11 Amazing Places to Go Hiking near Chattanooga, TN (+ Map)

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One thing that Chattanooga does not have a shortage of is amazing nature! This is a guide to the best places to go hiking near Chattanooga for all skill levels.

We have tried to keep the Chattanooga trails on this list as easy to moderate levels so that they are manageable for every hiker. They are also day hikes near Chattanooga even though some require a bit of a drive!

Hiking near Chattanooga
Hiking near Chattanooga

Did we miss your favorite hike near Chattanooga? Let us know in the comments! Thanks!

Hiking near Chattanooga – The List

  1. Savage Day Loop
  2. Stone Door Trail
  3. Benton Falls Trail
  4. Greeter Falls Loop
  5. Glen Falls Trail
  6. Little River Canyon
  7. Tennessee River Walk: Citico Bar to Veterans Bridge
  8. Upper Guild Trail
  9. Hemlock Falls Trail
  10. Stringers Ridge via Blue Trail
  11. Cravens House Loop Trail

Hikes Near Chattanooga TN Map

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Easy Hiking Trails near Chattanooga

1. Savage Day Loop

Distance: 4.9 miles
Type of Trail: Loop
Location: South Cumberland State Park

Savage Day Loop is an easy hike located near Chattanooga in beautiful South Cumberland State Park, one of the best places to visit in Tennessee. This amazing trail is a loop and is 4.9 miles and classified as easy.

Some of the activities you can participate in on the trail are birdwatching, running, checking out wildflowers, and walking your dog (they must be on leash)!

Savage Gulf State Natural Area in South Cumberland
Savage Gulf State Natural Area in South Cumberland

The main feature of the trail is its waterfall. The first mile of the hike is fairly easy but things do pick up in difficulty over the last 1/2 mile as you get closer to the waterfall.

Be sure to wear good shoes – the two suspension bridges along the trail can get very slippery and muddy when there is rain!

2. Stone Door Trail

Distance: 1.8 miles
Type of Trail: Out & back
Location: South Cumberland State Park

Stone Door Trail is a shorter trail in South Cumberland State Park. The 1.8-mile out and back has a slight elevation gain of 170 feet and is classified as an easy trail.

Stone Door Trail
Stone Door Trail

The trail is partially paved and is a kid-friendly and dog-friendly one (dogs must be leashed, however). It is known for its views, wildflowers, and pristine forest.

The first 1/4 mile of the trail is what is paved, making it perfect for wheelchairs and strollers. Once you hit the dirt part, it is not recommended for strollers and wheelchairs. Wear proper footwear as the steps can be steep and slippery at The Stone Door.

3. Benton Falls Trail

Distance: 3 miles
Type of Trail: Out & back
Location: Cherokee National Forest

Inside Cherokee National Forest, you will find the Benton Falls Trail, a beloved Tennessee trail near the town of Reliance. It features a waterfall and is classified as ‘easy’.

The trail is 3 miles long and has an elevation gain of 291 feet. The out and back trail is great for nature trips, mountain biking, and running… as well as hiking. It is accessible year-round and is dog-friendly as long as they are on a leash.

Benton Falls Trail
Benton Falls Trail

You will need to park in the lot near the lake. The fee to park is $3/day. Please note that if the gate is shut, you will need to walk about an extra 0.5 miles to the trailhead.

4. Greeter Falls Loop

Distance: 1.1 miles
Type of Trail: Loop
Location: South Cumberland State Park

A short trail that is a great one to add to your South Cumberland State Park bucket list is the Greeter Falls Loop trail near Chattanooga. This 1.1-mile loop trail features one of the best Chattanooga waterfalls and is good for any skill level.

Dogs are permitted (if on a leash!) and the trail is best used from March until October.

Lower falls of Greeter Falls
Lower falls of Greeter Falls

This is a very kid-friendly place to go hiking near Chattanooga. There are two trails you can take once there – one goes to the upper falls and one to the lower falls. The lower falls trail is muddier and a bit more challenging for young children. The upper falls trail is easier and has epic views.

5. Glen Falls Trail

Distance: 2.1 miles
Type of Trail: Out & back
Location: Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park

Glen Falls Trail is located near Lookout Mountain, Tennessee in Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. This busy 2.1-mile out and back trail is a fan favorite for those looking for an easy day hike near Chattanooga with gorgeous views and accessibility year-round.

Glen Falls in Chattanooga
Glen Falls in Chattanooga

Dogs are permitted (as long as they are on a leash) and birdwatching, nature trips, and hiking are the main activities here. There are a waterfall and river along the route and it is a great place to see wildflowers during spring and summer.

6. Little River Canyon

Distance: 1.4 miles
Type of Trail: Out & back
Location: Little River Canyon National Preserve (Alabama)

A fantastic trail close to Chattanooga, but in Alabama, is the Little River Canyon trail. Located in Little River Canyon National Preserve, the 1.4-mile hike is heavily-trafficked and features a waterfall. It is an out and back trail that is great for all skill levels and is kid-friendly and dog-friendly (pending the dog is on a leash).

