Here are upcoming news and events from Outdoor Chattanooga:
Rapid Learning Winter Kayak Sessions
Tuesday, December 4 | 7-9 p.m.
Our Rapid Learning Kayak Program provides formal instruction for beginner and seasoned kayakers to learn and develop whitewater skills. In the winter months, we move indoors to the heated pool at the Hulsey Wellness Center in Collegedale, TN. Reservations, experience or equipment NOT required to attend, and the first session is always free! There is a $2 pool use fee charged by the Wellness Center.
Please bring cash. Additional sessions: Jan. 8, Feb. 5, March 5, and April 9. For more info email Outdoor Chattanooga or call 423-643-6888.
Sandhill Crane Kayak Tour at Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge
Saturday, December 15 | 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Outdoor Chattanooga will lead a guided and equipped kayak tour at the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge to view the migrating Sandhill Cranes. The Hiwassee Refuge is located at the confluence of the Tennessee and Hiwassee Rivers, about one hour north of Chattanooga. The area attracts a variety of birds and during the winter, as many as 15,000 to 20,000 cranes have been known to overwinter on Hiwassee Island. This site has the largest winter flock of Sandhill Cranes in the southeast United States outside of Florida. Cost: $45 per person, which includes guides, equipment, and transportation from Greenway Farm. Registration and payment are required in advance. Currently, this tour is full with a waitlist, but we still wanted to include it in the newsletter for our readers that have their own equipment and skill level to try this experience on their own, or for those that may be interested and want to encourage us to host a second tour in January. Call 423-643-6888 or email Outdoor Chattanooga to register or learn more.
Sat., December 1 | 12 a.m. - 12 a.m.
Mainx24 is a 24-hour long festival celebrating Main Street and the Southside. The festival features programming all day and night including live music, parades, local arts and crafts, libations, international foods, dancing, big wheel races and a chili cook-off! Now in its 12th year, Mainx24 is organized by residents, merchants, and friends of the Southside to celebrate and showcase this burgeoning community. Mainx24 is FREE, open to the public and has something for everyone. Check the schedule of events and make your plans to attend.
Winter Waterfall Hike
Saturday, December 15 | 12 - 3 p.m.
Join Ranger Jessie on a moderate 3-mile hike on the Grundy Forest Day Loop to see beautiful Sycamore Falls in a December Winter Wonderland. Learn about the history of the famous Fiery Gizzard Trail and about the old growth trees and rock formations seen from along the trail. The hike will start at the Grundy Forest Day Loop Trailhead and is rated as moderate. Registration is limited to 10 people.
Christmas at Red Clay
Sunday, December 16 | 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Take a walk through time at Red Clay State Historic Park and learn how the Cherokee and the Settlers in this area celebrated the holidays. This living history event includes singing traditional songs, cooking over the fire and learning about the traditions of the past. Please register for this event via the ticket link. Cost is $1 per person.
Christmas Day Dinner at Hiwassee/Ocoee State Park
December 25 | 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Hiwassee/Ocoee River State Park invites anyone away from family or that doesn't have anywhere to go on Christmas to attend a Christmas Day Dinner at the park. Volunteers are needed to help with food preparation. Email Ranger Roberts or call 423-263-0050 to learn more and RSVP for a special Christmas Day Dinner at the park.
Local Adventure Spotlight
What is a Moonbow?
A moonbow (also known as a lunar rainbow or white rainbow), is a rainbow produced by moonlight rather than sunlight. Its formation is exactly the same as a solar rainbow, but Moonbows are fainter than solar rainbows due to the smaller amount of light reflected from the surface of the moon. A moonbow often appears to be white, but with a long exposure camera, colors in a moonbow can be seen in a photograph. This rare phenomena occurs under the light of a full moon at Cumberland Falls State Park in Kentucky, just a 3 hour drive north of Chattanooga.
Cumberland Falls State Resort Park is located in the Daniel Boone National Forest in Southeast Kentucky. The park's greatest attraction is Cumberland Falls -- known as the "Niagara of the South" -- the waterfall forms a 125-foot-wide water curtain that plunges 7 stories into a boulder-strewn gorge. The waterfall is dramatic day or night, but is best known for it's magical moonbow, which can only be seen on a clear night under the light of a full moon. This phenomenon appears nowhere else in the Western Hemisphere and since it's so close to Chattanooga, we couldn't resist highlighting it as a local adventure to try this month, or any time of year! According to the park's moonbow viewing calendar, the next viewing opportunity is December 19-25.
Obviously, the most popular time to visit the park is during a full moon to try and catch a glimpse or even a photograph of the magical moonbow. But the park has plenty of other activities for visitors, making it worth an overnight stay even if conditions aren't perfect for a moonbow. The resort style park has a variety of accommodations ranging from a room a the Dupont Lodge with a restaurant, to woodland rooms, cottages and tent camping. There are nearly 30 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. The river that runs through the park offers ample paddling, fishing and wildlife viewing opportunities. The park has an onsite swimming pool, tennis courts, playground, grocery store, restaurant, gift shop and laundry facilities.
Just 5 miles from the park is Sheltowee Trace Adventure Resort. They provide several paddling/boating adventures including a 'Rainbow Mist Ride' to the base of Cumberland Falls. They have a variety of lodging options including cozy cabin rentals, RV and tent camping, or the unique experience of sleeping in a covered wagon! They offer bike rentals, hiking shuttles, and have a zipline and rock wall on-site, making it a great place for all ages and interests.
Hiking Eagle Falls Trail
Eagle Falls Trail is a popular 1.8 mile loop trail that follows along the Cumberland River to the base of Eagle Falls. It is rated as moderate with significant elevation gain and loss. It provides several scenic overlooks of the river and Cumberland Falls. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round. It's a must do when you visit!
1 Guided Hike on the Cumberland Trail
1 Intro to Outdoor Rock Climbing (women only)
1 The Ugly Sweater Race
1 Breakfast with Santa at Fall Creek Falls
1 Stone Door Historical Hike
1 Grundy Forest Day Loop Hike
1-2 Wilderness First Aid + CPR
1-2 Intro to Trad Climbing (women only)
2 Intro to Sport Climbing
2 Greeter Falls Loop Hike
2 Beginner Mountain Bike Ride at Cloudland Canyon
4 Rapid Learning Indoor Kayak Skills Session
5 History and Mystery Hike and Tour at Fort Mountain
7 Sycamore Falls Hike
8 A Christmas Tail 5K and Mutt Strut
9 Intro to Outdoor Rock Climbing (women only)
10 Learn to Ride a Bicycle
14 Wildlife Tracks, Skulls and Talk at Fort Mountain
14 Art by the Lake at Fort Mountain
15 Sandhill Crane Kayak Tour
15 Lookout Mountain 50 miler, 20 mile, 10K Race
15 Head of the Sequatchie Open Day
15 Winter Waterfall Hike
15 Big Creek Rim Hike
15 Anchors and Rappelling Clinic
15-16 Intro to Trad Climbing (women only)
16 Christmas at Red Clay State Park
17 Bike Commuting 101
19 Stringer's Ridge Night Run
21 Full Moon Fitness Winter Solstice
21 Hike the Gahuti at Fort Mountain
22 Holiday Lanterns at Fort Mountain
25 Christmas Day Dinner at Hiwassee/Ocoee State Park
28 Wildlife Tracks, Skulls and Talk at Fort Mountain
28 Art by the Lake at Fort Mountain
29 Last Hike of the Year, Sunset Sendoff and Campfire at Fort Mountain