#walkTNriver    |    #ChattanoogaFun    |    chattanoogafun.com

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (August 2016) – The latest $16 million, three-mile addition to the Tennessee Riverpark opened in August. Since opening, Chattanooga’s linear park has been recognized as one of the best in the nation. CNN Travel named the Riverpark among the “World’s 10 Best City Running Trails” and Thrillist.com named it one of “10 of America’s Coolest Urban Running Trails.”

 “It’s been exciting to see the incredible transformation of the riverfront and how the Riverwalk has become such an integral part of the community. This expansion provides even more opportunities for walking, biking, relaxing and learning about the city’s history. It also adds to the authentic experiences and quality of life that Chattanooga offers locals and visitors alike,” said Bob Doak, president and chief executive officer of the Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau. “The latest tourism statistics show that visitors spent more than $1 billion dollars in Hamilton County which supports 8,500 full-time jobs in the tourism industry.”

The new expansion picks up at Riverfront Parkway near the SpringHill Suites-Cameron Harbor and extends along the river to the base of Lookout Mountain, near the International Towing and Recovery Museum (Broad Street).

Unlike the openness of the first 10 miles, which leads trekkers through wetlands and wooded stretches, the newest tract traverses a big chunk of the city’s industrial heritage. Winding through and around the borders of still-active industries, as well as a few that are closed, the new 12-foot wide stretch goes where muscle and steel long meshed to produce hard-earned prosperity.

The freshly landscaped Riverpark defines an industrial experience on one side, and on the other, vibrant green spaces and more. The expansion includes:

  • Riverpark Amphitheater at Blue Goose Hollow – site of Bessie Smith’s first home and where she began singing for coins as a young girl
  • Chattanooga Bike Share station
  • Landscaped trail and green spaces
  • New vistas of the Tennessee River
  • Pavilion
  • Restrooms
  • Public art: Two large, significant pieces by internationally renowned sculptor Albert Paley and three other art pieces will be installed later this year

It’s no surprise that the popular Riverpark continues to be an economic driver for the city. Since its inception 30 years ago, total investment in the Riverpark has amounted to $150 million, mostly through federal, state and private grants. Since local leaders committed in 2012 to build this Riverpark segment, builders have invested more than $220 million in new residential units, sprouting waves of condos, apartments and new businesses.

“One of my favorite things to do at home in Chattanooga is to ride bikes with my wife along the Riverwalk,” said Senator Bob Corker.  “This expansion is a major enhancement, and I couldn't be more proud that our city continues to embrace and highlight the God-given amenities that exist throughout our community.”

The next phase includes a Broad-Street crossing and a short half-mile connector to the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway station. When this last short segment is finished, it also will lead to a trailhead with access to the fabulous network of trails — some 93 miles — along the flanks of Lookout Mountain’s Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park lands.

The new Tennessee Riverpark App is now available for iTunes and Android. It utilizes modern technology to enhance the historic and educational interpretative opportunities along the Tennessee Riverpark. Users can experience interactive maps, videos and augmented reality. And, they’ll enjoy learning more about Chattanooga’s industrial history, the civil war and the birthplace of Bessie Smith.