Outdoors + Recreation

Outdoors + Recreation

Chatt Choices™

Woman rock climbing at High Point

High Point Climbing & Fitness

Outdoor Chattanooga Logo

Outdoor Chattanooga 

Maclellan Island

The History of Maclellan Island

Becoming One With The Elements

The Scenic City charms nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike, not only because of its natural beauty, but also because of its plethora of parks, trails, and other outdoor activities. Chattanooga’s many accolades include a nomination for the 2020 Top Adventure Town by Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine and being voted the “Best Town Ever” twice by Outside magazine. The city has also been recognized for its ideal recreational landscape by Livability. Generating well over $1 billion every year, Chattanooga’s outdoor recreation scene is why so many residents call the city home and why individuals and families continue to pay the city a visit year after year.

PARKS AND GREENWAYS

The Chattanooga area boasts six state parks with several facilities and amenities and over 50,000 acres of rivers, streams, mountains, and canyons. Apison is home to the 263-acre Red Clay State Historic Park and Blue Hole Spring. Cloud-land Canyon State Park, located southwest in Georgia, includes 3,500 acres with several waterfalls and wild caves, making it an ideal location for hiking and caving.

Only a short drive away, the 25,000 acres of Prentice Cooper State Forest include 35 miles of hiking trails as well as access to camping, rock climbing, and more. The nearby Cumberland Trail State Park is a linear park cutting through 11 counties. 2020 saw the addition of 6,229 acres to the park, and when complete, its trail system will extend 282 miles. South Cumberland State Park, also nearby, offers hiking, climbing, and backpacking on 30,845 acres spanning the counties of Grundy, Franklin, Marion, and Sequatchie.

Located on Lake Chickamauga, Harrison Bay State Park offers 1,200 acres, which include trails, camping sites, and a marina. Booker T. Washington State Park offers 353 acres that allow for biking, hiking, fishing, swimming, and boating. The park has also been awarded the 2020 Tennessee State Parks Award of Excellence by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation for its efforts toward environmental education and outdoor recreation.

Those seeking a greenway with paved paths will enjoy the Tennessee Riverwalk, a trail network stretching 16 miles that hugs the banks of the Tennessee River. Additional greenways and parks located in and around Chattanooga include the South Chickamauga Creek Greenway, North Chickamauga Creek Greenway, Wolftever Creek, and Enterprise South Nature Park.

HIKING AND MOUNTAIN BIKING

Along with its array of local and state parks, Chattanooga also offers several independent trails that are great for hiking and mountain biking. With over 50 trailheads all within 30 minutes of downtown, there’s something for everyone – from tranquil recreation to extreme adventures.

Stringers Ridge on the Northshore, Mullens Cove Loop at Prentice Cooper State Forest, and Big Daddy Loop on Lookout Mountain cater to trail runners with their well-maintained paths and scenic views. Several trail races are held each year at these locations.

Mountain bikers can take advantage of Raccoon Mountain, located only 15 minutes from downtown Chattanooga, which boasts nearly 30 miles of intermediate and advanced tracks. Five Points, another popular spot located near Cloudland Canyon State Park, features 20 miles of pristine trails that some locals prefer over Raccoon Mountain.

Those looking for recreational activities that are fun for the whole family can check out Cravens House on Lookout Mountain, Greenway Farm, Glen Falls Trail, Moccasin Bend’s Blue Blazes Trail, and the many trails available at Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center.

For recreational activities that feature stunning views, head out to one of the area’s many waterfalls, including Glen Falls, Lula Falls, Falling Water Falls, and the Cherokee and Hemlock Falls in Cloudland Canyon. Other popular destinations perfect for a photo-op include Signal Mountain’s Edward’s Point, Lookout Mountain’s Sunset Rock, and Prentice Cooper State Forest’s Snoopers Rock.

