Visitor Information


It is our pleasure to welcome you to Sequatchie Valley Institute at Moonshadow! Here is some important information you might like to know!

IF YOU GET LOST: Call us at 423-949-4598, 949-5922, or cell 678-982-2445



Upon arrival (before dark will simplify things), we encourage you to park before crossing the creek, as the water level may be too high for many vehicles to cross, and can rise up after rains somewhat suddenly, delaying travel.

If the lower lot is full; the creek is dry; and no storms are expected:
It is permissible to park in the large forest glade parking area (about 0.3 mi. up the hill) which accommodates most vehicles.

Those with prior permission who are either very adventurous and/or use an SUV may drive all the way up the rough, steeply-inclined, and sometimes slick, one-lane driving path leading up to Sequatchie Valley Institute HQ.

Complimentary shuttles up and down the slope for rides and/or gear are available for all. Look or ask for the “Gear Teleportation Stations” located at registration/check-in for help getting tents, packs, and food up to Moonshadow.



Please remember that “Moonshadow Life” is rustic and close to nature.

Good, sturdy rubber or hiking boots for rough, wet, rocky, muddy, and/or weedy areas. This is a nature reserve, and one might find poisonous snakes doing what they do best (basking). Walk carefully, with your eyes on the alert.

Due to sometimes-thriving insect populations  — long sleeves and pants is the way to go! You may want to bring bug spray (we ask that only eco-/body-friendly bug spray be used on the premises).

Bedding  —  even if you didn’t plan to spend the night, be prepared.  Bring your pillow, a camping pad, bedroll, towel, and small tent (tent optional for short visits  —  there are open-air covered areas you can sleep under).

In the winter:  Bring warm clothes! Better to be over-prepared than under-prepared.



NO pets.  We have gardens and domestic animals, and we are a nature reserve with protected wildlife.  Even the best pet can create unpleasant and unnecessary problems.  Thank you so much for your consideration.

Extraneous things that use electricity.  We have minimal excess solar power, and we appreciate conservation.

Anything that you plan to leave here — we ask you to take ALL your garbage and recycling home with you.  Carrying an ice chest of empty bottles down the trail can be a hassle.



For gatherings defined as potlucks:
Plan to bring food to share   —  This may be coordinated beforehand, so as to avoid the catastrophic outcome of having 50 bags of chips and no dip.  It is helpful for all visitors to keep up with their treasured leftover containers  –  and not-so-treasured refuse.

If you wish to maintain cold temperature items, be sure to bring a cooler with ice.



For the most part  –  unless otherwise noted for particular events  –   there will not be assigned caretakers, and children must have the supervision of their parent or legal guardian at all times while visiting Sequatchie Valley Institute.

This is a nature reserve, and we ask that it be treated with due respect. Please be considerate to the grounds and to the people and resident wildlife (frogs, lizards, etc.) you will encounter. There is much to learn from them!

Acquire a resident’s input before maintaining and/or adjusting any fire. Our open fireplaces can be dangerous, and are considered entirely off-limits for minors.  Never place anything flammable near the fires.  DO NOT put any bedding near the hearths.

There is to be NO SMOKING IN, OR NEAR, ANY STRUCTURE.  This includes Barking Beetle Retreat Center, the outbuildings, huts, and others.  There will be a designated smoking area (complete with butt-disposal) set-up at every event. NO CANDLES, kerosene lamps, or any other source of open flame is to be kindled without the express permission and supervision of a resident.

Water:  our water comes from a spring, and is not only limited, but has also not been through rigorous methods of testing clearing it for wide consumption. Even though we feel safe drinking it daily, there are many who may want to bring a water bottle. We also ask that individuals do not shower or use the flush toilet in the family house.

WE COMPOST. Got egg shells? We love ’em. Here’s to soil health!

We have 2 lovely, well-maintained compost toilets.  If you have any questions or reservations, a resident will be more than happy to share more education. Follow the signs near Moonshadow to find them, or ask a resident.

IF YOU GET LOST: Call us at 423-949-4598, 949-5922, or cell 678-982-2445

If you experience any difficulties or have any further questions, do not hesitate to reach out to the residents, or our team.


Sequatchie Valley Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization with our funding coming completely from your tax-deductible donations. We appreciate your generosity to help keep our excellent programs and facilities available for everyone.

Volunteers help  our world go ’round, for sure! There are always many things to be done at Moonshadow and S.V.I., and we appreciate good help. Check out our Friends of Sequatchie Valley Institute Facebook group, or ask at an event, to find out how you can get involved!

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research and education in sustainable living