April 2021 Events + News
April brings hope and a lot of programs! With COVID cases continuing to decline and vaccinations on the rise, there's hope that COVID is no longer a major threat to our community, and with that in mind, we feel confident offering outdoor programs again! You'll find information about our programs and other community events happening in Chattanooga this month, plus, we highlight a new program we're offering and the status of the Chattanooga Skate Park Project in this month's newsletter. Let's all get outside and play!
Outdoor Chattanooga Programs
Chattanooga Classic Hikes | Rock Creek Loop Hike
Sunday, April 11 | 9:30 AM - 2:00 PM
Outdoor Chattanooga's guides will lead a moderately strenuous 5-mile roundtrip hike on a section of the Cumberland Trail. This classic Chattanooga hike along the Cumberland Trail is rated as moderately strenuous with 300 ft elevation gain. You'll be rewarded with wildflowers, wildlife, and creek crossings. Due to COVID, we will not be offering a shuttle. This will be an out-and-back, 5-mile round-trip hike. Appropriate for ages 12 and up with a participating adult. Cost: Free. Online registration required in advance as space is limited. Call 423-643-6888 to learn more.

Virtual Workshop Series Continues!
Our virtual workshop series was a big success and we received a lot of positive feedback from attendees requesting more workshops on more outdoor topics offered throughout the year. We listened and here's what's coming up!

All About Rock Climbing in Chattanooga on Tuesday, April, 20 at 7:00 PM.
Outdoor Chattanooga’s intern, Robert the avid rock climber, will cover everything you need to know about rock climbing including the different types of climbing, essential gear, jargon, and where to go to get up off the ground in Chattanooga! This workshop won't cover how to climb, rather how to get into climbing and other essential things to know before giving this fun and rewarding sport a try. Workshop attendees will be eligible to attend a free 30-minute rock climbing session at the Walnut Wall in Coolidge Park with Outdoor Chattanooga's experienced rock climbing staff. See the full description for that program below.
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If you missed any of our previous workshops, you can view the recordings on our YouTube channel or check out the 2 workshops we did in March below. Workshops are free and open to all ages. Online reservations are required in advance.
Bike Maintenance 101 Recording
Backpacking 101 Workshop Recording
Learn to Skateboard Clinics
Saturday, April 24, May 1, 15 and 29 | 9 - 11 AM
Ready to kick start your skateboarding adventures? Not sure how to get started or what gear to use? Outdoor Chattanooga's Learn to Skateboard class is for you!
Join Outdoor Chattanooga and local skateboard experts for a FREE 90-minute class that will introduce you to the wonderful world of skateboarding! Experienced instructors will teach foundational skills such as body and foot positioning, balancing, pushing, turning, and tic tacking, plus how to fall safely, skate park etiquette, and basic equipment care. Classes are taught at Chatt Town Skate Park and are appropriate for ages 8 and up. We encourage adults to try too! All equipment including skateboard, helmet, wrist guards, and knee pads are provided for free or participants can bring their own. Online reservations are required in advance. We limit one free class per person per year. Call 423-643-6888 to learn more. 

Rock Climbing at the Walnut Wall
Sunday, April 25 | 2 - 5 PM
Outdoor Chattanooga's experienced rock climbing staff will open the Walnut Wall in Coolidge Park on Sunday, April 25 from 2-5 PM to give you the opportunity to try vertical rock climbing. This is top-roped climbing (which requires a harness, rope, and a belayer) with route difficulty varying from beginner to intermediate. We provide all the equipment and instruction for free so you don't need prior experience to participate and all you have to do is show up ready to rock climb! Online registration is required in advance as space is limited. We will offer 6 different 30-minute sessions beginning at 2:00 pm, ending at 5:00 pm on Sunday, April 25. This is to reduce group size and allow participants a full 30 minutes to climb. Participants must register in advance and complete an online waiver before participating. Parents must sign for minors. 

Introduction to Mountain Biking
Mountain biking is a fun way to exercise and connect with nature. If you're curious about leaving the asphalt behind and gearing up for the trails, these Intro to Mountain Biking courses are designed for you! Learn the fundamentals of mountain biking from our experienced instructors through skills demonstration and practice in a controlled setting. Our instructors teach in a format that's structured to your pace and individual learning style. 

You don't have to have prior mountain biking experience to participate, but you must be able to ride a bike confidently. Don't have a mountain bike? No problem. We have mountain bikes for use at no additional charge so you can decide if this sport is for you before making a big investment. Appropriate for ages 10+. Cost: $10 per person. Mountain bikes, helmets, and instruction provided.
Fundamentals Class
Thursday, April 29 | 6 - 8 PM
Our Intro to Mountain Biking Fundamentals Course will introduce and reinforce the skills needed to get the most out of mountain biking. This class is ideal for the complete novice or for those who wish to practice specific skills in a controlled setting. Take any Fundamentals Class offered throughout the year to build confidence. Combine that with the Guided Trail Rides and take your riding to the next level!

Guided Trail Ride
Friday, April 30 | 5 - 8 PM
Take your riding even further by taking the skills you learned in the Fundamentals Class out onto the trail! Our experienced instructors will guide you on a group ride allowing time for skills demonstration and practice on singletrack trails. Even though these are group rides, our instructors teach in a format that's structured to your pace and individual learning style. We highly recommend taking the Fundamentals Class before going on a Guided Trail Ride.

