Hamilton County government in partnership with the city of Chattanooga announces the completion of the new Enterprise South Nature Park’s Summit Knobs Equestrian Trails.
The trails which cover 10 miles of diverse terrain is the newest addition to the Nature Park, funded by a $230,000 grant provided by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Local Parks and Recreation Fund, along with $230,000 in matching funds split between the county and the city.
The new horse trails continue Enterprise South Nature Park’s mission of providing quality passive recreational opportunities in a natural setting while preserving the environment and the cultural heritage of the land.
Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger said he is delighted with the horse trails addition. “Horse trails were always a part of the thought process when we started developing Enterprise South Nature Park," said County Mayor Coppinger. "Receiving the TDEC grant allowed us to make the vision a possibility and we are extremely grateful to the state and the city for their partnership. While I no longer ride horses as I did while a young boy, I am thrilled for all the riders young and old, who will get to enjoy Hamilton County’s newest asset.”
The completed equestrian trails bring to life a feature of the Enterprise South Nature Park’s Master Plan where in 2005 early support from the equestrian community was recognized and continued to solicit strong support in public meetings during the 2014 grant writing process.
Supported by the Southern Appalachian Back County Horsemen, volunteers invested over 400 hours to see the trails through to opening day. SABCH President Bobby Mitchell spoke proudly of his organization’s commitment and is very pleased to see the Summit Knobs Trails public opening.
"Our organization worked closely with the professional trails crew of Trail Dynamics on good and bad weather days, hopefully our hard work will benefit the horse users in the Chattanooga area,” said Mr. Mitchell.
Along with assistance provided by professional trail-builder Ed Sutton of Trail Dynamics, and the countless staff members from various Hamilton County Departments including Development, Highway, Engineering, GIS, Water Quality and Parks and Recreation, features of the park’s newest amenities are now available for both equestrians’ and hikers’ enjoyment. The park’s new facility includes a 40,000 square foot parking lot, ADA accessible/waterless restroom, two water trough stations, mile marker trail posts, an information kiosk with trail maps and of course a hitching post.
Hours of operations will be 7 a.m. to 1-hour prior to dusk or as posted due to trail conditions.