The 12 Best Hiking Trails Chattanooga

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The 12 Best Hiking Trails Chattanooga

If you are planning a visit to the Chattanooga area, you might be thinking about checking out some of the hiking trails. The area surrounding the Tennessee River has a wide variety of trails from which to choose, including some along Lookout Mountain.

Hikers of all ages can stay in a number of incredible vacation rental cabins in Chattanooga and access plenty of trails along the Tennessee River Gorge. Before you head out to a Chattanooga hiking trailhead, it is important to plan ahead.

Take a look at some of the top backpacking trails you should consider in the Chattanooga area, and get ready for some of the best hikes.

1. Snoopers Rock Trail

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Difficulty: Moderate

If you are looking for an enjoyable hike that will take up most of the day, then you may want to consider checking out Snoopers Rock Trail. There are a lot of people who call this the Horseshoe Bend Trail, and it will give you a beautiful view of the Tennessee Gorge. In reality, the trail itself is very easy, it is only a moderate trail because of how long it is.

If you want to take advantage of this trail, you may want to go during the week. Because of how popular it is, it can get very busy on the weekend. Even if it is a bit crowded, you should still be able to take advantage of some unparalleled views that you simply cannot find anywhere else.

2. The Cumberland Trail: Mullens Cove Loop Trail

Photo Credit: samray

Difficulty: Moderate

The Mullens Cove Loop Trail is a gorgeous hike that takes place in the Prentice Cooper Wilderness Management Area. The loop itself is a part of the greater Cumberland Trail, and it will wind through a wide variety of scenery along the way. Because the hike is about 10 miles, you should plan on spending the entire day on the trail. Do not forget to bring plenty of sunscreen with you, and make sure you have plenty of hydration.

Along the way, stop to appreciate some of the views and sounds. You will probably spot a few waterfalls along the way, and you may want to plan on having a picnic lunch on one of the many cliffs that you will traverse. It is a very long hike, so make sure the party is prepared.

3. The Glen Falls Trail

Photo Credit: StockHoliday

Difficulty: Moderate

The Glen Falls Trail is a short hike of about two miles. It is a family-friendly hike for families with children that are old enough to handle a walk through the downtown area for an hour or so. If your kids can do that, they can handle this hike.

Children will also love this natural playground. It is filled with numerous rocky staircases, boulder fields, and tunnels. Even though the waterfall may look attractive, try to keep your kids from climbing on the wet rocks. They may slip and fall.

If you want to take advantage of the beautiful colors, try to visit during the spring. The waterfall will also be more active this time, so it will be more impressive. If you go the day after a major rainstorm, the waterfall will be at its peak. Try to plan accordingly if you want to take advantage of everything this beautiful hike has to offer.

4. Sunset Rock via Cravens House Trail

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Difficulty: Moderate

This Sunset Rock trail is approximately three miles long. It will give you great views of Chickamauga and Chattanooga as you take in the greater Tennessee Valley. If you want to take advantage of everything that trail has to offer, aim to get to Sunset Rock by Sunset. Then, watch as the last few rays of the daylight up the local area, giving you a view that you cannot find anywhere else.

This is a trail that is just a few minutes from the downtown area, and it is a moderate hike that is perfect for people with even a little bit of athletic experience. There are also a few beautiful overlooks along the way, and you will wind through National Military Park as well.

5. Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge to Bluff View Loop

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Difficulty: Easy

If you are looking for a hike that is relatively easy, you may want to consider the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge hike. This is a hike that should not take any more than a half-hour to 45 minutes, this is a 1.5 mile loop round trip. If you have young children, you can even carry them with you when you get tired. There is free parking available along Frazier Avenue, or if the lot is full, you can find some paid parking lots near River Street.

The hike will give you some amazing views from the bridge. Therefore, be sure to bring your camera with you. You may want to go later in the day, as it can be foggy in the morning sometimes. This is the perfect hike for people who do not have a lot of experience hiking, and it will still give you some of the breathtaking views you expect from the area.

6. Blue Blazes Trail

Difficulty: Easy

The Moccasin Bend area is a great place for people who might not have a lot of experience hiking. The Blue Blazes Trail is a very easy hike that should not take any more than a half-hour. The elevation change is minimal, and the loop is only 1.5 miles long. The big attraction of this hike is the gorgeous water features that you will see along the way. If you keep your eyes open, you will catch a few unique animals bobbing in the water.

