This was the first trip out w/ my Cairn terrier mix, Shen. I wanted to paddle a familiar flat water creek, & this fit the bill! She didn't quite know what to do w/ herself for the first 30 min, but started to enjoy herself more as the trip went along.
We had 2 inches of rain over 4 days earlier in the week, & that was a big help, as there has been a drought in the area, & there were many fallen trees to paddle over. We would have had to turn around much sooner if not for the rain.
We took the boat off the car in the parking lot of the Chattanooga Nature Center, & maneuvered down the fenced-in boardwalk to the put-in site. Several turns on this site barely accommodated the 16 foot canoe, & we had to lift the boat over the small gate before getting to the dock. It was quite a distance, so the canoe cart was a huge blessing!
The creek boarders the CNC & Reflection Riding on the East, & a railroad owns the property to the West. We saw several great blue herons, blue jays, & ducks, but the water was too murky to see any fish.
Paddling through & over trees is a necessary skill - we never came close to tipping over, but again, had the water been an inch or two lower, it would have been a tough go!
The CNC has a wonderful wildlife protection facility / educational opportunities for the whole family. They have restrooms available.
I had called ahead & was told I would need to pay the CNC admission fee, but when we got there we were told that we didn't need to. It's around $7, I believe.
See the directions posted on the CNC website. Travel around Lookout Mt. to the East side, take the first Right, following the signs for the CNC - Garden Road, I believe, dead ends there.
Chattanooga Nature Center website: http://www.chattanature.org/