Walker Rocks Start Up Challenge Seeks Applicants for Round 2

Rock Spring, GA – Dozens of companies with a household name have been started with a great idea and a little seed money.  If you have a winning concept, the Walker County Chamber of Commerce wants to hear from you.

Round 2 of the Walker Rocks Start Up Challenge kicks off today.  The grant competition returns with another $5,000 in funding to help a recreational, tourism or hospitality related business get started or expand services in Walker County.  “This year, we will also consider other types of businesses, non-profits, civic and community organizations which add to the quality of life and contribute to the cultural vibrancy of the local economy,” said Lacey Wilson, President of the Walker County Chamber.

David Bridges, owner of Battlefield Outdoors, won last year’s contest after he pitched adding a passenger van to his business to transport outdoor enthusiasts to hiking, biking and kayaking destinations in Walker County.  The van was also wrapped with the Walker Rocks logo, creating a mobile billboard to promote tourism in Walker County.

Applications for the Walker Rocks Start Up Challenge, including rules and judging criteria, are available online at WalkerRocks.com.

Schedule:

  • August 14thApplications available
  • September 23rd – Application deadline
  • October 1st – Finalists announced
  • October 17th – Pitch Competition

The $5,000 start-up grant is funded by a partnership between the Walker County Chamber of Commerce and Peach State Federal Credit Union. Grant funds will be distributed in the form of a reimbursement for documented expenses.

Walker Rocks highlights the scenic and stunning destinations available in Walker County for rock climbing, caving, kayaking, hiking, biking and other outdoor adventures. The award winning tourism initiative embraces the county’s environmental assets and invites outdoor enthusiasts to come play.

Rossville Commons Project Lands “Keep Communities Flowing” Grant

Release from Tennessee American Water:

Rossville, GA – Tennessee American Water announces that a $20,000 grant has been awarded to the Top of Georgia, in partnership with the Rossville ReDev Workshop.  The grant will fund the John Ross Commons park and pond improvements and create an outdoor eco learning lab in Rossville.  The grant is funded by the American Water Charitable Foundation through its new Keep Communities Flowing Grant Program.

“Tennessee American Water is excited to continue working with Rossville citizens and city officials on the Rossville Commons,” said Darlene Williams, President of Tennessee American Water. “Since community leaders shared their vision in 2017 for transforming the historical duck pond and park, we have been on board, helping in a number of different ways.”

Tennessee American Water contributions have included employees joining Rossville residents to plant the new landscape, the installation of a main in 2017 so the transformed park would have irrigation and an environmental grant award to support the watershed protection efforts of the natural spring.

“We are grateful to the American Water Charitable Foundation, and Tennessee American Water, for being selected for this very generous grant,” said Rossville ReDev Workshop co-founder Elizabeth Wells. “Tennessee American Water has been a tremendous partner on the rehab of the John Ross Commons from the onset. We believe this new grant will be the exclamation point on this public space that means so much to the citizens of Rossville.”

In addition to the community-based group Rossville ReDev Workshop and the City of Rossville, other partners include the Top of Georgia economic development organization and Georgia State Senator Jeff Mullis.  John Ross Commons serves as an economic driver, quality of life enhancer, and point of pride for a community that is ready to revitalize. The space is also the foundation for a safe outdoor location which area schools will be able to utilize for educational programing and events.

“Our ongoing partnership with ReDev Workshop is helping to bring Rossville back one project at a time. This is an exciting time for Rossville and its citizens,” said Rossville Mayor Teddy Harris.  “We couldn’t do it without the support of our partners and their generous support through donations, time and talent.”

In its inaugural year, the American Water Charitable Foundation’s Keep Communities Flowing Grant Program provided 11 grants, up to $20,000 each, to support 501(c)(3) organizations, programs and projects that connected to one or more of American Water’s core focus areas of Water and the Environment, Water and Healthy Living, Environmental Education, and Community Sustainability.

Walker Rocks with Photo Scavenger Hunt at Lula Lake Land Trust

Lookout Mountain, GA – The thrill of hiking Lula Lake Land Trust reaches a new level as the popular nature preserve with limited public access doubles as the location for a photo scavenger hunt.

The event, which takes place on Saturday, July 13th from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., is the third offering in the Walker Rocks Outdoor Series, which was created by the Walker County Chamber of Commerce to raise local awareness about Walker County’s outdoor destinations.

Visitors will be given two hours to find and photograph specific items while walking Lula Lake’s trails.  Pictures can then be posted on each participant’s Facebook page and tagged to the Walker Rocks Facebook page (@Walker Rocks) for a chance to win a prize.

Scavenger hunters will then get an hour of free time to picnic and explore the falls, the east brow of Lookout Mountain and other scenic locations.

Admission to the scavenger hunt is free, but pre-registration is required at walkerrocks.com due to limited space.  Participants must also be able to walk a minimum of three miles to take part in this event.

The Walker Rocks Outdoor Series moves to LaFayette on August 17th with Dive-in Movie and Such, a mini SUP board and kayak festival at Queen City Lake.  That event concludes with a showing of Jaws on the water.

Walker Rocks Outdoor Series Continues with Kayak Day at Lee & Gordon’s Mills on June 22

Chickamauga, GA – Adventure awaits on West Chickamauga Creek later this month, as Kayak Day floats to the top of the Walker Rocks Outdoor Series.

On June 22nd from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., explore what it’s like to take a peaceful journey aboard a touring kayak at Lee & Gordon’s MillsBattlefield Outdoors will provide demonstration kayaks to give beginners a taste of what it’s like to go paddling on the creek.

