Our Response to COVID-19
Our primary mission is to connect residents and tourists with Chattanooga’s outdoor scene. Due to the impact of COVID-19, we had to temporarily adjust how and what it means to experience the outdoors in Chattanooga. We are slowly resuming our regular programs and guided tours while continuing to adhere to the social distancing recommendations of the CDC and the City of Chattanooga, while also complying with the Hamilton County Mask mandate.
We believe the outdoors can be a place of solace and serenity while offering opportunities for reflection, recreation, and a connection with nature – all important elements of staying healthy during a health crisis. While we do our part to prevent the spread of the virus, we’ve compiled a list of park and public spaces closures, along with resources, ideas, and activities for how you can still experience the great outdoors in the greater Chattanooga region, safely and responsibly.
Updates/Information on Parks and Public Spaces Closures
- Chattanooga City Parks – open except playgrounds/skate park
- Hamilton County Parks – Open
- Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park – Phased Re-Opening, Limited Access
- Reflection Riding Nature Center and Arboretum – partially open
- Tennessee State Parks – Open
- Georgia State Parks – Open
- Alabama State Parks – Open
- SORBA Chattanooga Mountain Bike Trail Updates – Open
- TVA Recreational Sites, Day Use Areas, Campgrounds Status – Open
- Cherokee National Forest Campgrounds + Public Areas – Open
- Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest Limited Access
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Phased Re-Opening, Limited Access
- Appalachian Trail – Open in TN & GA
- Southeastern Climbers Coalition Updates on Properties & COVID-19 Precautions
- IMBA Mountain Bike Safety & COVID-19
We know these are uncertain times and people have lots of questions. Feel free to reach out to us. We can’t promise that we’ll have the answers but we’ll do our best to provide you with helpful information and resources. Contact Outdoor Chattanooga>
Outdoor Recreation + Self Guided Tours During COVID-19
Chattanooga has plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventure and going outside to recreate is a great way to maintain physical and mental well-being during this time of uncertainty, as long as you practice smart social distancing and adhere to mask mandates. When you go outside, avoid group activities, keep six feet away from others, stay home if you are feeling sick and wash your hands frequently.
If you’re going out for a walk, run, or ride, we’d like to encourage you to use free tools like STRAVA, MapMyWalk, MTB Project, and Trailforks so that you can track your route and share it with others! It’s a fun way to encourage group participation while still adhering to social distancing.
**Please note that some campgrounds, restrooms, public day-use areas, beaches, and playgrounds are closed (check the list provided on this page) so you can plan accordingly and practice Leave No Trace Principles and recommendations for going outside during COVID-19.
Ideas and resources for getting outside and coping with COVID-19:
- Solo Park Adventures
- Lookout Wild Film Festival Social Distance Series
- The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks
- 33 Virtual National Park Tours
- Video: 30 Chattanooga Hikes in 30 Days
- Spring Wildflower Scavenger Hunt
- Video: Virtual Hike to Denny Cove
- 50 Best Hiking Trails in Chattanooga
- 8 Chattanooga Area Scenic Vistas
- Outdoor Scavenger Hunt for Kids
- Ideas for Keeping Kids Active During Social Distancing
- Video: Learn to Ride a Bike with Outdoor Chattanooga
- 11 Great Places to Ride your Bike in Chattanooga
- Bikeways of the Scenic South
- Gravel Grinding in Southeast Tennessee
- Virtual Tours and Learning with Reflection Riding & Nature Center
- Paddle the Tennessee River Blueway
- Virtual Explorations with Southeast Tennessee Tourism
- Support an Adventure Project
- Discover Chattanooga Mountain Biking Trails
- Discover Chattanooga Hiking/Running Trails
- Discover Chattanooga Walking Trails
- Horseback Riding Adventures near Chattanooga
- Go Fishing in Chattanooga
- Virtual Tours of the Tennessee Aquarium
- Four Mountain Goat Trail Stories
- Paddle Tennessee Valley Water Trails
- Outdoor Chattanooga’s YouTube Channel
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!
November 2020This has been a tough year y'all, and there doesn't seem to be an end in sight! With the upcoming elelction, holidays approaching and COVID cases on the rise again, we hope you're finding healthy ways to deal with the stress of 2020. Getting outside has...
