Your Guide to the Total Solar Eclipse Experience!
Outdoor Chattanooga News & Events August 2017
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 Events

Guided Cumberland Trail Hike August 5
Join  Outdoor Chattanooga for a free, guided hike on the Cumberland Trail on Saturday, August 5 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. You'll experience a variety of terrain over the 5.8 mile, rated as moderately strenuous, but extremely beautiful hike from the top of Mowbray Mountain down to Big Soddy Creek Gulf. Shuttle will be provided for the one way, mostly downhill trek so you can enjoy the scenic views and sounds of nature without the worry of getting lost. Appropriate for ages 12+. Reservation required in advance as space in the shuttle vehicle is limited. For more info and to get registered  email Outdoor Chattanooga  or call 423-643-6888.

Intro to Mountain Biking Skills Course August 8 & 18
Mountain Biking is so much more than just riding a bike through the woods! Outdoor Chattanooga's  Intro to Mountain Biking classes teach the basics and reinforce the skills needed to get the most out of mountain biking. Use of open fields, built features and instructional skill drills; our instructors teach in a format that can be structured to your pace and individual learning style. Mountain bikes are available by reservation to use for class thanks to grants from the  Ironman Foundation and  Friends of Outdoor Chattanooga*Participants must already know how to confidently ride a bike for this class.  Fee: $10 per person per class. Ages 10 and up. Reservations required.  Email Outdoor Chattanooga  or call (423) 643-6888 to register and learn more.

Family Funday at Greenway Farms August 13
Pack a picnic, load up the family and come to Greenway Farms Park to have the ultimate  Family Funday full of activity! Outdoor Chattanooga will provide equipment for families to try archery, paddle the creek by canoe or take a self guided nature hike between the hours of 4-7 p.m. on Sunday, August 13. All  activities meet at the archery range by the dog park.  A liability release form will be required for canoeing and archery.  Severe weather or changes in water level may cancel or delay this program.   For more information email Outdoor Chattanooga or call (423) 643-6888.
All ages can take aim at the outdoor archery range located by the dog park at Greenway Farms. Outdoor Chattanooga staff will provide all the equipment and instruction for this activity. Available between 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. Cost: free | first come, first served. Just show up, take aim and give archery a try!
Outdoor Chattanooga will provide all the equipment needed to paddle the creek at your own pace including tandem canoes, PFD's, and paddles. Canoes are available from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m at the boat ramp behind the gardens. Cost: $25 per canoe | first come, first served. We can only accept cash or check on location.

Chickamauga Battlefield Bike Tour August 19
Join  Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park  and Outdoor Chattanooga for a free, leisurely paced, historical bike tour through Chickamauga Battlefield on Sat., August 19 at 9:30 a.m. The ride is on moderately-hilly terrain, lasts about 2 hours, with frequent stops as the Ranger talks about the history of the battlefield. The rides are appropriate for ages 8 and older when accompanied by an adult. All participants are required to wear helmets.  B ring your own bicycle or borrow a  bicycle from the Outdoor Chattanooga's mobile bi cycle fleet at no charge, thanks to sponsorship from  Friends of the Park Friends of Outdoor Chattanooga  and the  Chattanooga Bicycle Club . Reservations for the bicycles are required and only available to riders 5' or taller. Contact the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center at (706) 866-9241 for more information or to reserve a bicycle.  Additional Saturday battlefield bicycle tours scheduled for 2017 occur on September 16, and October 19 (9:30-11:30 a.m.). 

This Month's Local and National Outdoor Adventure

Your Guide to Understanding and 
Experiencing the Total Solar Eclipse of 2017!

Total Solar Eclipse
On August 21, 2017, parts of America and even our home state of Tennessee will be in the path of a total solar eclipse. 1869 was the last time Tennessee was in the path of a total solar eclipse and it won't happen again until 2153 and it's been 99 years since a total eclipse passed across the entire continental U.S. Unfortunately, Chattanooga is just outside the path of totality, so if you stay in town, you'll only see a partial eclipse, which is isn't nearly as special. Luckily, Chattanooga is just barely outside the path, so Chattanoogans won't have to travel far to experience this unique astronomical phenomena. Eclipse chasers will travel hundreds and thousands of miles to see a total solar eclipse, so making a small effort to see it will totally be worth it. Just to confirm what we already knew about this event, August 21st is predicted to be the worst day of traffic in U.S. history and Hamilton County Schools recently announced that they will close schools for eclipse day. So, you should plan to take the day off from work (or at least the afternoon), play hooky with the kids and find a place close to home to experience the Great American Total Solar Eclipse of 2017 on August 21. 
Photo Courtesy

What is a total solar eclipse?