ROCK CLIMBING, CAVING, AND DEEP WATER SOLOING

Rock climbing enthusiasts consider Chattanooga to have some of the best rock climbing sites in the country. Stone Fort, located in Soddy-Daisy, is known as Little Rock City and serves as one of the three premier spots in the annual Triple Crown Bouldering Series competition.

Located on Lookout Mountain, Sunset Rock is another favorite among locals with dozens of routes for climbers to choose from. The Tennessee Wall or “T-Wall,” located in Prentice Cooper State Forest, features over 600 documented routes waiting to be explored.

Those seeking a water sport adventure will love the 50-foot cliff line of Lake Nickajack, perfect for deep water soloing. Foster Falls, just outside of Chattanooga, is another well-known spot for deep water soloing with quality sandstone.

Anyone curious about what lies underground will enjoy the 7,000-plus caves that can be found within an hour of Chattanooga. Raccoon Mountain Caverns, one of the most frequented spots, features wild cave and walking cavern tours with over five miles of passageways. The staff at Ruby Falls, another Chattanooga icon, lead tours to the tallest and deepest underground waterfall in the nation that is open to the public.

WATER AND AIR ADVENTURES

The Scenic City has its fair share of water sports. A 50-mile stretch of the Tennessee River, snaking from the Chickamauga Dam to the Nickajack Dam, provides both visitors and residents with several access points for recreational activities such as canoeing, paddleboarding, fishing, and kayaking.

Chickamauga Lake is another frequented destination for flatwater sports and has ranked among the best bass lakes in the nation according to Bassmaster magazine. Adventure enthusiasts seeking a challenge will enjoy the Ocoee and Hiwassee rivers, located about an hour away, which feature class II, III, and IV rapids.

Whether chasing a rush or Chattanooga’s best views, air adventures can be a fun way to reach new heights. Offerings at Chattanooga Skydiving Company and Lookout Mountain Flight Park range from hang gliding and paragliding to skydiving and more.

Did you know?

For climbers, Chattanooga is a mecca. There is more rock within a 25-mile radius of the Scenic City than the same area surrounding Boulder, Colorado.

Becoming One With The Elements

The Scenic City charms nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike, not only because of its natural beauty, but also because of its plethora of parks, trails, and other outdoor activities. Chattanooga’s many accolades include a nomination for the 2020 Top Adventure Town by Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine and being voted the “Best Town Ever” twice by Outside magazine. The city has also been recognized for its ideal recreational landscape by Livability. Generating well over $1 billion every year, Chattanooga’s outdoor recreation scene is why so many residents call the city home and why individuals and families continue to pay the city a visit year after year.

PARKS AND GREENWAYS

The Chattanooga area boasts six state parks with several facilities and amenities and over 50,000 acres of rivers, streams, mountains, and canyons. Apison is home to the 263-acre Red Clay State Historic Park and Blue Hole Spring. Cloud-land Canyon State Park, located southwest in Georgia, includes 3,500 acres with several waterfalls and wild caves, making it an ideal location for hiking and caving.

Only a short drive away, the 25,000 acres of Prentice Cooper State Forest include 35 miles of hiking trails as well as access to camping, rock climbing, and more. The nearby Cumberland Trail State Park is a linear park cutting through 11 counties. 2020 saw the addition of 6,229 acres to the park, and when complete, its trail system will extend 282 miles. South Cumberland State Park, also nearby, offers hiking, climbing, and backpacking on 30,845 acres spanning the counties of Grundy, Franklin, Marion, and Sequatchie.

Located on Lake Chickamauga, Harrison Bay State Park offers 1,200 acres, which include trails, camping sites, and a marina. Booker T. Washington State Park offers 353 acres that allow for biking, hiking, fishing, swimming, and boating. The park has also been awarded the 2020 Tennessee State Parks Award of Excellence by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation for its efforts toward environmental education and outdoor recreation.