October 2020 Inspired by our Intro to Mountain Biking Classes and Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day, we're highlighting Chattanooga's area mountain bike trails as this month's local adventure spotlight in hopes it inspires you to get out and ride! Trails...
September 2020After careful consideration, acquiring lots of disinfectant, and putting new precautions in place, we are happy to announce our return to programming and offering guided tours this month! The name of the game for September 2020 is flatwater paddling...
August 2020"It's too hot outside", is something we hear quite often during the summer months in Chattanooga! This year, we're feeling it too! That's why our August 2020 Newsletter highlights the coolest places to paddle near Chattanooga as the local adventure...
July 2020 The humid southern heat has officially arrived in Chattanooga, but with COVID-19 forcing many local swimming pools to remain closed this summer, you're likely looking for alternatives to beat the heat. Here's our list of natural blue holes and swim beaches...
June 2020 As we continue to navigate the world of social distancing and virtual programming, our newsletter looks a little different. The community events and activities we typically highlight have been replaced with virtual programs, along with status updates about...
May 2020 As we continue to navigate the world of social distancing and virtual programming, our May Newsletter looks a little different. The community events and activities we typically highlight have been replaced with virtual programs, advice on how to experience...
April 2020 Our primary mission is to connect residents and tourists with Chattanooga's outdoor scene. Unfortunately, due to the impact of COVID-19, we are temporarily adjusting how and what it means to experience the outdoors in Chattanooga. For now, all of our public...
Notice of Program CancellationsWith growing concerns related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), on March 13, Mayor Andy Berke signed an Executive Order suspending all public events in the City of Chattanooga for 30 days to combat the spread of the virus. The city is...
Job PostingIf outdoor recreation is your passion and getting paid to play outside sounds like a dream job then you're in luck! We're hiring outdoor trip leaders for the upcoming season to help us lead a variety of outdoor programs. Qualified candidates must be at...
Events Search and Views Navigation
Join Outdoor Chattanooga for a guided and equipped kayak tour at the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge to view the migrating Sandhill Cranes. The Hiwassee Refuge is located at the confluence of the Tennessee and Hiwassee Rivers about one hour north of Chattanooga near the town of Birchwood.The group will explore the perimeter of the 400-acre Hiwassee Island in search of wildlife with Outdoor Chattanooga's experienced guides. The wildlife refuge area attracts a variety of birds due to its combination of cultivated,…Find out more »
Outdoor Chattanooga provides guided and equipped Kayak Tours lasting 4+ hours for private groups and organizations. Location of tour is determined by the group's needs/requests and Outdoor Chattanooga's staff availability. Prior to departure, the group receives basic paddling instruction, water safety information and are properly outfitted in a lifejacket and kayak. We utilize 14' and 16' sit-in style sea touring or recreational kayaks which fit most body types (kayak weight limit is 265lbs). Previous kayak experience is helpful, but not…Find out more »
Join Outdoor Chattanooga's experienced guide staff for a guided hike on the scenic Cumberland Trail. This is one of nine different short section hikes (4-6 miles each) on the Cumberland Trail being offered as part of our Cumberland Trail Hiking Series. The series begins on January 12 and concludes December 6, 2020, with most hikes being offered on Sunday mornings with the exception of one Saturday that falls on National Trails Day (June 6). (See full schedule below)The Cumberland Trail is known for…Find out more »
Our Learn to Ride a Bike Classes are the best and fastest way to learn to ride a bike!Does teaching your child how to ride a bike without training wheels end in frustration and tears? Are you an adult who's dreamed of riding a bike but can’t keep your balance or feel intimidated to try on your own? Let our League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructors teach you how to ride a bike using the gliding technique. With this simple and effective…Find out more »
The Chattanooga Grotto Club holds their monthly club meeting at Outdoor Chattanooga. This is free and open to the public.The Chattanooga Grotto Club is a nonprofit member-supported organization that promotes a program of caving adventures to outdoor enthusiasts of all social and economic backgrounds and of all skill levels. For more information call Club President, Tripp Lichtefeld at 423-883-2141 or email firstname.lastname@example.orgFind out more »