Chattanooga is a sporting paradise. Now, that’s a pretty bold statement, but we can back it up. Whether you like to rocket down a mountainside on two wheels, ride whitewater in a kayak, chase a little white ball, or take in some afternoon baseball with a hot dog and a beer, or just about anything else in between, we’ve got you covered.
Mankind has always wanted to fly, and hang gliding allows you to experience the thrill without risking Icarus’ fate. Lookout Mountain Hang Gliding has been instructing beginners since 1978, and is the largest flight school in the country. They train five times as many novices as the next largest school, allowing you to train tandem with an instructor, or develop your skills on the bunny hill. The current record for the longest hang gliding flight is 438 miles – you may not beat that, but what a spectacular way to experience the beauty of Chattanooga and the Tennessee River area.
While drifting lazily in the sky, you may notice that some of our rivers have foamy white streaks in them, and if you glide low enough, you may be able to hear the screams of delight lifting above the roar of the rapids of the Ocoee and Hiwassee Rivers. Chattanooga is blessed with a multitude of whitewater recreational opportunities – whether you wish to drift or paddle, the Chattanooga Adventure Guide is a great place to start your adventure. Or you can contact one of the following excellent guides: Ace Funyaks; Big Frog Expeditions; “One of the Best Outfitters on Earth”, according to the National Geographic and otherwise known as Nantahala Outdoor Center; or Quest Expeditions. Please bear in mind that this is but a sampling – Outdoor Chattanooga has a much more comprehensive listing of people and companies eager see you drenched in the most enjoyable way possible!
When Lance Armstrong began training to launch his legendary comeback after cancer treatment, this is the part of the world he chose. He could have gone anywhere, but what draws others drew him as well – the incredibly diverse terrain, the opportunity to ride very hard or very easy, the astounding, inspiring views, the mountains, valleys, the riverside trails. We have an event called the 3-State 3-Mountain Challenge, which is exactly what it sounds like. Whether you are riding through one of our parks with your children, shredding singletrack with other expert level riders, or training for the next Tour de France, your wheels will find a home here. Mountain bikers will want to check out SORBA, the Chattanooga Chapter of the Off Road Bicycle Association for the latest news on trail openings and upcoming events, while all bikers, whether MTBers, roadies, triathletes, or even you crazy cyclocrossers will want to see what Scenic City Velo is up to.
Rock and Ice magazine, the bible of climbing, recently featured Chattanooga and said “thanks to a booming economy…solidly intelligent urban-renewal efforts…this centrally located city in the Smoky Mountains is one of the most-sought after places in the Southeast to live – especially for climbers.” No arguments here. The rock climbing opportunities around Chattanooga are plentiful and challenging enough to last several lifetimes. Interested in trying it out? Urban Rocks Climbing Gym will show you the ropes before you take it outside.
Many of us choose the sports we do because of the places they take us. Few sports can match the beauty of fly fishing – fly fishers have long known that the beauty of their prey is matched only by the beauty of their habitat. Sometimes, having a little bit of local knowledge makes all the difference, and at Feather and Fly your needs have been anticipated. Boasting an intimate knowledge of Tennessee and Georgia trout water, they can supply you with all the gear you may need, and are the perfect hosts for a day casting a fly.
Golf may be maddening, irritating, frustrating – but that one pure shot will always keep us coming back. There is truly something wonderful about a well-struck shot, soaring down an immaculate fairway in beautiful surroundings, certainly enough to keep us coming back for more punishment at the hands of the golf gods. From mountain courses with elevated tees and greens that reward the daring, to gentle, meandering parkland tracks that emphasize solid management, Chattanooga has an absolute embarrassment of golf riches. For a comprehensive list, we encourage you to visit golflink.com for the full Chattanooga story.
Sports are not always about doing – sport has a spectacle factor, and in Chattanooga and Tennessee we have plenty of spectacle. At the Bristol Motor Speedway experience racing at its rip-roaring best! Nascar makes a regular stop at Bristol and if you haven’t lived it, you have to take in the excitement, the sounds and smells of the racetrack. Your everday commute will never be the same! The Chattanooga Lookouts are the AA affiliate and regularly challenge for the Southern League title. What an opportunity to see future major league stars in action today and the hot dogs are pretty good too! Football Tennessee style is always an experience – the Titans play in Nashville, but belong to the whole state. Just a couple hours away, an NFL game is a riveting experience and one to always remember.
As the song says, these boots are made for walking, and with our proximity to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cherokee National Forest, our river systems – the opportunities to get out and enjoy this beautiful Earth are virtually endless. If ever a place was designed by nature to be enjoyed, this is it – now lace up those boots and get there! See you on the outside!
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