Those seeking a greenway with paved paths will enjoy the Tennessee Riverwalk, a trail network stretching 16 miles that hugs the banks of the Tennessee River. Additional greenways and parks located in and around Chattanooga include the South Chickamauga Creek Greenway, North Chickamauga Creek Greenway, Wolftever Creek, and Enterprise South Nature Park.

HIKING AND MOUNTAIN BIKING

Along with its array of local and state parks, Chattanooga also offers several independent trails that are great for hiking and mountain biking. With over 50 trailheads all within 30 minutes of downtown, there’s something for everyone – from tranquil recreation to extreme adventures.

Stringers Ridge on the Northshore, Mullens Cove Loop at Prentice Cooper State Forest, and Big Daddy Loop on Lookout Mountain cater to trail runners with their well-maintained paths and scenic views. Several trail races are held each year at these locations.

Mountain bikers can take advantage of Raccoon Mountain, located only 15 minutes from downtown Chattanooga, which boasts nearly 30 miles of intermediate and advanced tracks. Five Points, another popular spot located near Cloudland Canyon State Park, features 20 miles of pristine trails that some locals prefer over Raccoon Mountain.

Those looking for recreational activities that are fun for the whole family can check out Cravens House on Lookout Mountain, Greenway Farm, Glen Falls Trail, Moccasin Bend’s Blue Blazes Trail, and the many trails available at Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center.

For recreational activities that feature stunning views, head out to one of the area’s many waterfalls, including Glen Falls, Lula Falls, Falling Water Falls, and the Cherokee and Hemlock Falls in Cloudland Canyon. Other popular destinations perfect for a photo-op include Signal Mountain’s Edward’s Point, Lookout Mountain’s Sunset Rock, and Prentice Cooper State Forest’s Snoopers Rock.

ROCK CLIMBING, CAVING, AND DEEP WATER SOLOING

Rock climbing enthusiasts consider Chattanooga to have some of the best rock climbing sites in the country. Stone Fort, located in Soddy-Daisy, is known as Little Rock City and serves as one of the three premier spots in the annual Triple Crown Bouldering Series competition.

Located on Lookout Mountain, Sunset Rock is another favorite among locals with dozens of routes for climbers to choose from. The Tennessee Wall or “T-Wall,” located in Prentice Cooper State Forest, features over 600 documented routes waiting to be explored.

Those seeking a water sport adventure will love the 50-foot cliff line of Lake Nickajack, perfect for deep water soloing. Foster Falls, just outside of Chattanooga, is another well-known spot for deep water soloing with quality sandstone.

Anyone curious about what lies underground will enjoy the 7,000-plus caves that can be found within an hour of Chattanooga. Raccoon Mountain Caverns, one of the most frequented spots, features wild cave and walking cavern tours with over five miles of passageways. The staff at Ruby Falls, another Chattanooga icon, lead tours to the tallest and deepest underground waterfall in the nation that is open to the public.

WATER AND AIR ADVENTURES

The Scenic City has its fair share of water sports. A 50-mile stretch of the Tennessee River, snaking from the Chickamauga Dam to the Nickajack Dam, provides both visitors and residents with several access points for recreational activities such as canoeing, paddleboarding, fishing, and kayaking.

Chickamauga Lake is another frequented destination for flatwater sports and has ranked among the best bass lakes in the nation according to Bassmaster magazine. Adventure enthusiasts seeking a challenge will enjoy the Ocoee and Hiwassee rivers, located about an hour away, which feature class II, III, and IV rapids.

Whether chasing a rush or Chattanooga’s best views, air adventures can be a fun way to reach new heights. Offerings at Chattanooga Skydiving Company and Lookout Mountain Flight Park range from hang gliding and paragliding to skydiving and more.

Did you know?

For climbers, Chattanooga is a mecca. There is more rock within a 25-mile radius of the Scenic City than the same area surrounding Boulder, Colorado.

Lula Falls at the Lula Land Trust
Climbing Tower at High Point ZIP Adventure at Ruby Falls
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