Visitors are encouraged to picnic with family and friends onsite during Kayak Day, which is a free community event.  Participants are also advised to bring sunscreen, bottled water, a dry or ziplock bag and a towel.

The Lee & Gordon’s Mills launch site is part of the South Chickamauga Creek Blueway, which runs from Chickamauga to Fort Oglethorpe en route to the Tennessee Riverpark, near Chattanooga State Community College.

Interest in recreational kayaking has more than doubled over the past decade, according to The Outdoor Foundation’s 2018 Outdoor Participation Report.  Kayak Day aims to build on that growth, by eliminating some of the apprehension associated with learning how to safely maneuver this outdoor activity.

The Walker Rocks Outdoor Series continues on July 13th with a Trivia Scavenger Hunt at Lula Lake on Lookout Mountain.  Admission will be free, but pre-registration will be required due to limited space.

Ironman 70.3 Event Returns to Walker County This Weekend

Chickamauga, GA – Walker County welcomes over 3,800 athletes to the area for this Sunday’s IRONMAN 70.3 event.

A majority of the 56-mile bicycle portion of the triathlon will once again trek through Walker County.  Cyclists will enter Walker County on Highway 193, where a new “Walker County Welcomes You” sign will greet them.

Athletes will soak in some incredible views as they travel about 18 miles south before cutting across Andrews Lane to get to Hog Jowl Road.  They will then pedal another 12 miles up Cove Road/Highway 341 until reaching downtown Chickamauga, where family, friends and other spectators will line the streets and sidewalks to greet them.

After leaving Chickamauga by way of Chickamauga Road, IRONMAN competitors will reconnect with Highway 193 and navigate back into Chattanooga.

The race begins with the swimming portion at 6:50 a.m.  The first athlete is expected to reach the finish line by 10:30 a.m.  Spectators wanting to watch the bicycle portion from downtown Chickamauga should be in place prior to 10:00 a.m. to see the first group ride through.

Last month, the IRONMAN Foundation announced a $160,000 grant to help install 40 new fire hydrants in needed locations.  The community investment will provide additional coverage for Walker County first responders to handle emergency situations.

IRONMAN 70.3 May 2019

Walker Rocks Outdoor Series Kicks Off with Family Campout at Mountain Cove Farms

Chickamauga, GA – Imagine a summer filled with camping, hiking, fishing and watersports with some music, movies and good eats mixed in.  The newly launched Walker Rocks Outdoor Series blends these experiences to make some of Walker County’s leading outdoor attractions more accessible to the general public.

The series kicks off with the Family Campout at Mountain Cove Farms (994 Dougherty Gap Road, Chickamauga) on Saturday, May 25th.  Load up your vehicle and head to the Cove for an afternoon of campground music and field day style games, like three-legged races, sack races and kickball.  Campers can also relax by the campfire while making s’mores and catch a special showing of the 80’s adventure movie The Goonies.

“This is a family friendly event that offers a unique opportunity for parents with young children to try out camping and see what it’s like to sleep outdoors,” said Lacey Wilson, Chamber President.  “We also see this as a staycation of sorts for folks looking for something unique to do with their family over the holiday weekend.”

Set up for tent camping begins at 2:00 p.m.  A vehicle parking pass gets you inside for all activities.  The cost is just $5 per vehicle in advance online at walkerrocks.com or $10 cash the day of the event.  Food, drinks and popcorn will also be available on site to purchase.

The Walker Rocks Outdoor Series continues later this summer with the following events:

  • Family Camp Out at Mountain Cove Farms on May 25
  • Kayak & Canoe Day at Lee & Gordon’s Mill on June 22
  • Trivia Scavenger Hunt at Lula Lake on July 13
  • Dive-in Movie and Such at Queen City Lake on August 17
  • Fright Night Camp Out at Magnolia Pines on September 13
  • Duck Pond Rodeo at the Rossville Duck Pond – TBA

Mountain Cove Farms Resort Named ‘Best of the Best’ for 2019

Chickamauga, GA – Customer service, hospitality and communication have rejuvenated Walker County’s Mountain Cove Farms Resort.  Along with a boost in nightly stays at the cabins and Cove House, the resort has become a favorite among brides who yearn to capture a truly unique experience for the wedding of their dreams.

Voters across Catoosa, Dade, Gordon, Murray, Walker and Whitfield counties have taken notice, choosing Mountain Cove Farms Resort as the top wedding venue in the Chattanooga Times Free Press’ North Georgia Best of the Best for 2019.

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“Under new management, the staff at Mountain Cove Farms Resort has worked tirelessly over the past two years to provide guests with a memorable experience,” said Commissioner Shannon Whitfield.  “I commend our team members for their commitment to friendly, helpful service.  Without them, the resort would not be where it is today.”

“When a bride arrives at Mountain Cove Farms Resort, she’s instantly mesmerized by the natural charm of this truly special place.  They have often driven for miles searching for a hidden gem and the picturesque views here in Walker County have no rival,” said Jenna Stevens, Resort Manager.  “We have a small, strong team fully committed to achieving a successful event, while sharing a milestone with families, who in the end feel like part of our family.”

Along with weddings, Mountain Cove Farms Resort hosts the Forever Bluegrass Festival twice a year and the Mountain Cove Classic Disc Golf Tournament, among other events.  Nightly stays at the resort have also jumped 460% over the past two years, from 162 in 2016 to 908 in 2018.

Reservations can be made online at mountaincoveresort.com, through Expedia and Airbnb, or by calling 706-539-2683.  Mountain Cove Farms Resort is nestled in the valley between Lookout Mountain and Pigeon Mountain.