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

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

2017
January 
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)

February
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

March 
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


Riverpark Boat Ramp Reopens

Congress Passes Measure To Protect Tennessee's Cherokee National Forest

2019 First Day Hike At The Prater’s Mill Historic Site Set For Jan. 1


The Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Department reports the Riverpark Boat Ramp has now reopened. (click for more)

Congress for passed a measure that would designate as wilderness roughly 20,000 acres of public land in Tennessee’s Cherokee National Forest. The measure, included in the Agriculture Improvement ... (click for more)

On New Year's Day, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019 at 3 p.m. at the Prater’s Mill Historic Site there will be a hike organized on the Norma Gordon Nature Loop and the Prater’s Mill Greenway. The guided ... (click for more)


Outdoors

Riverpark Boat Ramp Reopens

The Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Department reports the Riverpark Boat Ramp has now reopened. (click for more)

Congress Passes Measure To Protect Tennessee's Cherokee National Forest

Congress for passed a measure that would designate as wilderness roughly 20,000 acres of public land in Tennessee’s Cherokee National Forest. The measure, included in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (H.R. 2), commonly called the farm bill, was originally introduced in April 2017 as the Tennessee Wilderness Act. It would protect important watersheds and wildlife habitats ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Lamar Alexander Will Not Seek Re-Election In 2020; Officials Respond

Senator Lamar Alexander announced Monday he will not seek re-election in 2020. He said in a statement on Monday, " “I will not be a candidate for re-election to the United States Senate in 2020. The people of Tennessee have been very generous, electing me to serve more combined years as Governor and Senator than anyone else from our state. I am deeply grateful, but now it is ... (click for more)

Police Investigating Death Of 9-Month-Old Boy Found Getting CPR At W. 37th Street Residence

A baby who was found at a residence on W. 37th Street receiving CPR was pronounced dead after being taken to a hospital, Chattanooga Police said. Police are investigating the circumstances of the death of the nine-month-old boy. Officers went to 1020 W. 37th at 11:35 a.m. on Sunday. They found a baby receiving CPR. Hamilton County EMS responded and transported the baby ... (click for more)

Opinion

An Open Letter Concerning The Proposed Ooltewah Waste Treatment Facility

The Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority and County Commissioner Tim Boyd want to build a sewage treatment plant in my backyard. I bought my house in Ooltewah in 1994, raised my children here and worked hard to pay it off. My home has been my small piece of the American Dream. Now, the WWTA and Commissioner Boyd want to reward my hard work by taking away about ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Let The Games Begin

It makes no difference if you are in the “Second Grade Sunday School Class” or must use a walker to take your place in “The God’s Waiting Room Sunday School Class for Seniors.” We all know Christmas fun begins in earnest today. Christmas is not until a week from this Tuesday, but if you play it right, you can have just as much fun this week as next. Today I am going to present ... (click for more)