Chattanooga Swimming Holes

by Jen, Chattanooga Vacation Rentals



Let me start this off by saying that you can hurt yourself at a swimming hole. I mean you can really, really hurt yourself at a swimming hole. You can break a leg or cut yourself on a broken beer bottle that someone left behind (JERK!), and you can drown. You. Can. Drown.

Don’t swim alone and check the recent weather. The amount of rainfall in the days leading up to your swim changes the conditions of the swimming hole. The more rain we’ve had, the faster the water will flow. Strong currents can be the result.

Swimming hole PSA over. Now I would like to tell you about a couple of my favorites in the Chattanooga area.

I travel with a young crowd. I mean eight, ten, twelve years old. So, I’m pretty tame. But, I do love swimming holes and all of these options are excellent for both groups of adults or families.

A couple of things that you must have with you. Mask. A mask and snorkel are even better. Swimming shoes like Chacos or Keens. A back pack with a towel and some snacks.

Gah, I kind of hate to tell you about these spots. The kind of feeling where you are so happy about the place that you so want to share it, but the sharing itself may ruin the spot. So treat each place with much care and great tact because even you will want to come back.

Martha's Falls
Hippie Hole, or Martha’s Falls it is called on a map, is on the Little River in Alabama. Yeah, it can be crowded on the weekends, but watching the folks jump from the higher cliff is an interesting tradeoff. The tame in me either swims in the deep pool at the base of the cliff, or we swim up river in the shallow sections with our masks in the water watching the fish swim by. The kids love it and I love seeing what I can find around the next bend in the river.


Big Soddy Gulf in Soddy Daisy. One of the best parts of any swimming hole is how clear the water is. This is true at Hippie Hole and it is true here. Cold water with warm rocks on the other side. Deliciously enticing. A big smile on my face. It was a hot day. A perfect day to be in the water. A man is laying in the shallows propped up on the shore reading a book. At his head is his greyhound. The day is spent floating and climbing on rocks. And, oh so many creek bends to explore.


Foster Falls is northwest of Chattanooga in Sequatchie, TN. The swimming hole is at the base of the falls. There is a steep hike down to the spot, but I have made the trek with small children and pregnant mamas in tow.

All of the spots are beautiful and rewarding and refreshing. Be wary the dangers and mindful in the using, but do not miss the swimming hole. It’s worth the trip every time.