Greenway Farm offers an idyllic setting for a day out with the family. North Chickamauga Creek, which begins high on the Cumberland Plateau as an experts-only whitewater run, becomes a gentle twenty mile ribbon of water when it reaches the valley at Soddy, Tennessee, eventually reaching the Tennessee River just below Chickamauga Dam. After launching at one of the two easily accessed sites within Greenway Farms proper, you can either go up or down stream on the creek.
What Makes It Great
A mere 15 minutes from downtown Chattanooga, the rural feel of North Chick is deceptive, and it is easy to forget that you are in the middle of a mid-sized city. This is the perfect creek for novices and families, but seasoned veterans will certainly enjoy it as well.
Downstream will take you on an easy trip to the mouth of the creek at the downriver side of the Chickamauga Dam, and on into the Tennessee River if you desire. From the lower launch it's a mile and a half to the river. You'll pass another launch on the left from the a former access point, currently abandoned due to the long-stalled construction at the dam.
Upstream will take you deep into Hixson up to the Old Mill and beyond, perhaps all the way to Highway 27 near Soddy, Tennessee. The further you go from Greenway Farms, the more likely the chance of a downed tree forcing you to make a short portage. Rest assured that the creek has been floated in kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards (watch for logs!) from one end to the other. If you're up for a shuttle, there are spots to launch on Longview Drive (access from Hixson Pike) or Boy Scout Road, but allow extra time for those downed trees.
Who is Going to Love It
Paddlers of any ability will be at home here. There isn't much current on the lower stretches, but the water is often deep, so weak swimmers should wear their life jackets.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
With two easily accessed launch sites, Greenway Farms is an excellent place to park. Once inside the gate, you will immediately see a parking area on your right. There's a path here leading down to a launch, or you can continue on the road inside the Farm until you see a large barn. Park at the barn, and portage behind it to find the second launch site.
Although relatively close by car, the distance on the creek between the two launches is nearly two miles because the creek takes a decidedly unhurried route. Keep in mind that Greenway Farms closes at dark, so watch the time and be off the water and out of the park by dark lest your car get locked inside the park's gates.