September 2021 Events + News
Outdoor Chattanooga's newsletter highlights the awesome outdoor activities happening in and around Chattanooga that will connect you to the outdoors and inspire you to come out and play with us!
Outdoor Chattanooga Programs
Kayak Polo
Tuesdays in September | 6:00 - 7:30 PM
Join Outdoor Chattanooga for free Kayak Polo sessions every Tuesday in August and September from 6:00-7:30 PM at the Warner Park Pool. These free kayak polo sessions are open to ages 13 and up, beginners, as well as advanced kayakers are welcome, but due to the fast-paced nature of the game, all players should have some experience in effectively maneuvering a kayak and must wear a helmet. Whitewater kayaks are recommended, however, participants with recreational kayaks are also welcome to participate. You’re encouraged to bring your own kayak equipment, but for those that don’t have their own and want to play, we will have a limited number of whitewater kayaks and helmets available on a first-come-first-serve basis. Online Registration is recommended. Walk-ins are permitted if space allows. Registered participants will get first pick of gear.

Chickamauga Battlefield Bike Ride
September 18 | 9:30 - 11:30 AM
Join Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park and Outdoor Chattanooga for this free, leisurely-paced bicycle tour through Chickamauga Battlefield. National Park Service rangers provide recounts of the history of the battlefield during frequent stops, while Outdoor Chattanooga staff and volunteers provide ride support. Loaner bicycles are available for riders five feet tall and over at no charge, thanks to sponsorship from the National Park Partners and the Friends of Outdoor Chattanooga. Reservations are required if you need a bicycle. If you have and use your own equipment, a reservation is not necessary. The tours begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center. Ride distance is approximately three to four miles on flat to gently rolling terrain. The rides are considered beginner-friendly and are appropriate for adults, and children ages eight and older when accompanied by an adult. NO training wheels, please. All participants are required to wear helmets during the ride. Call 423-643-6888 to register by phone and learn more.

Introduction to Mountain Biking
September 17 6PM-8PM | September 19 9AM-12PM

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! Our instructors teach in a format that's structured to your pace and individual learning style. We offer two types of classes: Intro to Mountain Biking Fundamentals Course, and Intro to Mountain Biking Guided Trails Class.

In the fundamentals course, you will learn the fundamentals of mountain biking from our experienced instructors through skills demonstration and practice in a controlled setting. If you have never been mountain biking on a trail before, the Intro to Mountain Biking Fundamentals class is for you. It is designed for true beginners that are curious about mountain biking but don’t know how to get started.

In the guided trails class you will learn the trails and improve the skills needed to get the most of mountain biking through formal instruction. If you have some experience biking on trails and feel confident biking off-road, try the Intro to Mountain Biking Trail Class!

You don't need 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. 

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!

Course Dates and Time:
6pm-8pm
  • September 17
  • October 8
  • October 15
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.

Class Dates and Time:
9am-12pm
  • September 19
  • October 9
  • October 16
  • October 24
Learn to Skateboard
September 25 | 9 AM - 11:00 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 the City of Chattanooga's 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.

101 Beginner Classes:
9am-11am
  • Aug. 28
  • Oct. 9
  • Nov. 6


201 Intermediate Classes:
9am-11am
  • Sept. 25
  • Oct. 23
  • Nov. 20

Call Outdoor Chattanooga (423-643-6888) to learn more.

Rapid Learning Skills Sessions
Wednesdays in Sept. | 6:00 or 7:00 PM
Rapid Learning skills sessions occur every Wednesday night through the end of September at the Warner Park Pool. There are two sessions to choose from, 6:00 or 7:00 PM. We provide all the equipment and instruction. Your first visit is free! No reservation required. First come first serve. Membership based program after the first free session. Call 423-643-6888 to learn more.

Local Outdoor Adventure Spotlight
National Wildlife Day
September 4
In honor of National Wildlife Day on September 4, we're highlighting the best places in the Chattanooga area to view wildlife in their natural habitats. National Wildlife Day was created in 2006 to honor the late wildlife conservationist Steve Irwin - the famed "Crocodile Hunter". The day is an opportunity to appreciate the natural world that surrounds us and acknowledge the conservation efforts by many local organizations that work to preserve our wild spaces and protect wildlife habitat.
Audubon Acres The 132-acre Elise Chapin Wildlife Sanctuary at Audubon Acres contains a rich diversity of plant and animal life and serves as the headquarters for the Chattanooga Audubon Society. The property includes access to the South Chickamauga Creek, 5 miles of trails, a Visitor's Center, gift shop, a timeline museum tracing the human habitation of the property, and structures that are significant to the area’s Native American History. Field trips and group tours are available.

Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge | The Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge is located on 6,000 acres of land at the confluence of the Tennessee and Hiwassee Rivers about one hour north of Chattanooga near the town of Birchwood. In the summer months, the public can access all lands and waters within the refuge to observe resident and migrating birds and seasonal wildflower blooms, including great swaths of water hyacinths in Hiwassee Island’s inlets. During the winter, migrating waterfowl, including 50,000 Sandhill Cranes and some endangered Whooping Cranes, stopover at the refuge on their way south.

Maclellan Island | The Maclellan Island Sanctuary is located in the middle of downtown Chattanooga on the Tennessee River and is only accessible by boat/watercraft. Owned and managed by the Chattanooga Audubon Society, the sanctuary contains a very large Great Blue Heron rookery, numerous waterfowl nesting sites and also serves as a home to muskrat, river otters, and the occasional white-tailed deer.

