October is finally here and I hope the weather in Chattanooga cooperates! I absolutely LOVE fall and all it has to bring: cooler weather, shorter days, cozy sweaters, caramel apples, bonfires, hayrides and for me, a lot more outdoor time! Summer is my least favorite season which lasts entirely too long in Tennessee for this northern girl! If you are a fall lover as well you may be looking for fun, outdoor activities to enjoy with your family!
This year I became acquainted with Outdoor Chattanooga through my oldest daughter who completed her college internship with them this past summer. This amazing company has so much to offer Chattanooga-area families and I want to share the fun our family has had with them so far:
- FREE Kayak roll classes with my husband on a date-night and another time with my daughters 16 and 11 years of age. The instructors were fantastic and will work with you regardless of age and experience. All equipment is provided and classes are offered every Wednesday evening.
- FREE Rock Climbing Wall at Walnut Street Bridge. Again, all ages and beginners to experienced are welcome.
- Introduction to Mountain Biking Class (all equipment is included). Ages 6+.
- Kayak Moon Light Tours down the Tennessee River.
- FREE Log-Rolling. Offered in the summer and no, I didn’t try this but my girls loved it!
- Most recently, we registered for a “Pedal and Paddle” event which will take place on October 4th at South Chickamauga Creek Greenway. This event is appropriate for ages six and up and equipment is included. Registration and payment in advance is required.
We had so much fun and the fact that the majority of these were FREE and entirely family-friendly make it even better! For complete details/costs/registration and schedule, contact Chattanooga Outdoors via phone at 423.643.6888 or via email at [email protected]
A little history on Outdoor Chattanooga and its three main pillars:
1. Information Resource
2. Affordable Programs (Education Outreach)
3. Event Support (Ironman, U.S. Pro Cycling, etc.)
In recent years the Chattanooga region has gained a considerable reputation for its many outdoor activities and amenities, and for its environmental and conservation efforts. In May 2003, the Mayor of Chattanooga, Bob Corker, initiated a citizen-based process that established a “Strategic Plan for Outdoor Recreation in the Chattanooga region.” This comprehensive initiative was shaped during a region-wide planning effort between October 2003 and January 2004, in which well over one thousand citizens participated, sharing their ideas and concerns in a series of public meetings and work sessions.
Outdoor Chattanooga was formed as a direct response to this initiative. It was established as a regional mechanism with facilities dedicated to the recreational use, education and stewardship of the region’s natural areas.
Outdoor Chattanooga’s base of operations and modern office space is located in Coolidge Park. The public is invited to stop in during normal office hours for a tour and additional information and/or to sign up for classes and events. There is even a mini-indoor climbing wall for the kiddos! A second program facility is at the City of Chattanooga Greenway Farm Park in Hixson.
In addition to the classes/events I enjoyed with my family Outdoor Chattanooga also offers canoeing, camping, flat and whitewater kayaking, cycling, hiking, fishing, rock climbing, archery and orienteering!
Maybe you’re looking for a more casual/evening out event for the family! If so, check out the Free Outdoor Concert Series offered by Outdoor Chattanooga beginning this week:
WHEN: Every Thursday in October 7-9pm
WHERE: Fireside at Greenway Park Farm
The concert line-up:
October 6th: The Von Wamps, eclectic genre with acoustic flair
October 13th: Caney Creek Company, an Americana/Folk-Rock/Bluegrass Band made up of Tennessee natives
October 20th: Tin Cup Rattlers, Old Time Music traditional Appalachian
October 27th: Vincent Ivan Phipps, family friendly master storyteller
If you want to add an ADVENTURE to the beginning of any of these concerts, Outdoor Chattanooga will be offering a family-friendly calm paddle on North Chickamauga Creek in a canoe prior to the event. Children under 30 pounds will need their own life jacket. Call Outdoor Chattanooga at 423.643.6888 for more information, cost and to register. So pack a picnic, bring your blankets and chairs and enjoy the music, bonfire and (hopefully) cool fall evenings!