This post is brought to you by our partners at The Fields. To find out more, visit flythefields.com
When someone asks about The Fields, managing partner Jon Ricketts explains that the luxury fly-in community is designed “by pilots, for pilots.” He says, “It’s the concept behind everything we’ll do at The Fields.” Centered around a private 4,300-foot asphalt runway that can accommodate single- engine and twin piston and turboprop airplanes—up to light jets—the 1,500-acre planned residential development and resort will include luxury amenities with homes that are connected to the runway, located in Sequatchie Valley, Tennessee. All homes in phase one will have attached hangars and be a part of the luxury aviation community. The resort will also include a spa, a winery, and outdoor adventure center; and will be home to the new FLYING Media Group headquarters and studio, with a media center adjacent to the runway.
Lot reservations opened to the public in January 2022, and since that time, Ricketts and his team have talked to hundreds of interested residents, most of whom are pilots, family members of pilots, and FLYING Magazine readers. As a developer for The Fields, he says these conversations have been invaluable in validating and refining the plans for the fly-in community and its array of resort-style amenities.
The focus of the development is to blend adventure outdoor sports and activities with aviation. The property will include some of the largest mountain biking trails in the South, along with rock climbing walls, hiking trails, and other outdoor adventure activities that take advantage of the property’s natural landscape.
Fish Camp and Outfitter
The Fields is creating an outdoor dreamland for families that want to take advantage of the great natural features of Tennessee. In May, The Fields closed on a 50-acre adjacent property that sits along the Sequatchie River, offering nearly a mile of shoreline. The river is perfect for catching smallmouth bass, including rock or redeye bass. The river is also flooded with pan fish, largemouth bass, and a variety of catfish. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA)—the state-run agency that oversees wildlife resources —stocks with trout the creeks that flow into the river during the spring.
Plans along the river call for constructing an outfitter that will offer an array of guided activities and outdoor equipment that can be rented or purchased. The river runs at a slow pace of just 1.5 mph, offering a day of kayaking up and down the area. The outfitter will also host a chef-driven restaurant and lounge that will feature farm-to-table food and gourmet products.
Residents and guests who want a little more active adventure, can head to nearby Dayton, Tennessee, and spend a day boating on Lake Chickamauga, a 36,000- acre lake that is a part of the Tennessee River system. The town is known as “Bass Town U.S.A.” for its ability to attract fishermen from all over the country for leisure or tournaments.
If fishing isn’t your game, Chickamauga Lake and Nickajack (another lake just south of The Fields) offer some of the best boating, jet skiing, and waterskiing in the South. There are dozens of marinas in the area that offer boat slips, but also plenty of ramps that can be used if someone wanted to keep their boat at The Fields and drive it to the lake.
The area is also the perfect spot to fly an amphib, as ICON Aircraft representatives discovered during a photo shoot of the recent FLYING Adventure issue. The hundreds of lakes and rivers that meander around the mountains make for some incredible flying experiences, and since the Tennessee River and connected lakes are incredibly wide, it’s the perfect spot to land on water.
Plenty of Biking, in the Mountains or on the Roads
The topography of The Fields is one of the most compelling features of the development. The Sequatchie Valley—a nearly perfect straight valley—sits nestled between the Cumberland Plateau and Walden’s Ridge and can be seen from space. This breathtaking ridgeline offers some of the most unique flying in the U.S., but it also offers truly interesting outdoor adventures that are best discovered on two wheels.
The west side of the development backs up to the Cumberland Plateau and rises more than a thousand feet above the valley. The brow and mountain top offer some of the best views in the entire region, but also mountain biking trails that lead to four year-round springs on the property. There are even two major waterfalls on property, which can only be reached by hiking or mountain biking.
In addition to mountain biking, the valley is also the perfect place for road biking. The 70-mile valley is nearly flat at its base and since it is nearly perfectly straight and lies between two mountain ranges, it offers a unique experience that street bikers can only dream of.
Fly the Fields, Even if You Aren’t a Pilot
The Fields, located just 30 minutes from Chattanooga, Tennessee, is inspired to be a “luxury rural resort with an aviation theme,” but the goal of The Fields is to make it desirable for all members of the family, including those who aren’t pilots.
Development planning is underway and construction is set to begin in the next few months. For ongoing updates, visit FlytheFields.com.