ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Staff Photo by Dan Henry / The Chattanooga Times Free Press- 8/5/16. 10 Chattanooga Urban Outdoor Adventures pamphlet.
some text
Staff Photo by Dan Henry / The Chattanooga Times Free Press- 8/5/16. 10 Chattanooga Urban Outdoor Adventures pamphlet.

Visitors enter Outdoor Chattanooga's Coolidge Park headquarters seeking something physical to hold and guide them as they get started exploring the area's recreational offerings.

Phillip Grymes said he sees it regularly.

As executive director of the city's outdoor programming arm, his staff and their resources are a conduit for tourists and residents drawn by the praise for Chattanooga's natural playground.

Grymes and his team now have a way to help get those activity seekers started in an outdoor scene that has an intimidating number of possibilities.

The pocket-sized "Ten Chattanooga Outdoor Adventures Guidebook" formulated by the Lyndhurst and Benwood foundations and Friends of Outdoor Chattanooga is hitting kiosks at Outdoor Chattanooga and other spots around the city this month.

"You can give people websites, and most people are going to have a phone that allows them to look online after they leave the building," Grymes said. "But a lot of people just want that feel of literature, and the folks coming in our building are oftentimes looking for that half-day filler. This does that exact thing. It answers that question for folks directly."

The free booklet also will be available at select hotels, popular tourist destinations like High Point Climbing and Rock/Creek and distributed at conventions.

It offers directions, maps and other basic information for outdoor opportunities including mountain biking, paddling and trail running that are near the city's urban core and do not require a day-long time commitment.

"There are so many different groups that come here that are doing outdoor-related conferences," Lyndhurst Foundation President Bruz Clark said. "When they come in they want to go see what Chattanooga has to offer and are always asking who to call, where to go, what to do."

While online resources like RootsRated and Outdoor Chattanooga's website provide endless possibilities for outdoor adventuring, the idea of the booklet is to "reverse the funnel," Clark said.

"We feel like people are more and more overwhelmed," he said. "This is a very narrowly focused entrance into what we have as our outdoor amenities."

Benwood Foundation program officer Kristy Huntley said the booklet references other "points of interest" near each outdoor adventure that will direct visitors to businesses and other attractions.

some text
Staff Photo by Dan Henry / The Chattanooga Times Free Press- 8/5/16. 10 Chattanooga Urban Outdoor Adventures pamphlet.

For those who wish to go beyond the booklet's simple suggestions, there are lists of "key search words" with each activity that help Internet users find other things to do in that area, or other places to participate in the activity.

"Once someone goes and experiences climbing, mountain biking or whatever it is, they might be more inclined to venture farther out," she said.

The idea for the booklet came up during the Sports and Outdoors Committee that was commissioned in the fall of 2014 as part of Mayor Andy Berke's Chattanooga Forward initiative.

Huntley and Clark, who each served on the committee, said it helps meet the panel's recommendation of equipping Outdoor Chattanooga to help tourists.

The first printing included 20,000 booklets. Future runs will be handled by Outdoor Chattanooga and determined by the demand of businesses and organizations that want to display the booklets.

Contact staff writer David Cobb at dcobb@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6249.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT