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Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center

Who We Are

Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center celebrates biodiversity by creating opportunities to play, learn, dream and discover. Reflection Riding was founded in the 1950’s and was dedicated to the study and conservation of native plants. The naming of Reflection Riding drew upon extensive knowledge of English Literature. The English definition for Riding is “the path of pleasure” which is used to walk and reflect on a series of unfolding scenes as the land tells a story. Reflection was added as this land was to be a place of restorative contemplation. It is comprised of over three hundred acres that stretch for a mile along a creek and then rise slowly through pastures and meadows up the forested western slopes of Lookout Mountain. It is a historical landscape and a prized example of the Native Tennessee Flora and Fauna and well as a refuge for the native animals.

The Nature Center was founded 30 years later and is a refuge for native animals who are permanently injured or lack the necessary skills to survive in the wild. These animal ambassadors are used to educate children and adults about the natural world as well as the important role they play in the environment. Some of the animals on display are hawks, eagles, owls, Sandhill Cranes, a fox named Todd and a bobcat named Evie, and endangered Red Wolves.

What We Do

Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center (RRANC) is focused on becoming the region’s premier Environmental Education Center which includes animal exhibits, native plants, outdoor recreation and a community event venue for culture and art. RRANC is located on over 317 acres and features twelve miles of hiking trails, a cycling loop, and a blue way connection through Lookout Creek. This pristine outdoor destination is only ten minutes from downtown Chattanooga. We hope to bridge the gap between a hectic, indoor-oriented lifestyle and the land, plants and wildlife surrounding us.  Our goal is to create an environment where all people can learn about nature through immersion with mountain hikes, paddling on the creek, running, relaxing and learning about native plants. RRANC is also a Phase 4 Arboretum and has over 140 species of trees that have been identified and monitored.