join Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park  and Outdoor Chattanooga for a free, leisurely paced, historical bike tour through Chickamauga Battlefield  on Saturday, Aug. 19, at 9:30 a.m. The ride is on moderately-hilly terrain, lasts about 2 hours, with frequent stops as the Ranger talks about the history of the battlefield.The rides are appropriate for ages 8 and older when accompanied by an adult. All participants are required to wear helmets. Bring your own bicycle or borrow a bicycle from the Outdoor Chattanooga's mobile bicycle fleet at no charge, thanks to sponsorship from Friends of the Park , Friends of Outdoor Chattanooga  and the Chattanooga Bicycle Club . Reservations for the bicycles are required and only available to riders 5' or taller. Contact the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center at (706) 866-9241 for more information or to reserve a bicycle. Additional Saturday battlefield bicycle tours scheduled for 2017 occur on Sept. 16, and Oct. 19 (9:30-11:30 a.m.). 

Your Guide to Understanding and Experiencing the Total Solar Eclipse of 2017
Total Solar Eclipse

On August 21, 2017, parts of America and even our home state of Tennessee will be in the path of a total solar eclipse. 1869 was the last time Tennessee was in the path of a total solar eclipse and it won't happen again until 2153 and it's been 99 years since a total eclipse passed across the entire continental U.S. Unfortunately, Chattanooga is just outside the path of totality, so if you stay in town, you'll only see a partial eclipse, which is isn't nearly as special. Luckily, Chattanooga is just barely outside the path, so Chattanoogans won't have to travel far to experience this unique astronomical phenomena. Eclipse chasers will travel hundreds and thousands of miles to see a total solar eclipse, so making a small effort to see it will totally be worth it. Just to confirm what we already knew about this event, August 21st is predicted to be the worst day of traffic in U.S. history and Hamilton County Schools recently announced that they will close schools for eclipse day. So, you should plan to take the day off from work (or at least the afternoon), play hooky with the kids and find a place close to home to experience the Great American Total Solar Eclipse of 2017 on August 21. 

What is a total solar eclipse?
Total solar eclipses are an incredible scientific coincidence and it's rare for the path to span such a great distance over a developed country like the U.S. during a prime viewing time. The moon is about 400 times smaller than the sun, and the sun is about 400 times farther away from the Earth. Since this ratio happens to be the same, the sun and moon appear to be the same size when viewed from the Earth's surface. During a total solar eclipse, the orbit of the moon passes directly in front of the sun, completely blocking it from view, plunging the areas under the path of totality into darkness as the temperature drops. Because of slow orbital changes, total solar eclipses did not exist millions of years in the past, nor will they exist millions of years in the future. Click here to watch a short video  to learn more.

How to see and experience the total solar eclipse
The Southeast Tennessee Tourism Association  has put together a great list of nearby cities and towns that will experience the total solar eclipse, as well as eclipse events that are being offered. You can find that by clicking here. The best place to see the eclipse might not be a city: be sure to look at parks that are within the path of totality and consider taking a camping trip. Be aware that a lot of places are going to fill up and book early! There are people who chase total eclipses to the corners of the world; they aren't going to miss a chance to see an easily accessible one. Some places, especially those closest to the center of the path, are expecting at least 50,000 visitors.

*Most importantly: The eclipse cannot be viewed without a pair of eclipse glasses. To do so risks permanent damage to vision. NASA has compiled a list of safety information for eclipse viewing, as well as a list of approved manufacturers of eclipse glasses, found here.

Keep an eye on Outdoor Chattanooga's Facebook page for viewing options around the Scenic City if you can't travel and how to get some free eclipse glasses.

Eclipse Fun Facts
The total eclipse will travel across 14 states: Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, and South Carolina.
Nashville is one of five state capitals that is within the path of totality.
The path of totality is only about 70 miles across.
The eclipse will take 1 hour and 33 minutes to travel across the United States.
Scientists and historians have been able to pinpoint the exact dates of historical events  as far back as 2137 BCE based on writings mentioning eclipses.
In 1919, Arthur Stanley Eddington used a total solar eclipse to prove Einstein's Theory of Relativity.

Community Events
Float Trip on S. Chick Creek Aug. 5

Join the South Chickamauga Creek Greenway Alliance  for a float trip on a section of South Chickamauga Creek from Graysville to Camp Jordan on Saturday, August 5 beginning at 10:00 a.m. You must have your own paddlecraft to participate. This is a 6.5 mile Class I trip (current and obstacles) that requires a short portage around the Mill dam at Graysville, and a short rocky section near the take out at Camp Jordan. The group will meet at Graysville, unload boats, then run shuttle. The trip takes about 3.5 hours. Paddling experience and use of own equipment required. If interested, email Sandra Kurtz by 4 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 3, to RSVP.

Jasper Highlands Classic Aug. 18-20
The Jasper Highlands Classic Cycling Omnium and Half Marathon/10K  is a large scale cycling and running race with cash prize payouts for top finishers along with a family friendly festival with plenty of activities to keep everyone in the family entertained and fed. The festival is free to attend and will draw in approximately 500 athletes from all over the country. You won't want to miss the views or the action of this unique event. Click here  for more info about races and list of weekend activities.