Local Outdoor Adventure Spotlight
Chattanooga Skatepark Project
Chattanooga is a beautiful and budding city that’s well known for its scenic attractions and southern charm. From mountain biking to hiking, paddling to rock climbing, and hang gliding to whitewater rafting, Chattanooga prides itself on its wide variety of outdoor activities. Some would wonder ‘what does Chattanooga not have’? Some would answer, a new skatepark!
Chattanooga’s local Skatepark Advisory Committee began working in May 2019 to bring a new skatepark to Chattanooga and add another outdoor attraction to the cities ever-growing list. Known as the Chattanooga Skatepark Project, the committee started by collecting feedback from the community at events like Nightfall and Battle at the Bend. After receiving over 500 positive responses in favor of constructing a new skatepark, a consultant team completed a feasibility study that provided recommendations for a future skatepark. The executive summary of the study stated that “the intention of this process is to provide recommendations for the future skatepark growth, both in size and location, to meet the needs of the community and region for now and over the next ten years.”
Wait, doesn’t Chattanooga have a skatepark? Yes, the Chatt Town Skatepark is located on the southside of Chattanooga on Reggie White Blvd. The current skatepark includes modular ramps and features accessible to skaters, skateboards, and BMX bikers. The park also has a roller hockey rink with bleachers and restrooms. However, the park’s condition is poor and doesn’t adequately accommodate the growing number of skaters who regularly visit. The feasibility study found “that over 35% of participants in skateboard related city events were drawn from neighboring communities outside the city limits.” There are only five skate parks in neighboring towns that fall within an hour’s drive of Chattanooga. These parks also see significant use and could be considered “feeder facilities” for a major destination park in Chattanooga. The report concluded that the City of Chattanooga would benefit from a 55,200 square foot area to accommodate current local and visitor use, as well as the anticipated growth over the next decade. The intended park aims to provide a broad spectrum of terrain styles that can accommodate all ability levels along with restrooms, lighting, water fountains, and shelter. 
What's the next step in the process? Determining the location of the park. The three locations that were extensively evaluated were Tennessee Riverpark, Riverpoint Park, and Harris Johnson Park. In terms of choosing a location for the park, the study was based on the following criteria: network location, parking availability, connection to trails, access to public transportation, site amenities, and a safe and secure site. From gathering local feedback, the most preferred site was the River Park location but due to conflicts, the use of that site has not yet been confirmed. While the many moving pieces of this project are still in motion, the committee anticipates the construction phase to begin in the summer of 2021.
For those interested, the Skatepark project’s timeline of progress and the results of the feasibility study can be found here.

To encourage the development of the new skate park and the development of new skaters, Outdoor Chattanooga partnered with Open Spaces Chattanooga and local skateboard enthusiasts to introduce a new program: Learn to Skateboard! The program will provide formal instruction and equipment for beginner riders to learn and develop their skills and we're offering 4 free clinics this Spring. Learn more and register for this program here.
Outdoor Community Experiences
Trails and Trilliums 2021
April 9 — 11
The Friends of South Cumberland State Park’s 17th annual Trails and Trilliums fundraiser is set for April 9-11. The outdoors-only festival, sponsored by Lodge Cast Iron, will be held on the grounds of the DuBose Conference Center in Monteagle. Overhill Gardens of Knoxville, one of the foremost native plant nurseries in the state, will bring an array of native plants, just in time for gardens. Pre-registration is required in order to facilitate social distancing.

Avian Discovery Days
April 12, 13,14
Chattanooga Audubon Society's Avian Discovery Days is a 3-day event with hands-on stations designed to teach students about various aspects of birdlife. As students rotate through each station, they will explore and identify different birds in forest and meadow habitats, learn about Oology, the study of bird eggs, create their own replica bird egg, and experience a real-life bird of prey demonstration presented by the State of Tennessee park rangers. 

The event will run for 3 different days from 9 am to 1 pm. Each group needs to purchase tickets in advance. Due to Covid, group size will be limited to 12 per group. Although this is an outdoor event, masks are highly encouraged and will be required when social distancing is not possible. Tickets are non-refundable unless the event is canceled by the Chattanooga Audubon Society.

Chattanooga Ducks Unlimited Great Outdoor Youth Festival DATE CHANGE
April 10 | 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
The Chattanooga-area chapter of the Ducks Unlimited conservation organization is hosting its annual Great Outdoors Festival, sponsored again by Sportsman's Warehouse at the beautiful Covey Creek Farm, 2855 Cloud Springs Rd., Rossville, GA. "Greenwings" (11 and younger) and "Varsity" (ages 12 - 17) are dedicated Ducks Unlimited youth programs. The Great Outdoors Festival is FREE for all and includes a DU membership.

Bike Chattanooga Survey
When you have somewhere to go, how do you get there? Bike Chattanooga wants to hear what you think! Share your feedback on transportation in Chattanooga by taking their 3-minute survey.

Arrive Outdoors Gear Rentals
NEW!! Gear rentals from Arrive Outdoors make it easy and affordable to experience a night camping under the stars at any State or National Park. Whether you need to rent a bundle of camping gear or just a few items, Arrive will ship the gear you need, where you need it, and you can return it for free. BONUS: When you book using the link tnstateparks.info/RentArrive, you'll be supporting Tennessee State Parks. We highly recommend giving this a try if you're just getting into the outdoors and don't have a lot of money to drop on gear or you're traveling and don't want to haul all your gear with you.

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Into America's Wild IMAX 3D February 12 - September 2021
Now showing at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX – Into America’s Wild 3D”, a visually stunning cross-country adventure into the hidden wonders of the natural world. A non-stop ride via kayak, bike, train, hot air balloon, zipline, and more. Into America’s Wild explores some of the most beautiful but little-known landscapes of North America, from the wilds of Alaska and the lush coastline of Oregon to the ancient canyons of the Southwest and the rolling hills of the Appalachian Trail.
 
Upcoming Events
April 2021
April 10-11 TriNooga 2021
April 17 Clean Catoosa

May 2021
Outdoor Chattanooga | 423.643.6888 | info@outdoorchattanooga.com | www.outdoorchattanooga.com