Fort Oglethorpe readies canoe launch

Fort Oglethorpe readies canoe launch

May 3rd, 2012 by Mike O'Neal in Catoosa

A canoe and kayak launch should soon be installed on West Chickamauga Creek at Battlefield Parkway.

A prefabricated launching dock is on order and "we are waiting for it to be delivered," City Manager Ron Goulart said, following last week's City Council meeting.

Goulart said he now has a canoe for use on Lake Chickamauga and said he thinks it will be "a lot of fun" to paddle the creek's calm waters.

The dock is a companion to one being installed at Camp Jordan by the city of East Ridge. Both launch sites are being funded by grants from the Lyndhurst Foundation and will provide convenient access for paddlers to West Chickamauga Creek.

The creek meanders from the foot of Lookout Mountain near State Route 136, is dammed at Lee & Gordon Mill and serves as a boundary for Chickamauga National Military Park. From the park it flows past farms and a golf course, then parallels Dietz Road before crossing the state line into East Ridge on its way to the Tennessee River at Chattanooga's Riverpark.

The launch point is directly behind the O'Charleys, Logan's Roadhouse and Panera Bread restaurants and will serve as a terminus for the city's growing multi-use trail system.

A $100,000 Georgia Recreational Trails Program grant is being used to extend the trail from Stewart Crossing near City Hall, over the ridge at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School and downhill to the creek located just west of Walmart.

This Battlefield Parkway site is located roughly midway - about a four-hour downstream paddle - between Lee & Gordon Mill and Camp Jordan.

The City Council last week approved payment to Arcadis, an engineering firm contracted by the city, for design work and overseeing bid preparations for the section of trail between a pedestrian bridge and the launch site.

Goulart said city crews, weather-permitting, will prepare the site and install the dock as soon as it arrives.

"It can be used before work on the multi-use trail begins," he said.


Fort Oglethorpe's REFRESH advisory committee took another step forward last week when it was announced that The Jaeger Company has been awarded a contract to provide design and planning services.

About 13 months ago, the city and the Appalachian Regional Commission each pledged $10,000 for such plans to help the revitalization of LaFayette Road between the Chickamauga Battlefield's entrance and Battlefield Parkway.

That agreement led to the formation of REFRESH last May.

Fort Oglethorpe's councilmen approved the selection of Jaegar and were assured its services would not exceed $19,815.

Atlanta-based Jaegar, which has an office in Athens, Ga., recently opened an office in Chattanooga's Southside. The firm's nearby projects include designing a visitor center for the National Park Service at Moccasin Bend, landscaping projects for the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park and providing landscape architectural design at Howard Finster's Paradise Gardens in Summerville.

BRAG volunteers needed

Volunteers are needed to help the annual Bicycle Ride Across Georgia that will start from Fort Oglethorpe on Sunday, June 3.

BRAG 2012 is the first that has had a stage begin or end in Fort Oglethorpe and residents can expect riders to begin arriving on that Friday.

About 1,200 cyclists will camp at LFO, either in tents or inside the gymnasium, or stay in area motels on that Saturday before rolling out the following Sunday for a leisurely spin to Dalton, the first stop on an eight-day tour covering 376 miles.

The Catoosa County Chamber of Commerce is the local coordinator for the ride, and its director, Martha Eaker, has asked that residents be prepared to welcome these cyclists to town and cheer them on their way.

For information about the ride or to volunteer, email Eaker at or call the Chamber at 706-965-5201.