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Chattanooga Set to Expand Paddling Access on South Chickamauga Creek

Kayakers on scenic river.

Chattanooga Set to Expand Paddling Access on South Chickamauga Creek

Strategic Acquisition Promotes Outdoor Recreation

Chattanooga, in a recent move to enhance the local paddling experience, is acquiring property on Shallowford Road. This strategic acquisition serves the purpose of facilitating easier access to South Chickamauga Creek for outdoor enthusiasts, specifically kayakers and canoers.

The acquisition and development of the new access point into the creek are part of the city’s long-term strategy of providing residents with easier access to recreational activities like paddling.

Boost to Local Paddling and Recreation

Scott Martin, the director of Chattanooga’s parks and recreation department, believes that the new access point will yield significant benefits to local outdoor enthusiasts. He hopes it will attract more people to engage in outdoor recreational activities after work, thereby adding to Chattanooga’s appeal as a vibrant and active city.

Martin emphasized that this added accessibility will significantly enhance Chattanooga’s landscape for water-based activities, making it much more feasible for individuals to participate in an easy and enjoyable afternoon paddle right in downtown Chattanooga.

Property Procurement and Development

The Trust for Public Land assisted Chattanooga City Council in the process of acquiring the parcel at 4343 Shallowford Road, with a combined funding from the state, city, and a charitable donation by the Tennessee Valley Canoe Club. Construction on the access point is set to commence in the fall.

Lasting Impact on Community

This addition to Chattanooga’s outdoor recreation options caters to a wide range of paddling enthusiasts while ensuring that the activity is a fun and rewarding experience instead of a tiresome, all-day event. This strategic access point on Shallowford Road fits precisely as it’s positioned right in the middle of the approximately 10-mile stretch between Camp Jordan and Sterchi Farm, making it a perfect launch or landing point for paddlers.

Noel Durant, Tennessee State Director for Trust for Public Land, noted that this section covers one of the most scenic stretches of the South Chickamauga Creek and its watershed. Kayakers and canoers venturing from this spot will have a chance to float past the recently completed elevated boardwalk on the greenway.

This latest development resonates with the city’s wider strategy of ensuring that every resident lives within a short walk or bike ride from a recreational area. Alongside the creation of new parks and trails, additional navigational signs for blueways and access points along the South Chickamauga Creek and the Tennessee River are part of these city-wide improvements.

This strategic vision for Chattanooga’s park system aims to progressively add more park spaces and access points that residents can enjoy within a typical day’s span.

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