Guided tram tours are a new feature at Reflection Riding. (Photo: Contributed)

If you’re looking for ways to enjoy nature or the outdoors in this typically slower time of year, Chattanooga’s Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center has a number of events planned over the next few months. The following list covers a variety of interests. Click on the name of the event for more information.

Guided tram tours
One of the newest offerings at Reflection Riding is the guided tram tour, which uses open-sided tramcars that were originally used for conveying people at the 1996 Olympics. Currently being pulled by a farm tractor, a fully electric tug is being readied for that role, maybe in time for the first tour of the new year.

The tram tours are free for members and for those who have paid for regular Reflection Riding admission. If you’re interested in joining one of these tours, Reflection Riding staff requests that you call 423-821-1160 for more information.

Several tours, each with a different focus and led by an expert, are scheduled as follows:

Historical tram tour, Jan. 14, 1 p.m.
The very knowledgeable Jim Ogden, Civil War historian from the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, will guide this tour of the part of the property where the Battle of Lookout Mountain began and along the route used by Union soldiers, as well as discuss battle tactics used.

Historical tram tour, Feb. 11, 1 p.m.
Anthropology and archaeology expert Dr. Nick Honerkamp will provide an overview of Native American prehistory in the local area.

Historical tram tour, March 11, 1 p.m.
Join local historian Michael Green to learn about the history of Native Americans in Lookout Valley, from ancient tribes to the Cherokee.

Wildflower tram tour, April 1, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.   
Plant expert Dr. Richard Clements will guide this tour of Reflection Riding’s spring ephemeral wildflowers.

Birding tram tour, May 13, 10 a.m.
Join bird expert Dr. David Aborn on a tram ride to view neotropical migrants.

The ruins of a Confederate trench are just one of the historic features found on the Reflection Riding grounds. (Photo: Bob Butters)

Certificate in Native Plants
Three more classes are currently planned in the Certificate in Native Plants program, presented by the Tennessee Valley Chapter of Wild Ones, in partnership with Reflection Riding and the Tennessee Native Plant Society:   

 –Native Plant Propagation: Seeds, Jan. 14, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

 –Native Plant Propagation: Cuttings and Divisions, Feb. 11, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

 –Ferns and Mosses, March 11, time TBA

Wildlife photography workshop
This popular workshop, presented by Tom and Pat Cory and Reflection Riding staff, combines lectures and digital presentations with hands-on photography. The workshop is $44 for members and $49 for nonmembers. It’s scheduled for Feb. 11 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Comedy for Conservation
This special evening event, taking place at The Comedy Catch, includes a silent auction benefiting Reflection Riding at 6 p.m. and a comedy performance beginning at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 23. 

Tickets are $15. Call 423-821-1160, extension 0 for more information.

Spring garden tour at Huntsville Botanical Garden 
Tickets for this April 29 trip include round-trip transportation, admission to the garden, a special lunch and an escorted tour. As space is limited, your reservation must be made before April 15. Cost is $109 for members and $129 for nonmembers.


Consider taking advantage of one or more of these events during this winter and the coming spring to get outdoors, to learn more about nature or to just have fun.

Gravel roads wind about the trees and meadows at Reflection Riding. (Photo: Bob Butters)

Click here to learn more about Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center.

Get directions here.

Bob Butters explores nature and the outdoors, primarily in and near the South Cumberland region, and publishes the blog www.Nickajack-Naturalist.com. The opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees. 

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