1. Coolidge Park - Photo album with full screen slideshow - Chattanooga downtown - McClellan Island - see the link below - sunrise to sunset..free..This is a beautiful Park and the home of Outdoor Chattanooga. There is a kayak ramp. It is right in downtown Chattanooga. There are many pictures in the photo album. Kayak to McLellan Island and have a picnic. Take trips down river to Mocasin Bend or up river along the Tennessee River Park. There are rowing teams practicing in this area when the weather is good. This is prime realestate for kayaking, but beware of the river boats, the Southern Belle and the Fat Cat, as well as some power boats who do not heed the no-wake zones. Good almost anytime of day.
Senator Corker and his daughter in downtown Chattanooga.
2. Nashville, Cumberland River - Photo album with full screen slideshow - Beware of the STRONG current. We launched at Shelby Park near 2073 Sevier St. 37206. We enjoyed the Nasville skyline, but even with the best equipment and well conditioned paddlers, the trip back upriver was a challenge that most beginners and intermediate kayakers will not be capable of meeting. The current in downtown was at least 5 mph under the bridges and 3-4 mph in the open areas. Go with caution and test your ability to paddle against the current before going too far.
Photo Album of friends in the Chattanooga area. - clicking on a picture in the viewing window will cause it to display in full size full screen.
3. Skull Island....boat ramp (10815 Birchwood Pike, 37343) - Photo album with full screen slideshow 24 hrs - FREE - 3.5 miles north (up river) from hwy 58, on the left, next to Skull Island. It is easy to miss so watch closely as the road nears the water. This is a nice remote spot. The water is shallow in this area. The Sequoyah Nuclear plant cooling towers are visible on the other side of the river. Early in the morning is the best chance to see bald eagles that nest in the area. Boat traffic gets heavy through the day. Upriver goes to Soddy Daisy and Dayton. There is a nice old cemetery with a smooth landing beach if you turn left on the river toward Soddy Creek approximately 1.5 miles north of the launch ramp. A nice place for a picnic. There are pictures in the photo album of this area.
4. Harrison Bay -Photo album with full screen slideshow - see the link - sunrise to sunset...free...there is a boat ramp and a 20" tall dock - There is a lot of boat traffic and high speed bass boats in this area during the day. Go early in the morning for the smoothest water. This is a great off season (fall or winter) adventure with a lot of area to explore. Paddle around the island in the middle of the bay or follow the east shore along the park.
5. Booker T. Washington Park - Photo album with full screen slideshow - see the link - sunrise to sunset...free...There is a ramp and a 20" tall dock at the end of the far parking lot and a 24" tall covered dock in the middle of the park. Beautiful still water inside the park. It is shallow and there are 24" long gar that will follow your kayak along the far shore. Sneak up quietly and coast along and watch the water for one to come along side. This is a good take out point for a trip starting from the Birchwood Pike ramp/Skull Island. The big water can get choppy during the day when power boats come out for skiing and high speed bass boats rush to their fishing spots. There are often Sailboats in the area.
6. Wolftever Creek - Photo album with full screen slideshow - 24 hrs - free - On the east side of hwy 58 where the hwy crosses over Harrison Bay. Watch closely for the turn off. There is a boat ramp and 15" high dock. You can go toward Wolftever creek to your left as you leave the ramp or toward Harrison Bay on the right, under the bridge. Wolftever area is beatiful but beware of skiers and high speed bass boats. There are narrow channels that create blind corners and reflected wakes. Follow the the creek for a mile or so until it turns into a narrow channel with many homes built near the water. It will eventually open into a small lake near Snow Hill. Amazingly beautiful during sunset.
7. Chickamauga Dam Park - Photo album with full screen slideshow.- Ckickamauga Lake- sunrise to sunset ..free..There is a swimming area, boat dock and ramp. This is a good take out spot for a down river trip from any of the above. There is a lot of boat traffic, but this is a nice place early in the morning or off-season. There are often many sailboats when the weather is good. We have taken early morning trips across Chickamauga Lake when the water was like a mirror. There are pictures in the photo album of Oprey nests on platforms in the middle of the lake.
