Waterfront Activities Keep Chattanooga, TN Residents Active

Chattanooga offers the perfect place to get wild--in its world-class whitewater

Karen Schwartzman
On Friday, April 29, 2011 - 07:40
Ocoee River Chattanooga, TN

Chattanooga, TN offers the perfect place to get wild--in its world-class whitewater. The region also includes an abundance of lakes, streams, waterfalls, mountains and cliffs, which are ideal venues for hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking, rafting, hunting and fishing.

One of the most idyllic spots is Tennes­see’s Ocoee River, which offers world-class whitewater rafting and canoe­ing. The Ocoee rapids are so demanding that the river served as the site of the canoeing and kayaking competitions at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. Outdoor outfitters such as the Ocoee Adventure Center and Ocoee Rafting offer guided raft trips down the river, and most offer guests the choice of rafting through the Upper Ocoee, Middle Ocoee or both. The river contains both Class III and Class IV rapids, so guests will be in for an adventure on whichever part of the river they choose to tackle.

Another desirable destination meas­ures 300 miles long. The Justin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park is a foot­path that eventually will stretch from Signal Mountain near Chattanooga through the Cumberland Mountains to Cumberland Gap, where Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia converge.

There are also plenty of ways to take advantage of Chattanooga's waterfront location. The city sits on the banks of the Tennessee River, and its Riverwalk serves as a launching point into the Tennessee River Blueway. Along the Blueway, kayakers and canoeists can visit nature preserves or paddle right into the breathtaking Tennessee River Gorge.

Chattanooga also offers plenty of hiking trails, like the South Chickamauga Creek Greenway, and the Tennessee Riverwalk, Both are linear parks located in a reserved area, called Greenways.

The city encourages its citizens to stay active through programs like Outdoor Chattanooga OutVenture. The program schedules events and trips throughout the year and specializes in activities like kayaking, canoeing, mountain biking and rock climbing. Events include whitewater kayaking day trips for youths and participation in Community Outreach programs.


A writer, sky diver, book lover and bungy jumper, Karen Schwartzman is a content coordinator by day and trivia fanatic by night.