For many area commuters, Stringer’s Ridge is the tunnel they pass through to and from work each day. But to Chattanooga area preservationists, it’s a feature unique to the city—a 100 acre forest minutes from 50,000 people.
“(Chattanooga) has something unique, I’ve not seen anything like this any where else,” Jim Johnson, a local conservationist, said. “It’s an urban forest, virtually untouched, within three miles of 50,000 residents.”
An avid bicyclist, Johnson recently donated $50,000 to fund plans for a 10-mile trail system for the site that runs along Highway 27, toward Moccasin Bend, crossing over Cherokee Boulevard and into the city of Red Bank.
Johnson’s gift was used to solicit other contributions from local foundations, which will fund the master plan, said Rick Wood, director of the Trust for Public Land, the nonprofit that paid $2.4 million for the property in 2008. Phase two of the master plan, which is not complete, is the trail system for mountain biking, walking and running.