8. Tennessee River Park - Photo album with full screen slideshow - sunrise to sunset...free..There are two put-in locations on the down river side of the dam off of Amnicola Hwy. The closest one to the Dam has a ramp and a 24" tall dock. It is good starting point for a trip down river with a take out in downtown Chattanooga at Coolidge park. (About 6 miles.) There is another boat ramp across from the police service center that is usually very busy with power boat traffic. It has a 20" tall dock and a ramp. If you put in here be quick, because there will likely be a lot of impatient power boaters ready to get in the water. Watch their wakes in this area as they nail the throttle leaving the ramp!
9. Marion County Park - Nickajack Lake - Photo album with full screen slideshow - free 24 hr - boat ramp and a 18" high dock...off of I-24 along Dixie Hwy (Hwy 72,41,64). A beautiful lake in the morning. Boat traffic picks up throughout the day but should not create a problem. This is a big lake with a lot to explore. There is camping in the park and it is close to Chattanooga where there are excellent resturaunts and interesting sites to see. We kayaked many miles and found places to pull off for lunch. We were able to take out at Haletown and go to a store right on the river to buy snacks and batteries for the camera.
10. Lake Ocoee Photo album with full screen slideshow - 24 hr - free - boat ramp and 24" tall dock - Located in the Cherokee National Forest along Old Copper Rd (Hwy 64) in Polk County, TN. It is subject to occasional low water level. Very scenic, but very little wildlife. The lake is recovering from polution during the copper mining days in the area. The lake is not large, but the magnificent view of the surrounding mountains and the mirror still water make it an excellent destination for photos. Go early in the morning. Camping is available at several campgrounds. We stayed at Chilhowie campgrounds on top of the mountain. There is a spectacular view down on the lake from an overlook along the road to the top. (See the photo album.) There is a a beach area for swimming (Parkville Beach) There is a hotel right on the river and cabins as well. White water kayaking is VERY popular here, especially since the 1996 Summer Olympics were held here and a wonderful new facility was built for the competition. There are several white water rafting companies too, for an exciting distraction from your normal kayaking. Mountain bike trails abound and they are some of the best in the Southeast US. (See Maps and Cues at www.Chattbike.com.)
11.Douglas Lake TN - Free - public ramp with small 8" tall dock - Photo gallery with full screen slideshow - The ramp launch works great or the dock is nice and low for kayaks. The bridge leads from Dandridge TN across the lake and the ramp is just on the opposite side as the town. Beautiful scenic river. There is a lot of power boat traffic on weekends during the day. Go early in the morning.
12. Cherokee Lake - eastern Tennessee (Morristown) - free ramp in Panther Creek Park. Photo gallery with full screen slideshow . We went during a light rain when the water was smooth as glass and fog hung in the air just inches above the surface. The mountains in the background seemed to be on fire as the blue smokey fog hovered motionless about the tree tops. There was no boat traffic at the time the Flagship Team visited but this appears to be a lake where power boat traffic would be heavy on weekends.
13. Toledo, OH - Maumee River - ...Beautiful waterfront area in Toledo - a great place for human powered boating. Photo gallery with full screen slideshow Launch at a dock right in down town or at 352 Hannum Ave. 43460 - Rossford, OH for $10. nice ramp, dock and plenty of parking with a porta potty. Turn right after you leave the marina area toward Toledo or left toward the beautiful town of Perrysburg. (There is a public ramp at the end of Maple St. in Perrysburg as well.)
14. Cincinnati, OH - Ohio River - A LOT of big boats with big wakes that reflect off of the barges parked along the banks. Take this trip serious due to the large rolling wakes from the large boats and barges that churn the water. A skilled kayaker will have no problem, but this is not for beginners. There is a lot to see in downtown Cincinnati, but the waterfront is not designed for human powered boat acess. Photo gallery with full screen slideshow Launch at 3540 Southside Avenue 45204 for a 3.7 mile trip to downtown Cincinnati.
15. Columbus, OH - A beautiful place for an evening paddle around the relatively small confluence of the Scioto and Olentangy rivers. Very nice waterfront. See the Santa Maria museum boat. Be aware of the dam locations! Stay in the immediate area of downtown, close to the confluence.Photo gallery with full screen slideshow Launch near 619 W Nationwide BLVD 43215 at the Olentangy boat ramp. No facilities - free.
16. Sandusky, OH - Cedar Point - Lake Erie/Back Bay - Photo gallery with full screen slideshow Launch at 886 F st 44870 next to Louie's Bar. A lot to explore inside Back Bay and out into Lake Erie. Beware of the water and weather conditions in the lake. No facilities - free.