Experience Chattanooga at a Slower Pace, SUP Lookout Creek

Idyllic Lookout Creek

I\’m new to the Stand Up Paddle (SUP) board world so, no, you will not see me on the SUP the State journey with Randy Whorton when he travels from the top of the state to the bottom over 290 miles of waterways; but you may see me any given day exploring the Tennessee river or any of it\’s many tributaries. This Sunday, I decided to SUP Lookout Creek.

I have to say getting my SUP into the water was as adventurous as any part of the trip—I may have chosen the wrong side of the underpass to enter from, but no real damage, just a lot of mud.

Once I got my new inflatable BoardWorks paddle board into the water, it was like I entered a new world. Throughout the trip, the one word that kept entering my mind was \”idyllic.\” You\’ve probably heard many times about the beauties seen only through the outdoors, whether it be trailrunning, cycling, or rock climbing; but I cannot overstate the absolute beauty that Lookout Creek provides to the SUP world.

The creek moves at a lazy pace and you will likely find your self ducking under the trees that occasionally kiss the water. If you aren\’t great at keeping your balance on the board, the slower pace of the water will allow you to look around and see how beautiful Chattanooga is. This creek moves slowly through Reflection Riding Aboretum and Nature Center. While working my way up the creek, I saw countless herons, a couple of hawks, and an alligator gar. On my way back down the creek, I actually saw a small pack of deer swimming across the creek.


Lookout Creek is an excellent trip for anyone who enjoys the river whether you are a beginner paddle boarder or a seasoned pro. If you\’re looking for a heart-pumping workout, Lookout Creek may not be the path for you; if you want to get a good arm and core-body workout in as well as a great view of Chattanooga from a different perspective, this creek will not let you down. Overall, my trip was about five miles and lasted a couple of hours. The impression will last much longer.

A little over a year ago, Wild Trails was involved in a clean-up of a trash dam that had formed on Lookout Creek. With the help of many volunteers and a few chainsaws, the creek was cleared of its debris. Today the trash is gone, but a tree has fallen in nearly the same place. Like any trail maintenance is required.

Stand up paddle boarding is one of the newest ways to explore Chattanooga, and it\’s a blast. If you haven\’t had an opportunity to read about the fundraiser, SUP the State, to access more of Chattanooga\’s tributaries, please take a moment to do so. We would appreciate it if you would also consider a donation to help maintain these tributaries as well as to create trails to the over 70 miles of creeks which can be enjoyed by SUP, canoe, or kayak.


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