The National Park Service and National Park Partners invite the public to join a celebration of the newest improvements to the visitor experience within Moccasin Bend National Archeological District, a 768-acre portion of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park across the Tennessee River from downtown Chattanooga. On Saturday, Oct. 20, at 11:30 a.m., three new interpretive wayside exhibits along the Blue Blazes Hiking Trail will be unveiled to provide the visiting public insight into the natural and cultural history of this underappreciated landmark in the Tennessee River Valley.
In 1989, Blue Blazes Trail exemplified a tangibly successful preservation effort when the Chattanooga Regional Anthropological Society developed it as an outdoor recreation loop trail. One could argue Blue Blazes became the proverbial heart of Moccasin Bend National Archeological District, established in 2003, and tasked to “preserve, protect, and interpret…the nationally significant archeological and historic resources” Moccasin Bend provides. In this respect, the information provided on these new wayside exhibits will allow trail users to learn about the history of Blue Blazes Trail, the Tennessee River, and the first inhabitants on the peninsula known as Moccasin Bend.
“The installation of this educational enhancement is just the first of several planned projects we are implementing to create more opportunities for the public to experience this special place within the National Park System,” said Brad Bennett, superintendent of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. “With the support of local government, National Park Partners, and the philanthropic community, we are nearing construction of additional visitor amenities on Moccasin Bend, including parking, a program pavilion, and restrooms at the future Visitor Center site on Hamm Road.”