Nickajack Lake & Cave Wildlife Refuge Nickajack Lake is the reservoir created by Tennessee Valley Authority's (TVA) Nickajack Dam. Boat ramps are located at Hales Bar Marina, Shellmound, Maple View Public Use Area, Macedonia Rd., and on both sides of the river below the dam. TVA camping and picnicking facilities are available at Shellmound. Nickajack Cave Wildlife Refuge is home to hundreds of thousands of endangered gray bats that emerge at Sunset every night May through Sept. There is a short hiking trail with an observation deck to view the bats. Or, the best way to view them is to paddle to the mouth of the cave. If you don't have your own watercraft, Outdoor Chattanooga and other local outfitters offer guided tours to view the bats.

Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center | Reflection Riding, 400 Garden Rd. | Fees apply to enter Reflection Riding and it helps support their conservation efforts. Nestled at the base of Lookout Mountain just minutes from downtown, Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center is located in one of the most biologically diverse regions in North America and one of Chattanooga’s most beloved settings. Incorporated in 1956 by the Chambliss family, the center provides tremendous opportunities for everyone to experience and connect with nature on its 317-acre property by focusing awareness on native plants and animals and encouraging visitors to actively engage with the environment. Visitors can fully appreciate the diversity of the region’s landscapes by exploring meadows, glades, forests, and even a bamboo patch. Other features include sensory gardens, historic structures, an apple orchard, and a variety of exciting learning opportunities.

For more Wildlife Viewing locations in the Chattanooga area, visit https://outdoorchattanooga.com/activities/wildlife-watching/
Outdoor Community Events
Adaptive Mountain Biking
September 11 - 12
Catalyst Sports provides individuals with disabilities access to outdoor recreation through the use of adaptive equipment and scheduled programs. This fall, they are hosting a Southeast Mountain Bike Tour in 9 cities to introduce people with physical disabilities to the exciting world of Adaptive Mountain Biking! The tour is scheduled for September 11 – November 14, 2021, with Chattanooga being the first city on the tour! The Adaptive Mountain Bike Event will be at Lula Lula Lake on Sept. 11 and 12. Registration is NOW OPEN to ride or volunteer at one of their nine stops! If you or someone you know is interested in participating as a rider or volunteer, click the link below to learn more and get registered!

Moon River Music and Arts Festival
Coolidge Park | September 11-12
The sold out Moon River Music Festival returns to Coolidge Park September 11 and 12, offering 2 days of live music presented by Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors, in partnership with AC Entertainment. Featuring the best in folk, indie, and Americana, Moon River celebrates its third festival in Chattanooga after outgrowing its previous home at Memphis’ storied Levitt Shell.

Due to limited parking near the festival, Friends of Outdoor Chattanooga will offer a FREE Bike Valet during the festival to encourage locals to ride in by bike. Coolidge Park will be completely fenced off for one week as the festival sets up and takes down, beginning Tuesday, September 7, and returning to normal Tuesday, September 14. For a full lineup and more info, click the link below.

For the first three Saturdays in September the City of Chattanooga's Special Events Division will host "Sunset Cinema in Miller Park," a family-oriented film series in Miller Park. Games and pre-movie activities happen before the movie starts at sunset. Every week different partners around Chattanooga, such as the Urban League, Mckamey animal shelter, and the Chattanooga Zoo will offer pre-movie activites. Check out the City of Chattanooga - Special Events page for more information on details for each week.

7:00 PM - Pre movie activities
8:00 PM - The movie starts at sunset. Run-time is about 2 hrs
Popcorn from Choo Choo Kettle Corn, Snow Balls from SnoLaLa, Hotdogs from Pops Dogs

**Before the movie on September 11, at 5PM Capoeira Chattanooga (a collective of Chattanoogans who practice the Afro-Brazilian martial art of Capoeira) will be presenting its 3rd annual roda. A roda (circle of capoeiristas) includes 2 people showing the moves of capoiera and also the people playing the traditional instruments of capoeira while singing. This event is free to everyone and is a collaboration between Move N Groove Kidz, City of Chattanooga - Special Events with the components of the roda sponsored by Arts Build.

ChattSkates End of Summer Splashdown
September 18 | 2:00-6:00 PM | Ross's Landing
On September 18th at Ross's Landing, the City of Chattanooga Special Events will be hosting "The ChattSkates End of Summer Splash Down" - an exciting skate event for brave thrill-seekers and curious spectators, where skaters are invited to launch off a ramp through the air into the Tennessee River!
Hosted by City of Chattanooga Special Events, sponsored by Outdoor Chattanooga and River City Company!
Come enjoy this wacky event, bring whatever wheels you have (skateboards, roller skates, scooters, bikes...), and make sure they float! (All equipment must float in order to be allowed into the river, we suggest pool noodles & duct tape).

Snowcone truck and live DJ on site. The fun begins at 2 PM, ends at 6 PM.

In order to launch you must…
  • Be 18+ or 12+ with parent or guardian present
  • Sign a waiver
  • Wear a helmet
  • Wear a PFD (provided by Outdoor Chattanooga)
IRONMAN Chattanooga
September 25-26
Outdoorsy Chattanooga offers a course nestled against the towering Cumberland Plateau and the Tennessee River. The site of the eleventh race in the IRONMAN U.S. Series, Chattanooga lures athletes with its dramatic scenery, idyllic weather, and low-key southern charm. The race is set for September 25-26 with some athletes racing for over 15 hours to finish the course that begins with a 2.4-mile swim in the Tennessee River, 112 miles by bike with scenic farmland and mountain views, and a 26.2-mile run course will showcase beautiful downtown Chattanooga, the South Side, Riverview, and the North Shore.

Volunteers are needed for a variety of stations but most importantly for the swim portion of the race by individuals with their own watercraft. If you have your own kayak or paddleboard and are interested in volunteering, click here to learn more.

Click here to view road closures for this event.

Upcoming Events
Outdoor Chattanooga | 423.643.6888 | info@outdoorchattanooga.com