Established in 2004, Outdoor Chattanooga is a unique division of the City of Chattanooga’s Parks and Outdoors Department. Our mission is to make outdoor recreation an attractive, healthy, and distinguishing lifestyle for Chattanooga’s residents and visitors, which, in turn, will maintain and enhance the value of the region’s resources, and help grow the region’s economy.
Our role is to connect you with Chattanooga’s outdoor scene! There’s so much to see and do in the Scenic City, that it can be a little overwhelming finding the right information on how to get outside and play. We’re here to help. Search this site by activity or location to find detailed information about the places to run, climb, paddle, hike, bike, and more, all within an hours drive of Chattanooga.
You’ll find plenty of outdoor activities that you can do on your own or with local outfitters and guide services. Or, check out Our Programs and calendar of events for the special programs and events we offer throughout the year that are designed to introduce the public to a variety of outdoor activities and improve outdoor skills. You can also visit us at our LEED Gold certified facility in Coolidge Park, which contains two classrooms, a large central lobby with a traverse climbing wall and office space for our staff. Here you can pick up brochures and pick our brains about all the amazing outdoor spaces, places and activities that Chattanooga has to offer. The Bike Chattanooga station that sits in front of our building offers a car-free alternative and ‘wheelie’ fun way to see the City.
Philip Grymes – Director of Outdoor Chattanooga
A native of Richmond Virginia, Philip Grymes moved to Chattanooga in 1996 to work in the recreation field as an outdoor experiential educator. He received a B.S. in outdoor recreation from Ferrum College in Ferrum, VA and has worked in both the public and private sectors as an outdoor instructor and community event organizer. Since joining Outdoor Chattanooga as the Executive director in 2006, Philip has relished the task of promoting Chattanooga and the surrounding area as an outdoor recreation destination. Philip’s interests mirror his work; when away from the office he enjoys camping, hiking, hunting, cycling, paddling, and fishing with his wife Jenn and daughter Perrin.
Terri Chapin joined Outdoor Chattanooga in 2010 as Outdoor Programs Coordinator. She holds over 25 years of experience in teaching youth and adults a broad range of outdoor skills and has dedicated her career to adventure-based education. Terri built her love of the outdoors in the mountains and rivers in 27 states and 2 countries, specializing in whitewater kayaking where she literally cut her teeth leading whitewater river trips. Inspired by the power of experiential education she earned a Master’s in Recreation Management and an undergraduate degree in Therapeutic Recreation from Ohio University. When not in the office, Terri can be found mountain biking, kayaking or exploring the next adventure.
Sunshine joined Outdoor Chattanooga in 2014 as a Recreation Specialist. Originally from Kansas, she fell in love with Chattanooga and discovered her passion for the outdoors while working as a raft guide on the Ocoee River. She earned a Bachelor’s degree from Maryville College and went on to serve as a caseworker with the Department of Children’s Services for 9 years. During that time, Sunshine played women’s full contact football with the Chattanooga Locomotion, and in 2010, she won a gold medal with Team USA in the first ever Women’s World Championship! She joined Outdoor Chattanooga full time as the Customer Relations Specialist in 2016. When she’s not in the office giving advice and promoting all the awesome outdoor activities available in Chattanooga, she’s out having an adventure of her own. She loves mountain biking, paddle boarding, hiking, and camping. She believes she has the best job ever in the Best Town Ever!
James grew up jumping BMX bikes and biking narrow highways in west Tennessee. He moved to Chattanooga to attend UTC, where he earned his degree in Sport and Leisure Administration with a concentration in Outdoor Recreation. After moving to Chattanooga, he invested in his first mountain bike and fell in love with the trails at Raccoon. He also discovered and came to appreciate the world-class rock climbing areas, the scenic whitewater rivers and creeks, remote camping spots, miles of hiking trails, and, of course, all the amazing people in Chattanooga that inspire others to play outside. James sought a career and lifestyle that feeds his love of outdoor recreation and impacts people the same way its impacted him by joining Outdoor Chattanooga in 2012 as a Recreation Specialist.
Cole Henderson – Recreation Program Specialist
Cole grew up in Cleveland, Tennessee near the foothills of Chilhowee and Big Frog mountains where his family spent time backpacking and canoeing. Cole’s dad was an avid canoeist, which inspired Cole’s passion for the outdoors and whitewater kayaking. In 2012, Cole moved to Chattanooga to attend UTC, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and spent two summers working for Outdoor Chattanooga as a Recreation Specialist. After graduation, Cole worked for a couple of small businesses in Chattanooga while pursuing Class V expeditions on new rivers out west and abroad; from waterfalls in Mexico to big slides in Colorado. He’s also competed in whitewater races. Cole’s travels made him seek a career in the outdoor industry and he’s excited to be back at Outdoor Chattanooga full-time as the Recreation Program Specialist.
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