Art 120's 2017 Urban Art Bike Extravaganza Aug. 22
Come out to Coolidge Park on Tuesday, Aug. 22, from 12-2 p.m. and check out the Art 120  Art Bikes created at the 2017 Art 120 Urban Art Bike Camp  hosted at East Chattanooga YFD Center! This program is designed for students to make their own kinetic sculptures and understand the value of STE(A)M Education in their community and worldwide! The event is free and open to the public.  Click here  for more info. 

More Community Events 

August
1        Rock Creek SUP Class 
4        Night Hike @ Cloudland Canyon 
4-6     Cloudland Canyon Adventure Weekend 
5        Still Hollow Trail Race 
          Cherokee Cultural Celebration 
          Orienteering 101 @ Cloudland Canyon 
          Sunset Stroll to Sunset Point 
6        Beginner Mountain Bike Ride @ Cloudland Canyon 
          Wild Women Outdoors - Buggy Top Cave Hike 
8        Rock Creek SUP Class 
11-13  Girls at Play Intro to Whitewater Kayaking Clinic 
12      Knots So Fast @ Cloudland Canyon 
          Mountain Chicks - Springer Mountain Loop Hike 
          Sunset Stroll to Sunset Point 
13      Beginner Mountain Bike Ride @ Cloudland Canyon 
18      Wild Women Outdoors - Rappelling Excursion 
19      Scenic City Mud Run 
         Orienteering 101 @ Cloudland Canyon 
         Sunset Stroll to Sunset Point 
         Chickamauga Battlefield Bicycle Tour 
20      Beginner Mountain Bike Ride @ Cloudland Canyon 
21      Solar Eclipse 2017 
22      Art 120's Urban Art Bike Extravaganza 
25      Night Hike @ Cloudland Canyon 
          National Park Service Birthday-Fee Free Day at National Parks 
25-27  River Gorge Omnium Bike Race 
26      Knots So Fast @ Cloudland Canyon 
          Sunset Stroll to Sunset Point 
27      Beginner Mountain Bike Ride @ Cloudland Canyon 

September 
1        Night Hike @ Cloudland Canyon 
2        Orienteering 101 @ Cloudland Canyon 
2-4     Catfish Rodeo @ Cloudland Canyon 
3        Beginner Mountain Bike Ride @ Cloudland Canyon 
9        Ironman 70.3 Women's World Championship 
          Knots So Fast @ Cloudland Canyon 
10       Ironman 70.3 Men's World Championship 
          Beginner Mountain Bike Ride @ Cloudland Canyon 
16      Orienteering 101 @ Cloudland Canyon



Research Continues To Be Conducted On Pygmy Rattlesnakes In Tennessee

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is once again assisting wildlife biologists at Tennessee State University in research to determine the distribution of pygmy rattlesnakes in Tennessee. The pygmy rattlesnake is listed as a threatened species in Tennessee and the research will help in conservation efforts to preserve the species in the state. Native to Tennessee, pygmy ... (click for more)

Permit Drawing For Sandhill Crane Hunt Aug. 11; Any Leftover Permits To Go Statewide Draw

A hand-held permit drawing for the sixth sandhill crane hunt in Tennessee will be held on Saturday, Aug. 11 at Rhea County High School in Evensville. Tags at this draw are valid only for use in the Southeast Crane Zone. This will mark the first time that the draw will be held at Rhea County High. The previous draws were held at the Birchwood Community Center in north Hamilton ... (click for more)

Juvenile Girl Shot On Doolittle Street Early Sunday Morning

A juvenile girl was shot early Sunday morning on Doolittle Street. Chattanooga Police responded at approximately 12:55 a.m. on to a person shot on the 2500 block of Doolittle Street.   Police were able to make contact with the victim at a local hospital where she was suffering from a critical, but non-life threatening gunshot wound. The victim was transported to a ... (click for more)

A Jury For 2nd Time Convicts Randall Reed Of Murdering 70-Year-Old Woman In 2011

A jury for the second time has convicted Randall Reed of first-degree murder in the 2011 death of 70-year-old Jane Stokes in East Ridge. The verdict was returned in the courtroom of Judge Tom Greenholtz’s on Friday. The earlier verdict had been thrown out by an appeals court. Reed testified in his own behalf. The victim was murdered in her home during a robbery in 2011. ... (click for more)

Just Recuse Yourself

Pam Fleenor, have you ever heard the terms “conflict of interest” or “appearance of impropriety”? It’s a foregone conclusion that Robin Smith will be victorious in Chancellor Fleenor’s courtroom. Here’s another term you may want to re-examine, recuse yourself.   Rusty Munger (click for more)

Not My University: Why I’m Not Okay With Mike Pence Coming To Lee University - And Response (6)

As a student of Lee University, who is well-aware of the Lee administration’s more conservative stance in politics, I am upset about Mike Pence visiting the university and being welcomed on our campus. Although I respect that Pence is in a position of authority as our nation’s Vice President, and that he likewise deserves the right to hold his own opinions in regards to the issues ... (click for more)