Welcome to Sequatchie Valley Institute!

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


  1. Unless we make other plans with you, please park in our parking area by the main road.  Walk across the foot bridge if the creek is flowing.  Across the creek 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).  
  2. 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, across the creek from the parking area.
  3. It is best to arrive before dark as country roads may be difficult to navigate and our trail hard to follow in the dark.
  4. Bring the directions with you. Google maps may not get you here–contact us by phone if you get lost.

Location of Sequatchie Valley Institute

SVI is located just off Rte. 28 on Cartwright Loop, halfway between Dunlap (to the North) and Whitwell (to the South), in Sequatchie County, about 1 hour’s drive north of Chattanooga.

From Chattanooga:   If you are unfamiliar with the area, #2 is easiest.  From UTC or downtown Chattanooga, #4 is fastest.

  1. From 27N, exit onto Hwy 111, the Dunlap exit, between Soddy-Daisy and Dayton.  Cross the mountain.
    • Take the off ramp at the intersection with 127 and turn left.
    • Drive through Dunlap.  At the traffic light after Walgreens, take the right fork, Rte. 28 (toward Whitwell). You will pass the public schools on the right.
    • Travel 7 miles (from the intersection) to Cartwright Loop and turn right.  See below for details.  Or:
  2. Take I-24 toward Nashville.  Take Exit 155, Dunlap and Whitwell (Grandview Hosp. exit) onto Rte. 28.
    • Continue on Rte. 28 for 18 miles (north) from the exit.
    • Turn left on Cartwright Loop, just after Cartwright Garage. See below for details. Or:
  3. Take 127 across Signal Mt. to Dunlap. 
    • Turn sharp left onto Rte. 28 at the 1st light.
    • Pass the public schools on the right and go 7 miles to Cartwright Loop (just past a small gas station), and turn right. See below.  Or:
  4. lf you know the area you may also turn left off Signal Mt. Road (past Walmart and BiLo) onto Suck Creek Road then continue on.  Take the right fork UP the mountain–the left fork goes on along the river.  Continue on across the mountain along Suck Creek.
    • Go straight to Whitwell (big intersection, gas station, traffic light) then turn right toward Dunlap on Rt. 285.
    • We are about 8 miles north of Whitwell off Rt. 285.
    • After entering Sequatchie County, watch for Cartwright Garage, a red and white concrete building on the left, then Cartwright Loop on the left.

From Nashville or Birmingham:
Take I-24 South from Nashville.  Take Exit 155, Dunlap and Whitwell (Grandview Hosp. exit) onto Rte. 28.

  • Continue on Rte. 28 for 18 miles (north) from the exit.
  • Turn left on Cartwright Loop, just after Cartwright Garage a red and white concrete building on the left. See below for details.

After turning on Cartwright Loop, go 0.7 miles to a black mailbox, #1233, and an SVI sign. Turn right and park in the parking area.  You will be met.  If no one is there, walk across the bridge and inquire at the gallery, or walk up the gravel road 1 mile to Moonshadow and SVI.

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.  VERY importan.
  • 2.  Hiking boots or sturdy shoes.  Rubber boots work well also.  
  • 3.  In the summer-long sleeves and pants and shoes.  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 snakes, 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 should be washed and put away, all counters cleaned.
  • All floors should be swept.  Mop the kitchen.  Collect kitchen towels and take down to Sweetgum.
  • 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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