If you have children with you, take extra care that they do not try to jump in the lake. It is easy for kids to view this beautiful trail as an aquatic playground, but you do not want to disturb the plants or animals that live in the area.

7. The South Chickamauga Creek Greenway

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Difficulty: Easy

This is a relatively easy hike because it has a lot of pavement and boardwalks for you to enjoy. The South Chickamauga Creek Greenway is very well maintained, so you should not have any problem walking this beautiful path. It does not have a lot of elevation change, and there are plenty of opportunities to take a look at the wildlife in the local area.

Even though these are easy trails, it is approximately 9.5 miles. Therefore, you should expect to be on the trail for between three and four hours. You should try to bring plenty of food and water with you to keep yourself fueled along the way. While the hike itself is easy, young children may have a difficult time keeping up for the entire length of the hike. If you want to see as much as possible, this portion of the Tennessee River Park may be the place to go.

8. The Upper Guild Trail

Difficulty: Easy

The Upper Guild Trail is a great hike near Lookout Mountain. It is approximately 2.5 miles long, and you should expect to be out there for approximately one hour. This is the upper part of the trail that starts at the Ruby Falls entrance. You can find the trailhead located at the Ruby Falls attraction entrance. Then, simply follow the path until you cannot drive anymore. That is where the hike begins.

The trail is very well-marked, there are lots of beautiful trees that should provide some shade along the way, and there are gorgeous wildflowers that line the trail as well. Be sure to keep your eyes open for a few animals, and you might want to take a few pictures along the way. This is a gorgeous hike that you definitely do not want to overlook.

9. The Skyuka and Bluff Trails Loop

Difficulty: Moderate

There are lots of people who call this the “Big Daddy Loop,” as it is more than 10 miles long. You should expect to be out there for approximately 10 hours, so this is definitely a longer hike in the local area. It is one of the most popular options in town, and it is a combination of seven trails. As you hike this trail, keep in mind that there are a lot of people who like to run the entire Loop. Try to stay out of the way of people going trail running.

Along the way, you will also pass by Cravens House, which was used by both the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War. This is a great opportunity for people who love to take in the history of the area.

10. The Tennessee River Walk: Citico Bar To Veterans Bridge

Difficulty: Easy

The Tennessee River Walk is a hike that is approximately 2.5 miles long and it is great for people of all skill levels. The River Walk is a state natural area so it’s well maintained and looked after. It takes about one hour, and it follows the river as it goes through Chattanooga. The elevation gain is minimal, so it is ideal for families with children. There are plenty of paved paths along the way, and if you want to make the hike even easier, you may want to consider renting a few bicycles.

Along the way, there are a lot of fun things to do on the River Walk. You will also catch views of the Walnut Street Bridge, the Bluff View art district, and the Tennessee Aquarium. This is a great option for bikers.

11. The Raccoon Mountain Reservoir Loop

Difficulty: Moderate

If you are looking for a hike that will place you high above the city of Chattanooga, then you will definitely want to check out the Raccoon Mountain Reservoir Loop. This includes more than 13 miles of hiking, so it should take about six hours. There are lots of people who love to run along this loop as well, so you may want to move to the side if you hear a runner coming. There are gorgeous overlooks that you cannot find anywhere else, and you need to make sure you bring plenty of hydration if you want to tackle this hike.

12. The Blowing Wind Falls Via Richie Hollow Trail

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Difficulty: Moderate

The Richie Hollow Trail to Blowing Wind Falls is about three miles long. It should take you approximately 90 minutes to finish. There are lots of gorgeous trees along the way, and you will see plenty of animals poking their heads out along the way. When you reach Blowing Wind Falls in Prentice Cooper State Forest, be sure to have your camera ready! The waterfall tends to be the most active during the Spring.

Get Ready for a Chattanooga Hiking Adventure!

If you are looking for some amazing hikes in Tennessee and Georgia, check out these options! If you plan to go hiking with your dog, be sure to check out our list of dog-friendly hikes in Chattanooga.

Regardless of whether you want to see Cloudland Canyon State Park, the Blue Hole, Rainbow Lake, or one of the other National Park options in this amazing area, there is something for everyone. Be sure to explore Signal Point near Signal Mountain for some amazing views as well.

You may even want to explore the Sandstone Cliffs for some great views of the Tennessee River!