Get out Chattanooga

Staff Photo by Nathan P. Gayle

It’s almost February, and at this point, everyone’s getting a little tired of the Chattanooga winter weather.  A mellow 65-degree day teases of the spring to come, but the following 30-degree gray sky complete with blustery winds dashes all hopes of breaking out your summer wardrobe.  One benefit of our city’s wishy-washy weather, however, is the opportunities it offers to get outdoors and explore the surrounding mountains, rivers, and lakes.

On those days that border the brink of freezing, take the opportunity to try out some outdoor rock climbing. Winter is ideal for climbing outdoors, as the colder temps keep your hands from becoming balmy and losing grip on the rock, a common problem in warmer weather.
Before hitting the crags, be sure to dress accordingly and gear up.  Layers will be needed, as sometimes a short hike is required to reach the boulders, and crash pads, climbers’ chalk, and a buddy to spot you and provide moral support are essential.

It’s not uncommon for some winter days in Chattanooga to climb into the upper 60s. Grab your Chacos from the attic and take advantage of these warmer days by getting out on the water. On February 7, Outdoor Chattanooga is offering an introductory whitewater kayaking course.  Taking place in the safety of Southern Adventist University’s swimming pool, the course will prepare you for the rushing rapids of your choice of rivers and creeks surrounding Chattanooga.

If you’d rather wait until the hills are alive with budding trees and wildflowers to explore the outdoors, check out some of the winter workshops Outdoor Chattanooga is holding. From workshops on how to navigate the old-fashioned way (with a map and compass, because cell service is spotty in the woods…) to how to take a dump in the woods (no joke), these workshops prepare you for countless hiking and biking adventures. Check out Outdoor Chattanooga’s website for more information on the date and location ( Winter doesn’t have to keep you indoors. Get out and explore!