Total solar eclipses are an incredible scientific coincidence and it's rare for the path to span such a great distance over a developed country like the U.S. during a prime viewing time. The moon is about 400 times smaller than the sun, and the sun is about 400 times farther away from the Earth. Since this ratio happens to be the same, the sun and moon appear to be the same size when viewed from the Earth's surface. During a total solar eclipse, the orbit of the moon passes directly in front of the sun, completely blocking it from view, plunging the areas under the path of totality into darkness as the temperature drops. Because of slow orbital changes, total solar eclipses did not exist millions of years in the past, nor will they exist millions of years in the future.  Click here to watch a short video  to learn more!

How to see and experience the total solar eclipse
The Southeast Tennessee Tourism Association has put together a great list of nearby cities and towns that will experience the total solar eclipse, as well as eclipse events that are being offered. You can find that by clicking  here. The best place to see the eclipse might not be a city: be sure to look at parks that are within the path of totality and consider taking a camping trip. Be aware that a lot of places are going to fill up and book early! There are people who chase total eclipses to the corners of the world; they aren't going to miss a chance to see an easily accessible one. Some places, especially those closest to the center of the path, are expecting at least 50,000 visitors.
*Most importantly: The eclipse cannot be viewed without a pair of eclipse  glasses. To do so risks permanent damage to vision. NASA has compiled a list of safety information for eclipse viewing, as well as a list of approved manufacturers of eclipse glasses, found here.

Keep an eye on Outdoor Chattanooga's Facebook Page for viewing options around the Scenic City if you can't travel and how to get some free eclipse glasses.

Eclipse Fun Facts!
  • The total eclipse will travel across 14 states: Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, and South Carolina.
  • Nashville is one of five state capitals that is within the path of totality.
  • The path of totality is only about 70 miles across.
  • The eclipse will take 1 hour and 33 minutes to travel across the United States.
  • Scientists and historians have been able to pinpoint the exact dates of historical events as far back as 2137 BCE based on writings mentioning eclipses.
  • In 1919, Arthur Stanley Eddington used a total solar eclipse to prove Einstein's Theory of Relativity.
Community Events

Float Trip on S. Chick Creek August 5
Join the South Chickamauga Creek Greenway Alliance for a float trip on a section of South Chickamauga Creek from Graysville to Camp Jordan on Saturday, August 5 beginning at 10:00 a.m. You must have your own paddlecraft to participate. This is a 6.5 mile Class I trip (current and obstacles) that requires a short portage around the Mill dam at Graysville, and a short rocky section near the take out at Camp Jordan. The group will meet at Graysville, unload boats, then run shuttle. The trip takes about 3.5 hours. Paddling experience and use of own equipment required. If interested, email Sandra Kurtz by 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 3 to RSVP.

Jasper Highlands Classic August 18-20
The Jasper Highlands Classic Cycling Omnium and Half Marathon/10K is a large scale cycling and running race with cash prize payouts for top finishers along with a family friendly festival with plenty of activities to keep everyone in the family entertained and fed. The festival is free to attend and will draw in approximately 500 athletes from all over the country. You won't want to miss the views or the action of this unique event! Click here for more info about races and list of weekend activities.

Art 120's 2017 Urban Art Bike Extravaganza August 22

Come out to Coolidge Park on Tuesday, August 22 from 12-2 p.m. and check out the  Art 120  Art Bikes created at the 2017  Art 120 Urban Art Bike Camp  hosted at East Chattanooga YFD Center! This program is designed for students to make their own kinetic sculptures and understand the value of STE(A)M Education in their community and worldwide! The event is free and open to the public.   Click here  for more info. 

Upcoming Events...Click Titles For More Info

1         Rock Creek SUP Class
5         Still Hollow Trail Race
8         Rock Creek SUP Class
19       Scenic City Mud Run
21       Solar Eclipse 2017

           Bats, Beers, and Bluegrass
24       Ironman Chattanooga
30       Stump Jump 50K
          Bunker Buster-TYMBR Series

14        Swim the Suck
15        7 Bridges Marathon
21        Urban Nature 10K
           ChattaJack 31
28-29   Red Clay PowWow

4-5      Head of the Hooch
          TYMBR Series Championship
11        Upchuck 50K

2         Stillhouse 100K
3         Mainx24

Find more community events here.