Come Out and Play!
Outdoor Chattanooga News + Events
September 2020
Our newsletter continues to evolve as we continue to navigate these uncertain times. We're gearing back up to get back outside! We are still relying heavily on our social media outlets and online outlets to stay connected, but we are also very excited to announce we will be returning to our regularly scheduled programs this month!
Outdoor Chattanooga Programs
After careful consideration, acquiring lots of disifectant and putting a few new precautions in place, we are happy to announce our return to programming this month! The name of the game for September is flat water paddling events! We encourage you to get registered early as these will fill up quickly! If all goes well this month, we are hopeful to continue into Ocotber with a few more paddle trips, some bike tours and guided hikes!
Sunset Canoe Tours
Tuesday, Sept. 17 and Thursday, Sept. 22 | 5:30-7:30 PM
Join Outdoor Chattanooga for a guided and equipped Sunset Canoe Tour on North Chickamauga Creek. Guides will lead you on a family-friendly, leisurely paced paddle along the peaceful creek to view wildlife as the sun sets. Prior to departure, you'll receive basic paddling instruction, water safety information and be properly outfitted in a lifejacket and canoe.

Cost is $10 per person which includes guides on the water and all the canoe equipment (tandem canoe, paddles, lifejackets, and lights). This sunset canoe tour is appropriate for ages 6+ when accompanied by an adult. Some prior canoeing/paddling experience is helpful but not required to participate in this tour. Guides will offer basic paddling instruction and provide on water support throughout the duration of the tour, which lasts approximately 2 hours.

Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge Kayak Tour
Saturday, September 19 | 8:30 - 12:00 PM
Join Outdoor Chattanooga for a guided and equipped kayak tour at the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge. The Hiwassee Refuge is located at the confluence of the Tennessee and Hiwassee Rivers about one hour north of Chattanooga. The group will explore the perimeter of the 400-acre Hiwassee Island in search of wildlife with Outdoor Chattanooga's experienced guides. The wildlife refuge area attracts a variety of birds due to its combination of cultivated, forested, and interior wetlands.

All kayak equipment and the guided tour is included in the price of $45 per person. We utilize recreational kayaks that fit most body types (kayak weight limit is 300lbs). Previous kayak experience is helpful, but not necessary to participate. Appropriate for ages 16 and up when accompanied by a participating adult. Registration and payment are required in advance as space is limited.

Full Moon Kayak Tour
Thursday, October 1 | 7:30 - 9:30 PM
Join Outdoor Chattanooga for a guided and equipped Full Moon Kayak Tour around the islands and sloughs of Chickamauga Lake as the full moon rises in the night sky. Guides will lead you on a leisurely paced and peaceful paddle to watch the colorful skyline as the sun sets and the full moon rises over the lake. Cost is $35 per person which includes guides on the water and all the kayaking equipment. This moonlit tour is appropriate for ages 14+ when accompanied by an adult. Some prior kayaking experience is helpful but not required to participate. Online registration and payment are required in advance as space is limited. Additional details are given with paid registration. We cannot accommodate anyone with their own watercraft on these tours. To learn more or register via phone call Outdoor Chattanooga at 423-643-6888.

Sale Creek Kayak Tour
Saturday, October 3 | 9:30 AM-12:30 PM
Join Outdoor Chattanooga for a guided and equipped kayak tour on Sale Creek, near the confluence of the Tennessee River about 45 minutes north of Chattanooga. Enjoy a leisurely paced paddle along the creek in search of wildlife and seasonal wildflower blooms along the shorelines. Previous kayak experience is helpful, but not necessary to participate. Appropriate for ages 14+ when accompanied by a participating adult. Cost: $45 per person, includes guides and kayak equipment. *Must meet at Sale Creek. Online registration and payment are required in advance as space is limited. Call 423-643-6888 to register or learn more. 

Monday, October 12 | 4 PM or 6 PM
Learn how to ride a bicycle with Outdoor Chattanooga's experienced instructors in a relaxed setting. Gain the skills and confidence to get out there riding on your own! FREE classes offered the 2nd Monday each month. No experience necessary. Ages 5+. Bikes, helmets, and instruction provided. Online reservations required in advance. Call 423-643-6888 to register and learn more.

Outdoor Chattanooga News
After six successful seasons hosting the Chattanooga Area Interscholastic Climbing League, Outdoor Chattanooga has made the bittersweet decision to pass the torch to someone that can keep the fire burning and the tradition alive! After careful consideration in regard to the current health crisis, Outdoor Chattanooga announced it would not host the league this year, but after the annoucement, we received a lot of feedback from coaches and student climbers who were eager to climb and didn't want the season to be cancelled. Partly due to the pandemic and our limited resources as a small division within the City of Chattanooga, combined with the growing interest in the league, we can no longer properly support and cultivate the league as it continues to evolve and grow.

