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



Reflection Riding Holds Spring Native Plant Sale This Weekend

Reflection Riding is holding its Spring Native Plant Sale selling the region's best selection of trees, shrubs, and perennials.  Here is the schedule: Friday: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. - Public Sale Saturday: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. - Public Sale and Earth Day Festival.  Native plants, grown for a variety of garden conditions, are beautiful, sustainable, and contribute ... (click for more)

TWRA Congratulates Tennessee Wildlife Federation On Award

A strong advocate for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, the Tennessee Wildlife Federation has been honored with a prestigious national award. The Federation has been named the 2018 Affiliate of the Year by the National Wildlife Federation in recognition of its outstanding achievement in promoting conservation of wildlife and natural resources on the state and national level. ... (click for more)

Robert Gillisse Was Pilot Killed In Plane Crash At Collegedale Airport

The pilot who was killed in a plane crash on the runway of the Collegedale Airport on Friday evening has been identified as Robert Gillisse, 62, of Ooltewah . Charles Swain, who is the director of the airport, said the plane was a total loss. It was a single-occupant plane. He said the plane was taking off when it crashed. He said Mr. Gillisse frequently had flown out of ... (click for more)

East Ridge To Build Open-Air Pavilion Near City Hall

East Ridge plans to construct an open-air pavilion that will include restrooms and a concession area near City Hall and the old McBrien School.  It will be part of a Town Center for East Ridge at the Tombras Avenue property. The city is also applying for a $500,000 grant to help convert Pioneer Park into a refurbished park with a splash pad. The firm of Hefferlin and ... (click for more)

A Tribute For My Brother – Sgt. Jonathan Gardner, U.S. Army

Seven years ago today, my family and I found out that my brother, Sgt. Jonathan D. Gardner, was seriously injured by a roadside bomb, (explosively formed penetrator - EFP), while on a mission in Kuwait. The EFP went through the bottom of his seat and put a softball size hole in his upper thigh. The doctors said that if the bomb had entered the Humvee an inch to the right, he ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

All of us who marvel at the sound of bagpipes at a funeral realize the majesty that people like piper Scottie Maclellan can lend to any “homecoming” and for years there has been a wonderful tale out of Nova Scotia that leads this week’s parade of The  Saturday  Funnies. Mind you, I do not write these stories, as many who have followed man’s laughter down through the ... (click for more)