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Daniel Randolph paddles on Chickamauga Creek after putting in at Hixson's GreenwayFarms.
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Nicole and Nathan Nimeskern play with their 1-year-old son William at Vandergriff Park.

Hixson isn't a standalone town but it's a lot more than a ZIP code.

Sprawling from Rivermont to Middle Valley and Red Bank to the Tennessee River, Hixson is home to quiet older neighborhoods, smart new subdivisions and several retirement facilities, and offers residents abundant access to nature and the outdoors and a variety of small, locally owned shops and restaurants alongside a fast-growing crop of major national chain stores.

Donald Kane, president of the Hixson Council of the Greater Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce, says the main thing that sets Hixson apart for him is Greenway Farms, which is operated by Chattanooga Parks and Recreation. The 200-acre park boasts a trail network, boating on North Chickamauga Creek and a dog park.

"A lot of people have parks, but that sucker's a park!" says Kane, who can snap off a list of Hixson's highlights quick as lightning.

The Hixson Community Center, converted from a middle school, is now the place to go to lift weights, play ball or craft. And CHI Memorial Hospital on Hamill Road is a convenient alternative to a drive downtown.

Mom-and-pop eateries include local landmarks like Karl's Family Restaurant and relative newcomers such as J. Gumbo's Creole restaurant.

"Restaurants have really amped up over the last 12 months," Kane says. There's a steady presence of longtime employers, too, such as industrial equipment supplier Card-Monroe and promotional-products distributor Gold Bond.

Northgate Mall, the anchor of a growing commercial corridor in the Hixson Pike-Highway 153 area, is a lower-key alternative to Hamilton Place.

"Because of less congestion, I think people kind of flock here for the shopping," says Kane. "We get people from the back side of Signal and the north of the county as well as downtown. We have people come from East Brainerd over here just because of the ease of it. It's that hidden secret that we try to keep, but at the same time we're anxious for folks to come in and do business."

BY THE NUMBERS

WHO WE ARE

Median household income: $58,511

Population: 42,550

Median age: 42.2

White: 91%

Black: 5%

Other: 3%

Mixed race: 1%

Source: American FactFinder, U.S. Census Bureau

WHERE WE LIVE

New listings, 2017: 838

Sales closed, 2017: 729

Median price: $189,900

Percentage change from 2016: 8.5%

Source: Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors 2017 annual report

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Hixson High School's Richard Vuong chases an angled shot while playing Christian Academy of Knoxville for the state champion title with teammate Alex Condra during the 2016 TSSAA Division II Class AA State Boys' Doubles Tournament.

OUR SCHOOLS

Hixson Middle and High were among eight local schools chosen in 2018 to receive digital fabrication equipment as part of the Volkswagen eLabs initiative in partnership with the state of Tennessee, Hamilton County Department of Education and the Public Education Foundation. A $1 million donation is paying for automated manufacturing equipment, programmable microcomputers, renewable energy kits, 3-D printers, robotics, laser cutters, and other technologies that students can use for learning and problem-solving.

Source: Schools' websites

Berean Academy

Private Christian college prep school for pre-kindergarten through high school. Berean is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council and the Tennessee Association of Christian Schools, an agency approved by the Tennessee State Department of Education.

Source: School's website

Bethel Christian Academy

Operated by Bethel Bible Village for middle and high school students, its curriculum aligns with Hamilton County Schools and adds focus on individual needs, life skills and spiritual growth.

Source: School's website

Big Ridge Elementary (K-5)

Population: 503

Proficiency (TVAAS): 5/5 overall, 1/5 in literacy, 5/5 in numeracy

Hixson Elementary (K-5)

Population: 443 students

Proficiency (TVAAS): 3/5 overall, 4/5 in literacy, 1/5 in numeracy

McConnell Elementary (K-5)

Population: 539

Proficiency (TVAAS): 5/5 overall, 5/5 in literacy, 3/5 in numeracy

Middle Valley Elementary (K-5)