The league serves an average of 250 student climbers each season providing multiple opportunities for recreation, which is incredibly important for maintaining physical and mental well-being during these uncertain times. As the founders of the league, Outdoor Chattanooga didn't want the season to be cancelled either, so they contacted the local climbing gyms who've successfully and safely re-open their doors. High Point Climbing and Fitness expressed interest and confidence in managing the league moving forward. In fact, they've replicated a version of the league in some of their other gyms across the Southeast, so it is a natural fit and should be a seamless transition for the coaches and students.

Terri Chapin, Outdoor Chattanooga's Program Coordinator, and league founder expressed bittersweet feelings about the transition. "I'm sad to let the league go, but felt it was time to pass it onto the local climbing gyms because they are better equipped to help the league grow to its full potential." The feelings are bittersweet for all of us at Outdoor Chattanooga who've helped with the league over the past 6 years, but we are grateful to High Point for their willingness to keep the league alive and continue to give young people the opportunity to try a non-traditional sport! If you have questions about the transition of the league to High Point or are interested in participating in the league as a middle or high school student, please contact
For the Love of Whitewater Interview Series | Part 1: Learning to Kayak with the Newton Family
"For the Love of Whitewater" is a four part interview series with Rapid Learning Members who have learned how to whitewater kayak through Outdoor Chattanooga's Rapid Learning Program. In this episode: part 1, the Newton Family shares their experiences learning how to whitewater kayak with the Rapid Learning program and how they have progressed in the sport. Learn more about this dynamic program at
Community Events + Experiences
Lula Lake Land Trust Experiences of a Lifetime Auction
A variety of once-in-a-lifetime adventures will be up for bid in the “Experiences of a Lifetime” online auction from Sept. 1 – 7 to support Lula Lake Land Trust's conservation efforts. These unique adventures include private movie screenings in the meadow, wine tastings, stargazing, yoga, and more! A full list of auction items are available for preview online. Bidding starts at 8 AM ET on Sep. 1 and closes at 11:45 PM ET on Sep. 7.
Paddle for PanCan 5K
Paddle for PanCan is a virtual kayak /paddleboard 5K hosted by River Gorge Excursions with all the proceeds going to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Registration is $25 per adult entry (ages 13 & up) and $15 per child entry (ages 12 & under). Tandem kayak registration fee is $50. Each participant will be sent a race t-shirt via mail and entered to win raffle prizes! The race can be completed anytime between September 1-November 15, so there is plenty of time to get on the water and paddle! There are male, female, kid, and tandem divisions. The winner for each division will receive one of our awesome prizes donated by the sponsors.

Lula Laker 19-Mile Race
Be one of the first to set foot (or wheel!) in this new race series for trail runners and mountain bikers. The 19-mile Lula Laker race course is within the famous trail systems maintained by Lula Lake Land Trust. Divided between two days, 100 runners will compete on Saturday, October 24 and mountain bikers will compete on Sunday, October 25 in this socially distant, independent race. The top 3 runners and top 3 mountain bikers will receive a one-of-a-kind prize package worthy of your Lula Laker efforts! $50 registration fee where 100% of proceeds go directly back into Lula Lake's trail work effots and consevation mission.

Outdoor Chattanooga's Advice for Coping with COVID-19
We are still navigating a major health crisis in this country with confirmed cases, hospitalizations and deaths still on the rise here in Chattanooga and across our region. Many cities and counties have mandated face coverings in public spaces to reduce infection rates. We strongly believe the outdoors is the safest place to be during this health crisis for a multitude of reasons and we encourage you to get outside and recreate as a way to maintain your physical and mental well-being. We just kindly ask you to recreate responsibly and be considerate of those who are more vulnerable than you to infection by staying close to home and avoiding long distance travel. Avoid crowded trails, swimming holes, crags, rivers, lakes, recreation areas and campgrounds. The outdoors is a safe place to be when we all practice good judgement, frequent hand washing, social distancing of at least 6ft with others, and wearing a face covering when in close contact with others. We ask that you self quarantine if you've come in contact with someone who has tested positive or you yourself are experiencing symptoms. We want everyone to continue to enjoy the great outdoors long after we've safely made it out of the COVID-19 woods. 🏕️🌳🥾
P.S. Please continue to practice Leave No Trace Principles during COVID-19.
Upcoming Events
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