The value of an interconnecting regional trail system for Chattanooga cannot be overstated. Such a system not only contributes to the reputation of Chattanooga as an outdoor recreation destination but more importantly it provides the residents of Chattanooga with a vital resource for their own health and enjoyment. Safe, well designed and inviting public pedestrian and bike paths allows people of all walks of life access to physical exercise and social interaction. Activities that are perhaps more crucial to Americans today than ever before.
The Chattanooga Riverwalk demonstrates the social, physical and economic value of these projects to a community. In the 20 years since the first section of the Riverwalk was completed organizations like the Trust for Public Land, Lyndhurst Foundation, Benwood Foundation, the City of Chattanooga, Hamilton County and many others have dreamed, planned and built upon it’s success. In 2016, two major advances were made with the extension of the Riverwalk toward St. Elmo and connection of the South Chickamauga Greenway to the Riverwalk. Chattanooga is well on its way to a pedestrian and bike path that circles the city. Equally important, 2016 also saw WMWA develop a series of three master plans for inter-neighborhood trail connections and connections to the larger trail system. The South Chattanooga Trails Master Plan, East Chattanooga Connectivity Master Plan, and Lookout Mountain Conservancy Master Plan all aim to stitch together Chattanooga's neighborhoods while providing access to the outdoor spaces that make the city special.