The Tennessee Valley Canoe Club met for a cookout and a night time paddle at the Tennessee Riverpark just below Chickamauga Dam. It was a group of all ages with maybe 15 boats.
We put in at the boat ramp at about 8:30 p.m. and made it down to the "Duck Ramp" almost below US 27 bridge at about 10:30 pm in downtown Chattanooga, about 2 miles one way. The skies were partly cloudy and the moon made a showing on the return trip at about 11:30 or so. There were big boats and party boats moored at Ross's Landing that added to a party atmosphere once we got to that point. There was even a choir singing at Ross's landing which was a real treat.
The most exciting thing about this trip was seeing the downtown lights sparkle and shimmer on the water surface as we paddled through it. The return trip was serene under the night time sky except for the startled beaver that made my heart skip a beat when he slapped the water with his tail. The cadence of the katydids on shore set the tempo for the return trip upstream and I made it in 30 minutes less than I took to paddle downstream.
If you attempt a night time paddle take a light with you, preferably something on your boat. I used "glow-lights" taped to my boat with one on my PFD, other people had the real thing - battery powered nightlights for kayaks. Take a good flashlight and stay out of the main channel close to shore; there were still fishing boats running full throttle even at that time of night.
It was a great trip with a great bunch of people.
Restrooms, grills, parking, loading ramp, playgrounds,picnic facilities, can pay to rent pavillions
Amnicola Hwy to Tennessee Riverpark, follow the signs.