Welcome to Sequatchie Valley Institute!

In order to make your visit here as much fun as possible, we have some suggestions for you.


SVI is located just off Rte. 28 on Cartwright Loop, halfway between Dunlap (to the North 7 miles) and Whitwell (to the South 8 miles), in Sequatchie County, about 1 hour’s drive north of Chattanooga.  For detailed instructions, please go to MAPS-Directions to SVI on this website.

When  you arrive at the SVI sign on Cartwright Loop, turn right and park in the parking area at the road.  Walk across the foot bridge if the creek is flowing and inquire at Liquidambar Gallery.  Someone will be at the Gallery for registration and information.  If not, please call us  (423-949-4598, 949-5922, or cell 678-982-2445).  You may also walk up the gravel road or marked nature trail (1 mile).

  1. If you need help with your bedding, food, etc.  we can arrange to shuttle it up.  Please don’t block others in, and leave your keys at the Gallery.
  2. It is best to arrive before dark as country roads may be difficult to navigate.  Registration may be closed after dark.  You will need to contact us by phone for instructions.
  3. Bring the directions with you.
  4. IF YOU GET LOST: Call us at 423-949-4598, 949-5922, or cell 678-982-2445


1.  A good flashlight or headlamp with extra batteries.  It is VERY important to have a light at all times at night due to resident wildlife.

2.  Hiking boots or sturdy shoes.  Rubber boots work well also.

3.  In the summer-long sleeves, hats, pants and shoes, not sandals.  Snakes, poison ivy, and insects share our forest and trails with us.  You may want to bring organic or picaridine bug spray.

4.  In the winter—warm clothes.

5.  Bedding—even if you didn’t plan to spend the night, be prepared with  pillow,  camping pad, bedroll, towel, and small tent (covered areas may be available).


  • NO pets.  We have gardens, domestic animals, and we are a nature reserve with protected wildlife.  Even the best pet can create problems.  Thank you so much for your consideration.
  • Stuff that uses electricity.  We have minimal solar electricity.  You  will be able to charge your electronics.
  • Anything that you plan to leave here—we ask you to take ALL your garbage and recycling home with you, so consider what you bring with you.


  • Plan to bring food to share unless the event includes meals.
  • Don’t expect to have ice, a refrigerator, microwave, or freezer.  If you want it cold,  bring your own ice chest.
  • Drinking water:  Our water comes from a spring—it is alive and is not purified.  You may wish to bring a filter.  We will also have city water available.


  • Moonshadow is a private family home.  We are happy to share our home with you; however,  please respect our home, possessions, gardens, and forest in return.
  • Please don’t enter/harvest the gardens and greenhouses unless you are with a resident. 
  • Small children will need supervision.  Please watch your children to see they don’t damage resident wildlife (frogs, lizards, etc.), domestic animals, and the    gardens.  The ponds are not fenced and have steep clay edges.  Our wildlife includes wasps and poisonous snake
  • s, especially in summer at twilight.
  • Water:  our water comes from a spring, and is limited.   We have 2 lovely well-maintained sweet smelling compost toilets.  Follow the signs or ask a resident.
  • Obtain permission before starting any fire.
  • Open fireplaces and outdoor fires can be dangerous.  Do not let children or teens deal with the fires.  Never place anything flammable near the fires.  DO NOT put any bedding near fires. Ask a resident for help in maintaining and adjusting the fires.
  • No open fires outside unless monitored by a resident.  Forest fires are a constant threat.
  • NO CANDLES, kerosene lamps, or other sources of open flames in the structures.  Remember that nice headlamp you brought.  Use it instead.
  • No smoking in or near ANY structure.  This includes Shogun (Barking Beetle Retreat Center).   Ask a resident for information on smoking areas.  You may smoke in the parking areas, but be aware of fire danger and take your butts home with you.


  • Please leave our structures and forest better than you found them.
  • Do not leave perishable foods.
  • All dishes must be washed and put away, all counters cleaned.
  • All floors must be swept.  Mop the kitchen.  Collect kitchen towels and take down to the Gallery.
  • Take all the garbage and recycling you brought.  You may leave compost in our compost bucket.
  • Empty the compost bucket in our compost heap under the solar panels.  Ask a resident for help.

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