Nature Trails and Picnicking

We are open most weekends during the summer, with hiking and picnicking available from 10-5 pm CT so come out and enjoy  the beautiful Sequatchie Valley. We are only 45 minutes from Chattanooga by car, but an infinite distance in peace and quiet with the opportunity to enjoy the natural world, hike on trails in a pristine forest, and experience a sustainable lifestyle. There’s no charge for peace and quiet and relaxing forest “bathing”–as good as a massage! Check below and on the Liquidambar Art Gallery website for open dates or give us a call/email.

Liquidambar Art Gallery at SVI

While  you are here, plan to visit the gallery and shop for exquisite handmade art and crafts produced by staff and regional artists.  Patrick’s unique sculpture and glass work now have a permanent place in the gallery.  Carol’s mugs and Michelle’s painting are ready to become treasured gifts.  All sales help benefit SVI non-profit educational programs.    Watch our Facebook pages and websites for added events!

Be sure to check the website for Liquidambar Art Gallery weekly for updates on when the gallery is open and for special events and sales, as well as ongoing info on what is currently being created in our studios!   Open other days by appt.

June Dates for Gallery and Trails

June 8-10:  20th Annual Food for Life Conference at SVI.  Gallery and trails open only to conference participants.

June 16-17, and June 22:  Staff holiday.  SVI, Gallery, and Trails closed.  Sorry about that!

June 23, June 30, July 1:  Gallery and Trails reopen with sunburned but rested artists, full of renewed re-created ideas and projects.

If you just have to visit us on another time, call or email to arrange a time in advance.  Call 423 949 5922; email

 20th Annual Food for Life Conference

Event:  20th Annual “Food for Life” Conference

Date:  June 8-10, 2018

Place:  Sequatchie Valley Institute 1233 Cartwright Loop, Whitwell, TN 37397–between Dunlap and Whitwell, 45 minutes from Chattanooga.

Cost:  The income-based sliding scale for the three-day event is $100-$300.  Saturday only:  $75-$150. Children under 9 yrs free, 9-17 yrs $20-60/day.  This includes nutritious meals, all workshops, children’s programs, and rustic camping.  Work trade is available. Please contact us for details ASAP.

Bring the family for 3 days of camping in a beautiful natural setting surrounded by forest, bluffs, nature trails, and hand-crafted solar-powered homes and meeting places.  For our 20th year celebration, we welcome back Sandor Katz, the award-winning author of “The Art of Fermentation” as our keynote speaker. Share a sustainable outdoor lifestyle and help prepare then eat delicious meals under the forest trees.  Take part in workshops on food preservation, cooking methods, diet choices and nutrition, the truth about fats, native forest foods, mushrooms and medicines, wood stove and cast iron cooking, and fermented foods including kefir, kombucha, mead, sauerkraut, sour dough, and more, taught by instructors from a wide background of expertise and experience.   Explore the political, social, and ecological implications of food, nutrition, and agriculture including

Urban and High Tunnel food production, and community development.  Explore your body through Movement and Awareness and Qi-Gong and Embodiment.

The immersive outdoor children’s program will include planting a

Three Sisters Garden, hiking on forest trails, outdoor Highland games, a Kid’s Trade Blanket, and learning about good food, plants, critters, and the forest.

In the evenings we will share Fire circles, including mead, music, and a variety show. Come prepared with instruments and skills!

For more information, contact: 423-949-5922/4598;  (770) 241-3958; or see our Facebook page for information and reservations.  We are located at 1233 Cartwright Loop, Whitwell, TN 37397.

Workshops and programs at the Sequatchie Valley Institute are intentionally affordable using a scale based on income.  For more information, contact SVI, 1233 Cartwright Loop, Whitwell, TN 37397; 423-949-5922/4598; email


 The Sequatchie Valley Institute is a a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization  promoting education and research in sustainable green living, ecology, and art.  We offer opportunities to experience and learn about living in harmony with nature by providing:

  • tours for kids, scouts, and adults: permaculture gardens, forest trails and solar hand-crafted homes
  • workshops and programs emphasizing healthy natural and sustainable living                  
  • education, research, and art programming
  • three hundred acres of forest with trails, protected forever by the Land Trust for Tennessee
  • a tree-top retreat center available for meetings, weddings, and other events
  • Liquidambar Art Gallery presenting fine art by local artists, hiking and picnicking


research and education in sustainable living