Resources and Library:

Greenways and River Trails

Hosted by AmericanTrails.org

The Riverwalk along the Tennessee River links Chattanooga's parks, green spaces, museums, public art, businesses, new housing, and neighborhoods.

x Chattanooga is the host city for the American Trails National Symposium, November 14-17, 2010

arrow From the Spring 2010 issue of American Trails Magazine

 

Tennessee Riverwalk helped spur revitalization in Chattanooga


photo of huge steel bridges

The bike-pedestrian Walnut Street Bridge (foreground) and the
Market Street Bridge in the background

 

Now into its second decade of development (initial segment opened May 1989), the Tennessee Riverwalk will form a 20-mile greenway through Chattanooga. It stretches from the Chickamauga Dam to downtown and out to Moccasin Bend, recently designated the country’s newest national park and very first archeological district. Along the way, the trail links parks, green spaces, museums, public art, shops, fishing piers, boating facilities, and miles of scenic Riverwalk along the Tennessee River.

The Riverwalk experience begins at Ross’s Landing Plaza, a novel combination of landscaping, art, and architecture creating a captivating public space that serves as the setting for the Tennessee Aquarium and the Chattanooga Visitors Center. The design incorporates exhibits, artifacts, and legends from Chattanooga’s history and geography.

The Riverwalk extends out over the river and up on to the Walnut Street Bridge, a steel truss bridge built in 1890 that has been renovated into one of the world’s longest pedestrian bridges. The bridge is perfect for strolling by day or by moonlight, and connects downtown to the numerous shops and restaurants along the north shore. The north shore is also home to Coolidge Park, which honors Charles B. Coolidge, a World War II Medal of Honor recipient. It features an antique carousel furnished with animals carved by students of Chattanooga’s Horsin’ Around carousel animal carving school. Children can cool off in the interactive water fountains featuring large animals.

photo of bike riders

Cyclists and walkers enjoying the trails along the Tennessee River

Back on the south shore, the glass-bottom Holmberg Bridge leads to the Hunter Museum of American Art and the Bluff View Art District. Galleries and restaurants, as well as a spectacular sculpture garden overlook the river. From Bluff View, two pedestrian bridges lead to the historic Battery Place neighborhood and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga campus.

Farther up the river, the Riverwalk passes through the Centre South Industrial Park and offers great river views of MacClellan Island and the four downtown bridges spanning the river.

The final 4.5-mile segment connecting the Rowing Center and the Fishing Park along the South shoreline was completed in May 2005. This newest Riverwalk component added three new lighted parking areas, numerous picnic facilities and two public restrooms. Along the route are numerous river, creek and wetland overlooks and a grand, 360-foot pedestrian bridge. The walker, jogger or bicyclist can travel on a 10-mile continuous path along the southern shoreline from the Chickamauga Dam to the Tennessee Aquarium and Ross’s Landing in downtown Chattanooga.

photo of bridge and hill

Hunter Museum of American Art on the bluff with boardwalk
section of the Tennessee Riverwalk

The 21st Century Waterfront Plan was a sweeping $120-plus million vision that transformed the downtown riverfront with a careful combination of development, preservation, and enhancement. An aggressive schedule made this transformation happen in 35 months. This unique plan evolved out of a public process that has become second nature for Chattanoogans.

The revitalization of Ross’s Landing Park is a cornerstone of the plan. The project also reconfigured Riverfront Parkway, allowing for an enlarged and enhanced riverside park. The trailhead of the Trail of Tears is honored at The Passage. New docking facilities were added, the 1st Street Sculpture Garden was created, reconnecting visitors to the Hunter Museum of American Art (completed $19.5 million expansion) in the Bluff View Art District.

The Tennessee Aquarium also added a new saltwater addition (completed $30 million expansion). Additional work along the north shore area has expanded Coolidge Park west of the Market Street Bridge to include the 23 acre Renaissance Park, a wetland park, and appropriate mixed-use development along Manufacturers Road.

photo of house river and city

Tennessee Aquarium and Ross’s Landing Park

The 21st Century Waterfront Plan represents a major portion of the unfinished business begun with the Tennessee Riverwalk Master Plan and stands as a testament to Chattanooga’s ability to forge bold visions punctuated by aggressive implementation. It is a blueprint for a riverfront without rival. Already, housing, office and retail developments have totaled more than $750 million making certain that this riverfront renaissance lasts well into the 21st Century.

See more photos and information about trails and greenways in Chattanooga and Tennessee on the 2010 American Trails National Symposium website at www.AmericanTrails.org/2010

 

Print Friendly
Print Friendly and PDF

 

 

 

Facebook Twitter

Stay up to date on legislative issues for trails, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

business directory

 

trail database

Need trail skills and education? Do you provide training? Join the National Trails Training Partnership!

The NTTP Online Calendar connects you with courses, conferences, and trail-related training

arrowEnjoy and share the new online, digital version of the American Trails Magazine!

arrowHelp us provide you more useful resources to keep you on the cutting-edge -- please join today!

arrowWe are advocating for your interests! Visit the Supporting Trails page to view the latest in legislative news, current issues, and opportunities, and to learn how to access funding.

arrow Sign up for American Trails Action Alerts and Trail Tracks e-Newsletters.

 

PDF  Some of our documents are in PDF format and require free Adobe Acrobat Reader software.
  Download Acrobat Reader

section 508 logo American Trails and NTTP support accessibility with Section 508: read more.