Chickamauga Reservoir is named for a tribe of Native Americans that broke away from the Cherokee Nation in the 1700s. They lived in villages along North Chickamauga Creek, which joins the river just below Chickamauga Dam. The reservoir is popular for fishing, boating, and swimming. There are boat ramps on the reservoir and canoe access on North Chickamauga Creek.
The Big Ridge Small Wild Area is a 200-acre upland hardwood forest situated on a high ridge above the north shore of the reservoir at the dam. An easy 1.3-mile loop trail leads through the forest. Spring wildflowers include bloodroot, toothwort, larkspur, trillium, and mayapple.
Before TVA created Chickamauga and other reservoirs above Chattanooga, the city had one of the most serious flooding problems in the nation. Now the river that often threatened the city contributes to its economy as a major artery for barge traffic.
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