First Look: the new South Chickamauga Creek Greenway

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A sneak peek at the section of the trail that's currently in progress | Photo via NOOGAtoday

Chattanoogans have something beyond a fresh year to look forward to in 2022 — if all goes as planned, the new year will bring the completion of a local trail that’s 20+ years in the making.

The South Chickamauga Creek Greenway has been in the works by the Trust for Public Land since 1994, and we got a sneak peek of the trail’s newer portions ahead of its completion to share with you.

Features of the trail

  • The first completed greenway that feeds into the Tennessee Riverpark 
  • 3 different kayak + canoe launches 
  • Entirely ADA accessible
  • Features a section at the Cromwell Hills affordable housing community, providing those residents with another viable transportation route
  • Allows residents to explore a completely different part of the city one that has likely only been accessed by car
  • Filled with interesting history + facts — there are even some species that only live in South Chick Creek
  • Potential plans for the future include adding e-bike Chattanooga stations at Cromwell Hills + even the Airport

Why has it taken so long?

  • At the current portion in progress, the rock is so hard that crews can only dig 6 inches a day.
  • Along the greenway corridor, there are ~50 individual landowners, and the Trust for Public Land ensured that all landowners are willing if a landowner wasn’t willing, the plan had to change.
  • As a partnership with the City of Chattanooga, the project has also needed to gain support of all of the City Mayors that Chattanooga’s seen in the past 2 decades.
  • As with any project, there are minute details that the public doesn’t get to see while under construction — for instance, 1 section of the greenway needed to be inspected by an environmental regulator to ensure that it’s wasn’t harming protected bat habitats.

Where can I access the greenway?

There are several trailheads across the 12-mile walkable, bike-able greenway.

  • Camp Jordan
  • Lost Mound, which is the trailhead that connects the greenway to the TN Riverwalk — yes, this means you can get from downtown to Camp Jordan via bike, just using these trail systems.
  • Sterchi Farm
  • Faith Road
  • Shallowford Road + Brainerd Levee
  • Brainerd Road

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