Friends of Stringer’s Ridge invites community to Third Thursday Hikes

If you haven’t already explored Stringer’s Ridge, a new nonprofit is offering up plenty of ways to do so.

Friends of Stringer’s Ridge is a new volunteer organization that promotes and maintains the ridge, alongside the city of Chattanooga. FOSR is planning programs to get the community involved on the ridge, some of which are already in place such as the Third Thursday Hikes.

“We wanted to organize something to raise awareness of Stringer’s Ridge … and make it more accessible,” said Cortney Mild, co-chair of programming with FOSR. “[The hikes] are welcome to anyone.”

Mild said some beginning hikers are concerned about getting lost or encountering dangerous wildlife on the trails at Stringer’s Ridge, so FOSR officials wanted to do something that was both active and educational in regards.

Thus, the monthly hikes are typically guided by a guest speaker. Two hikes have already taken place. The first featured Sarah Quattrochi with the Tennessee River Gorge Trust, who talked about the recent history of the ridge. The second featured Maury Nicely, who spoke about earlier history of the ridge.

Plans for future hikes include guides like UTC’s geology club, naturalists and more, said Mild.

“[Stringer’s Ridge] is so easy to get to. It’s right there in a neighborhood,” she said. “It’s important to have these recreational opportunities and to unplug … and have a place that’s natural where we can relax and reconnect with nature.”

The Third Thursday Hikes happen every third Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. Hikers can meet the group at the Spears Trailhead. The next hike is May 15 with guest guide Hattie Darby, an alumni of the Spears Avenue School that used to sit at the foot of the ridge.

Find out more by searching for “Friends of Stringer’s Ridge” on Facebook.