The Chattanooga area abounds with outdoor sports and activities. Now that spring is here, it is time to lace up your hiking boots and get outside to do some hiking and get in touch with nature. There are numerous hiking trails to choose from. Here’s a guide to three of my favorite hiking trails in the Chattanooga area:
Fall Creek Falls Trail
Fall Creek Falls State Park, in Spencer,Tennessee, is about one and a half hours drive from Chattanooga. Bring a picnic basket and spend the entire day in the park as Fall Creek Falls is huge, comprising over 20,000 acres of nature, complete with campground facilities, playgrounds, picnic and grilling facilities, creeks, cascades, waterfalls, suspension bridges, and a nature center.
The trail to the 256 feet Fall Creek Falls, the tallest waterfall in the eastern United States, is less than a mile long, but is fairly steep and rocky, meandering through thick forests, massive boulders and towering sandstone cliffs. As you get close to the base of the falls, you can hear the roar and feel the spray from a hundred yards away. Wear hiking boots and dress appropriately so you won’t get wet.
Skill Level: Moderate
Address: 10821 Park Road, Spencer, Tennessee 38585
Craven’s House to Sunset Rock Trail
Lookout Mountain is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering over 30 miles of hiking trails and is only a fifteen-minutes drive from downtown Chattanooga. I find myself coming to hike here time and time again. My favorite trail is Craven’s House to Sunset Rock, a moderate 3 miles (roundtrip) hike. Pretty wildflowers and wild berries line the trail which culminates at Sunset Rock, rewarding hikers with gorgeous views of Lookout Valley and the Tennessee River. On beautiful sunny days, you may see rock climbers in action. A word of caution for families: parts of the trail may be a tad dangerous for young kids.
Skill Level: moderate
Address: Cravens Terrace Road • Lookout Mountain, TN 37350
Reflection Riding and Nature Center
Escape the city of Chattnooga to find pastoral bliss at nearby Reflection Riding. The 300-acre arboretum and nature center offer twelve miles of trails and paths that meanders through lovely gardens, ponds and meadows with views of Lookout Mountain and Lookout Creek. You can choose to drive, walk, hike or canoe (Lookout Creek). Be sure to visit the awesome treehouse and the animals at the Nature Center!
Skill Level: easy
Admission: $10 for adults ($7 for seniors and kids 4-11)
Address: 399 Garden Road, Chattanooga, TN 37419
More from this Contributor:
Best 5 Easy Hiking Trails in the Chattanooga area
Hiking Fall Creek Falls State Park in Pikeville, Tennessee
Free Things to Do in Chattanooga, Tennessee