Stringer’s Ridge has had quite a facelift. It appears to be officially half-open, although I can’t tell from the information on the web. It now has official looking metal gates that cross the main trails into the park. One side still has a big orange “park closed” sign. But the other direction has no sign other than “no motorized vehicles.”
There are many mysteries about Stringers Ridge. First, there is the mystery “grand opening” that still does not seem to have happened. When I first heard about Stringers Ridge, I heard the park was going to have a grand opening in October 2012.
Next, I heard it was going to open later that winter. The only sign of progress at the park entrance was a set of new signs telling people the park was under construction and still closed. Next, it was going to open in April. Then it was going to be May. The last post I saw said it would open around Memorial Day.
The second mystery is what it is that they’re doing that prevents them from opening the park. I confess. I’ve been in the park. I have never seen anyone working in the park. I have, however, encountered both pedestrians and cyclists in the park, which made me think it really was open before they put up signs.
The changes I’ve noticed since last summer have been:
- an improvement in the signage–especially trail markers which were numbers on pin tins until recently,
- the removal of large piles of garbage that many people must have worked very hard to gather up and haul to a collection point,
- the removal of some of the overgrowth,
- the removal of some sculptures that I wish they would have left. There was one arrangement of logs that looked like a giant hiker climbing up a hill. I am both befuddled and disappointed that it was removed. It was clever, humorous, and appropriate to the setting,
- the addition of a real overlook at the point where some trees were cleared to allow for one of the best views of downtown Chattanooga–if I am disappointed about #4, #5 makes up for it.
stillI can understand why they would have wanted the park closed while they were constructing the overlook. What I don’t quite understand is why they seem to be holding the park opening until all the mountain bike trails are completed. At least, I assume that’s what they’re holding for at this point. Why not just mark the trails that are closed as closed and have the grand opening? Parks have trails closed all the time.
Whatever the reason, I’m happy the park is half-open.
The new overlook has two large “boxes” in the middle that make the perfect place for dinner. It’s a really nice overlook. And the view is even better now that the overlook puts you 10 feet out over the edge of the ridge. I can’t wait until the grand opening!