Stringer's Ridge, Chattanooga's beloved urban park, finally reopened this September to the delight of downtown runners, hikers and bikers. The 103- acre park located off of Spears Avenue in North Chattanooga now features miles of trails after a two-year and $2.3 million renovation project.
Looking to get out of town for a unique weekend race with 5 or 11 of your friends? The Tennessee Ragnar relay race starts in Chattanooga on October 25 and finishes up in the land of honky tonk Nashville the next day. Your team takes turns running the 200 miles to Nashville in two stages, and each runner runs three times varying from 3 to 8 miles each time. Sounds crazy, doesn't it?
Register online at ragnarrelay.com/race/Tennessee.
Jim Johnson, local small business owner and strong advocate for Stringer's, is glad to have one of his favorite trail runs open to the public. "It's a good variety of trails that really suit all levels of runners," Johnson says. "And it's close to so many people and it is so convenient ... I ride my bike to the trailhead and I'm not alone in that."
The trail system of compatible loops means that any trail runner, experienced or not, can customize a route to work out the way they choose by adding distance or even difficulty to the run. The Hill City trail is closest to the Hill City area, says Johnson, but the name also speaks to the trails hills, representing a constant up and down workout. Another trail, the Strut, is a shorter loop that is more rolling. "Whatever your ability, you can really strut your stuff on this one," Johnson says.
To download a Stringer's Ridge trail map, point your browser to: cloud.tpl.org/pubs/local-tn-stringers-ridge-trail-map-2013.jpg
Over the last 18 months, Johnson and others gave a special effort to remove roots and rocks from the trails, offering clean routes that reduce the risks of twisted ankles. But what's arguably best about Stringer's Ridge and so important to preserve, was the abundance of views along the trails. "You just have to slow down and look off and see the views," Johnson says. "They are the best of Chattanooga and of even the Tennessee River. It's just beautiful."