Master Guides

Chattanooga Paddlefest August 27th, 2022

Chattanooga Paddlefest August 27th, 2022
chattanooga paddlefest

Outdoor Master is happy to have been a part of the first annual Chattanooga Paddlefest on August 27th, 2022. It was an absolute success with well over 150 paddlers and an equally impressive number of spectators at the finish line along Ross’s Landing in downtown Chattanooga TN.

This event was in support of the TN River Line, which is an initiative to turn the entire 652 miles of the TN River into a regional trail system. That means, when they are finished you should be able to paddle any section of the TN River and have guided suggestions on where to stay/camp/eat/rent and so on. It’s going to be an amazing step forward for the TN River system.

Off to a great start!

Chattanooga Paddlefest

Typically when planning “First annual” events, it’s hard to really expect more than just a modest number of participants. Initially planned for 50 paddlers with a stretch goal of 100, the turnout for the first Chattanooga Paddlefest blew us all away!

The day began at 11 am as the Outdoor Chattanooga and TN Riverline folks got set up with us, Chattanooga Paddleboards and Outdoor Master, at the put-in. Right away it was clear that we had underestimated the number of participants. The parking lot drop-off area was quickly overwhelmed by cars and paddle crafts.

By 12 the grass area for paddle craft was nearly full. At 1:30 Outdoor Chattanooga and TN River Line gave speeches regarding safety and the overall goal of the TN River Line and were loading people in the water!

On the river with over 100 paddlers!

On the river with over 100 paddlers!

This is where the fun started! We were limited to half of the 4 lane boat launch at first but soon there were no motorboats and just the paddlers launching. It was amazing to see this group paddle down the river.

Definitely more kayaks than paddle boards but everyone mingled nicely and there was over a quarter mile of paddle craft flowing down the river nicely.

The day was gorgeous, hot and humid, great for a long paddle with stops to jump in the water and play around. Being conscious of the river traffic we hugged the left of the river for the entire journey but still got all the scenery and wildlife interactions we could ask for.

Everyone had a great time and moved very quickly to the takeout point. Most finished well under two hours.

Conclusion at Ross’s Landing.

Chattanooga Paddlefest

The finish line for the paddle was downtown Chattanooga’s Ross’s Landing. This was a major achievement considering the city doesn’t typically allow paddlers to exit there, only big events like Iron Man normally get that distinction.

What made the finish line extra amazing was the End of Summer River Launch, where cyclists, skateboarders, and even skaters sailed down the hill and off a ramp into the TN River!

If you’ve never seen something like this before it’s truly a spectacle of an event. It drew quite a crowd as both paddlers and wet launchers exited the water.

Outdoor Master was generous enough to donate several items for the event, including an entire inflatable stand up paddle board package, an electric pump, dry bags, and t-shirts.

Nearly 70% of the participants took part in the free raffle and all the items were distributed by the end of the paddle fest event. All the winners were extremely gracious for their gifts and happy to be a part of such an amazing inaugural event here in downtown Chattanooga.

Next year.

Chattanooga Paddlefest

Well, since this year's event was such an overwhelming success, look forward to next year. There is already talk of adding more shuttle services so more people can participate, and even some food vendors for some before paddling snacks and drinks.

So if you are in the southeast at the end of August and you want to join several hundred new friends for a paddle down the TN River, come right along!

Thank you for reading this. If you have any questions about this post, please feel free to leave a comment below. We love to answer questions and talk stand up paddle boards. We look forward to meeting you out on the water! Until then, happy paddling!