Select Page

I generally equate introducing favorite boating haunts to folks looking for new experiences to the process of setting friends up on blind dates. Talk about what could be a wild “Journey!” Things will either work or they won’t; though hopefully, at the very least, we will all have learned something about ourselves, and those around us at the end of the day.

Serving as one of the boundaries for the award winning, Level 4 arboretum that is Reflection Riding and the Chattanooga Nature Center, Lookout Creek is one of those favorite areas for me. I recently had the opportunity to share it with some folks, and unlike some of those “iffy” blind dates scenarios that many of us can recall, everyone walked away from this particular introduction happily looking forward to getting better acquainted with this body of water. Bonus: we got some great shots on the cameras to boot!!

Why, you ask, do I love this creek so much? Hmmm… How much time do you have? The short list includes the secluded, undeveloped nature of the creek itself, and the ever-changing flora and fauna found only in a temperate rainforest. The looks of utter amazement, coupled with stunned silence, resulting from the realization that an area this “remote” is this easy to access also adds to my personal enjoyment. The coup de grace, however, would be the ridiculous proximity of the put-in to Chattanooga’s city center, and my house!

With it’s source originating just shy of Rising Fawn, GA, Lookout Creek gently meanders its way towards the Tennessee River as it follows along the base of Lookout Mountain on it’s journey (see what I did?!) While it’s true that the entirety of the Creek isn’t paddleable (yes, that’s a word; at least it is down South…) for one reason or another, it is this same aspect that makes for the surreal nature of the paddler’s experience. Those willing to go exploring are presented a rare glimpse into the undeveloped side of Chattanooga.

Regardless of the season in which you choose to explore this hometown jewel, you will only be disappointed if you expect to encounter a slew of other paddlers, or if you are looking to check out the latest creek side development. In the meantime, spring is most certainly evident with each and every paddle stroke! If you are one of the lucky few, you will be witness to the joys of it firsthand before you even unload your boat!

Now, what are you doing sitting here reading about paddling rather than doing it?! Load your boat, grab your camera, and go on your own journey to discover spring via a creek near you!!

Samantha Christen