Stand Up Paddle Boarding on the Tennessee River: Paddlers looking to get in a great workout while having a blast can rent a stand up paddle board before heading out on a variety of adventures near Chattanooga. The primitive, secluded beaches of Edward’s Island make for a great afternoon adventure and can be reached by taking a two-hour paddle on the Tennessee River. Beware of the currents as they fluctuate throughout the day. Another great adventure in the area includes a paddle out to Nickajack Cave near South Pittsburg to watch thousands of gray bats head out for their dinner as the sun sets. During the 20-minute bat exodus around 150,000 bats hit the skies.
Local’s Pick: SUP to Audubon Island – Mark Baldwin, L2 Boards
A 15 minute paddle takes you out to Audubon Island, which is home to a bunch of different species of birds, including Blue Egrets, Herons and Ospreys. There are also portions of the island that have about 10 to 12 feet of visibility, which makes for some great snorkeling. You can also explore the caves on the island with a paddle board. There are two caves with one of them having some nice formations inside. I recommend packing a lunch, some binoculars and definitely some bug spray. Also, bring a pair of shoes because there are about two miles of trails on the island that are great for trail running.
Directions from Chattanooga: L2 Paddleboards offer paddle rentals by the day, week or hour from their shop located near the riverfront in downtown Chattanooga. From downtown, head north on Market Street toward the riverfront and look for the shop on the corner of Market and 1st streets.