Outdoor Adventures in Chattanooga
Chattanooga has something for everyone, it is a nice mid-sized city right on the Tennessee River and between Lookout and Signal Mountain. From a southern-style cityscape to the sprawling mountains, Chattanooga has a plethora of outdoor activities for everyone to enjoy! So let’s take a tour of some of the best outdoor adventures in the Greater Chattanooga area!
1. Guild-Hardy Trailhead
The Guild-Hardy Trail is a beautiful 11-mile excursion on southern Tennessee's Lookout Mountain, only a few minutes from Chattanooga and the state's border with Georgia. It follows the route of the former Chattanooga & Lookout Mountain Railway, completed in 1889, and passes over two train trestles. When you leave RiverView, turn left, and you'll see a connection trail leading you to the Guild-Hardy Trail!
2. Paddle Board/Kayak the Tennessee River
In the heart of Downtown Chattanooga runs the Tennessee River. During the late spring and summer, many Chattanoogans grab their kayaks and paddleboards and head to the river to have some fun in the sun! You don’t own a paddleboard or a kayak? No worries! There are plenty of rental shops in downtown Chattanooga to rent from!
3. Coolidge Park
Right next to the Tennessee River, between Market Street Bridge and the Walnut Street Walking Bridge lies a grassy field with plenty of activities for the whole family! There is a carousel, an interactive water fountain to play in, and even rock climbing. This is a great, family-friendly park with plenty of options for everyone!
4. The Chattanooga Riverwalk
If you are looking for a beautiful place to ride your bike or take a casual stroll, the Chattanooga Riverwalk is perfect. The 13-mile path stretches from the Chickamauga Dam to the foot of Lookout Mountain. The path has several entrance points and runs alongside the Tennessee River. This is a favorite among locals for its accessibility and secluded path.
5. Stringer’s Ridge
Stringer’s Ridge is a beautiful 92-acre urban wilderness park with 3 separate trail loops. This is perfect for a Saturday morning trail run or a post-work stroll with the family. Located just minutes from downtown, this ridgeline overlooks the city and the Tennesse River. If you are interested in a scenic stroll with an overlook of the city, this is perfect for you!
6. Rock Climbing at Sunset Rock
While Chattanooga has some of the best rock climbing spots in Tennessee, Sunset Rock is considered a favorite among local climbers. Located on the west brow of Lookout Mountain, The sandstone rock face has an easy approach and many high-quality routes. Once you get to the top, you’ll get to enjoy a view of the Tennessee River as it turns around Mocassin Bend. If you are not a fan of climbing, there is a parking area with a short walk to the main overlook, perfect for a nice evening with a stunning view of the sunset.
7. Waterfall at Lula Lake
Lula Lake Land Trust is located about 20 minutes from downtown Chattanooga. There are many hiking trails, ranging in difficulty and length. Whether you want a long hike to get your blood pumping or a short hike with a waterfall at the end, Lula Lake is the place for you! Just keep in mind that it is only open the first and last Saturdays of the month.
8. Point Park
A hot spot for Chattanooga families, Point Park is located at the top of Lookout Mountain. Complete with panoramic views, tons of historic landmarks, and tons of hiking trails, this park is fun for the whole family. The views at Point Park can make anyone understand why Chattanooga has been coined “The Scenic City”.
9. Kayak at Lookout Creek
Just seven miles from downtown Chattanooga, on the West Side of Lookout Mountain, Lookout Creek is perfect for a summer ride in a kayak. To ride the entire length of the creek takes about two and a half hours, but the calm water is perfect for beginners. There are several places to kayak in Chattanooga, but this is extremely accessible and easy for everyone.
10. Enterprise South
This vast wildlife park offers three different trails for mountain biking and is perfect for beginners and experienced bikers alike. Mountain biking can be dangerous, so make sure you have all of the proper safety equipment. The trails take about an hour to complete but can be extremely exhilarating experience for the rider!
11. Cloudland Canyon
Located about 40 minutes away from Chattanooga and has plenty of activities for everyone. Complete with cascading waterfalls, hiking trails, camping areas, picnic spots, disk golf, and fishing, this is a one-stop-shop for a weekend adventure. It is also a State Park which means it is very well preserved and has plenty of amenities. This is a must-see!
Casual Outdoor Adventures:
If you have spent the past several weekends wearing yourself out with all the hiking, kayaking, and biking Chattanooga has to offer, it is nice to have a relaxing backup.
Outdoor Bars and Restaurants: Chattanooga has a great food scene and many restaurants have outdoor seating options. Whether its a quick bite, beer, or night out on the town, Chattanooga has a place for you to dine without missing out on the scenic city.
Chattanooga Market: Every Sunday from May to November, vendors, and artisans from all around the region come to set up shop at the First Tennessee Pavilions. Food trucks and musicians, come to the market, making it a fun experience for everyone.
Take a stroll in the Bluff View Art District: Between the Walking bridge and Veteran’s Bridge, atop stone cliffs sits one of Chattanooga’s gems. The Bluff View Art District has some of the best views in the city, a sculpture garden, and several restaurants that will make you feel like your in a quaint European town! Also, it’s just a short walk away from the Walnut Street Walking bridge!
In 2015, Chattanooga was voted “Best Town Ever” in Outside Magazine and In 2016 it became the only city to win the award twice. Chattanooga is perfect for a weekend adventure, or a post-work hike. Whether you are looking for something to do with a friend, or and adventure for the whole family, Chattanooga has you covered. From rock climbing, biking, kayaking, and hiking, to get a bite to eat with friends, Chattanooga has a place for you to enjoy the outdoors. If you need a place to stay, head to our website to find learn more about our boutique hotel! Plan your weekend trip to Chattanooga today, you won’t forget it!