Bike, Paddle, Play at Moccasin Bend – Centennial Event

John McCutcheon speaks to paddlers about law enforcement on Moccasin Bend.

Supervisory Park Ranger John McCutcheon speaks to paddlers about law enforcement on Moccasin Bend.

NPS Photo

Quick Facts


A Call to Action
Action Item:
In My Back Yard
Also Promotes:
Parks for People
Year Accomplished:

On Saturday, July 30, Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park held its third centennial event, “Bike, Paddle, Play at Moccasin Bend.”  This was the third of six events highlighting a different area of the park, and these events are designed to reach new audiences that have not previously engaged with the park’s Civil War story.
The day began with a ranger guided kayak tour on the Tennessee River around Moccasin Bend National Archeological District. Participants learned about the importance of the river to the American Indian groups that lived in the region prior to European contact, the Trail of Tears, and the Union army’s operations on the river in the fall of 1863. While paddling, participants were also greeted by law enforcement rangers conducting a resource patrol on the river. Then, there were two ranger led bike-hike programs, with participants biking across Moccasin Bend to explore the historic road traces and earthworks within the park boundaries. Later that evening, in a nearby public space, students from the arts department of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga celebrated Moccasin Bend with a nature and arts festival that included an original play about the importance of the “urban forest” on Moccasin Bend to the city of Chattanooga.
Moccasin Bend National Archeological District is the newest unit of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, just added to the park in 2003. It encompasses hundreds of acres on a bend in the Tennessee River and preserves both American Indian and Civil War resources. This was one of the first major events that the park has held at Moccasin Bend National Archeological District, and the highlight of the weekend was meeting a number of residents who live around the park property. Many expressed excitement at the prospect of the park taking on a more active presence at Moccasin Bend and several expressed an interest in volunteering with the park.