Population: 821

Proficiency (TVAAS): 5/5 overall, 5/5 in literacy, 5/5 in numeracy

Hixson Middle

Population: 655

Proficiency (TVAAS): 5/5 overall, 5/5 in literacy, 3/5 in numeracy

Loftis Middle School

Population: 596

Proficiency (TVAAS): 5/5 overall, 5/5 in literacy, 5/5 in numeracy

Hixson High

Population: 959

Proficiency (TVAAS): 1/5 overall, 2/5 in literacy, 2/5 in numeracy

ACT scores: 19.1 composite, 18 in English, 18.6 in math, 19.5 in reading, 19.6 in science

Source: 2017 State Report Card

*The Tennessee Value-Added Assessment System scale runs from 1-5, with 1 denoting the least effective schools/districts and least amount of progress toward the Standard for Academic Growth.

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People cheer as pigs race around the track at Chase's Racing Pigs during the Hamilton County Fair on Dallas Island in Chester Frost Park.

WHAT WE DO FOR FUN

Chester Frost Park: Owned and operated by Hamilton County Parks and Recreation, it offers boat launches, fishing, swimming and camping facilities. The Hamilton County Fair is held here in late summer. 2277 N. Gold Point Circle. Call 423-842-3306.

Creeks Bend Golf Club: This private club offers a driving range, putting green and organized games weekly. It has a pro shop and full-service grill. 5900 Hixson Pike. Call 423-842-5911.

DuPont Park: A Hamilton County park that boasts a soccer complex, disc golf course, concessions building, playground, restrooms, picnic pavilions and drinking fountains. 4500 N. Access Road. Call 423-425-6311.

Greenway Farms: A 180-acre former farm that offers acres of hiking and biking trails. The farmhouse is available for rental and there are outdoor picnic areas, a popular off-leash dog park and access to North Chickamauga Creek for kayaking or canoeing. 5051 Gann Store Road. Call 423-643-6311.

Hixson Community Center: A former middle school repurposed as a gym and fitness center operated by Chattanooga Parks and Recreation. It offers an art studio, game room, multimedia room and senior activities along with sports programs. 5401 School Drive. Call 423-643-6480.

Valleybrook Golf and Country Club: Includes a private, 18-hole course that has hosted PGA tour and Nationwide events; pool and tennis courts and full restaurant and bar, plus banquet facilities. 180 Valleybrook Road. Call 423-842-4646.

Vandergriff Park: Has well-equipped playgrounds for toddlers, youngsters and special-needs children, plus a pavilion, restrooms and a walking track. Very popular with local residents. 1414 Gadd Road. Call 423-843-9192.

DETAILS

LOCAL LIBRARY
Chattanooga Public Library, Northgate branch
278 Northgate Mall Drive
423-643-7785
Monday, Thursday: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday: 1-5 p.m.

CITY SERVICES
Hixson doesn't have its own municipal government, and is instead governed by the city of Chattanooga and the Hamilton County Commission, depending on where in the area you are.
The Chattanooga City Council meets every Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the Council Building behind city hall, located at 1000 Lindsay St. The meeting is live-streamed, as are the preceding agenda session and department reports, which start at 3 p.m. View meetings at ustream.tv/channel/chattanooga-council-meeting. View agenda sessions at ustream.tv/channel/city-council-committee-meeting.
The County Commission meets the first and third Wednesday of each month at 9:30 a.m. To view agendas and minutes, visit hamiltontn.gov/Commission/meetings.aspx.

GET INVOLVED

Bethel Bible Village: This Christian-centered nonprofit has provided shelter and care for troubled children since 1954, since prison minister Floyd Hipp opened a home to care for boys whose fathers were in prison. The ministry has expanded over the years to include children affected by abuse, neglect, violence and substance abuse. Call 423-842-5757.
Hixson Council, Greater Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce: Meets at 11:45 a.m. the third Wednesday of the month at the North River Civic Center, 1009 Executive Drive.
Kiwanis: Helps local children in need through programs and fundraising. Meets at noon the first and third Tuesday of the month at Creeks Bend Golf Course, 9500 Hixson Pike.
Rotary Breakfast Club: This civic organization works to solve health and social problems. Meets at 7:30 a.m. each Friday at Rivermont Presbyterian Church, 3319 Hixson Pike.

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