Little River Canyon
Little River Canyon

You will see multiple waterfalls, canyon rims, and sandstone cliffs along the hike. Beware – it can be rocky and you will likely encounter bugs! Be sure to wear bug spray and keep vigilant of other wildlife along the way.

However, this is one of the best waterfall hikes near Chattanooga!

7. Tennessee River Walk: Citico Bar to Veterans Bridge

Distance: 2.7 miles
Type of Trail: Out & back
Location: Tennessee River Park

If you’re looking for a place to go hiking near Chattanooga that is very close to the city, definitely opt for a hike out at the Tennessee River Walk: Citico Bar to Veterans Bridge trail.

This 2.7-mile hike is moderately-trafficked and a dog-friendly trail (only if they are on a leash!). It is good for all skill levels and us used for road biking, running, and hiking.

One thing to note is that it can be a bit overgrown in certain areas, but it is paved and a great place for an easy stroll.

8. Upper Guild Trail

Distance: 2.4 miles
Type of Trail: Out & back
Location: Lookout Mountain

In Lookout Mountain, you will find the Upper Guild Trail, a 2.4-mile out and back located very close to Chattanooga. It is a forested trail that is moderately-trafficked and perfect for any level of hiker!

With an elevation gain of 193 feet, it is the perfect trail for running, mountain biking, hiking, and more. It is also kid-friendly and is accessible year-round.

Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga
Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga

To pick up the trail, you will need to take the upper section of it at the entrance to Ruby Falls. It will be at the back of the Ruby Falls parking lot. There is gravel along the path and many options to veer off onto other trails.

Moderate Chattanooga Trails

9. Hemlock Falls Trail

Distance: 1.1 miles
Type of Trail: Out & back
Location: Cloudland Canyon State Park (Georgia)

Hemlock Falls Trail is a hiking trail near Chattanooga that is actually located near Trenton, Georgia. It has a waterfall and is classified as a moderate trail. The 1.1 heavily-trafficked trail is perfect for birdwatching and is best used from March until October.

Dogs are permitted on the trail if they are on a leash (but make sure they are agile… it is not the ‘most friendly of pup trails). There are also wildflowers during the spring and summer, as well as a cave.

Cloudland Canyon State Park
Cloudland Canyon State Park

This trail is located in Cloudland Canyon State Park and it is a $5 fee to park there. Alternatively, you can purchase an annual pass for all Georgia state parks that is only $50.

Please note that if you’re visiting during the drier months, the waterfalls may not have any water or power. There are tons of scenic views on this Georgia trail.

10. Stringers Ridge via Blue Trail

Distance: 3.3 miles
Type of Trail: Loop
Location: Chattanooga

A popular Chattanooga hiking trail is the Stringers Ridge via Blue Trail located very close to the city.

The 3.3-mile loop trail is heavily-trafficked and is rated as a moderate trail. It is usually used for hiking, mountain biking, and running and it also features beautiful wildflowers in spring and summer.

Tennessee Riverwalk
Blue Trail in Chattanooga

Dogs are permitted on the trail if they are on a leash. While this trail is a popular favorite, there is not an abundance to see – it is used more for exercising and to escape the city for a bit. The trail can often be poorly managed according to visitors and it can get muddy if there has been recent rain.

Nevertheless, this is a fantastic trail near Chattanooga for those looking to just move their legs a bit.

11. Cravens House Loop Trail

Distance: 3.7 miles
Type of Trail: Loop
Location: Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park

Located close to Chattanooga, you will find the Cravens House Loop Trail, a 3.7-mile heavily trafficked trail that features gorgeous wildflowers and more!

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park
Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park

This trail is situated in Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park and is popular for its views, forest scenes, and more. Dogs are permitted if on a leash and the trail is accessible all year-round.

This hike near Chattanooga has a trailhead starting point at Craven’s House (the entrance road above Ruby Falls).

Beware, there are rocks and roots sticking up and you may have to gaze down at your feet a bit throughout the way.

What to Pack

Naturally, dress for the season!  Summers in Tennessee are humid and hot, but if you’re in the forest or in higher elevation, it will most definitely be more comfortable than in the city.

Here are some recommendations of what you should bring on a Chattanooga hike:

Reusable Water Jug:  I recommend always having a reusable water jug with you at all times.  TN’s weather is unforgiving and you can dehydrate quickly!  There are almost always freshwater sources available in and around the area but do bring some with you just in case!  I travel the world with my Klean Kanteen water jug and I think it is the perfect one to get the job done when hiking! You can see the one I use here.

Keen Targhee Hiking Boots:  During Tennessee’s warmer months, evening storms and rain is more common than not and you’ll likely experience mud somewhere on your hike.  I have had my Keen Targhee hiking boots for many years and they have helped me trek across some wild environments, so I definitely recommend investing in a pair if you’re an avid hiker.  You can see my Keen Targhee hikers here.

Mosquito Repellent:  One thing I don’t miss when I leave TN’s borders is the mosquitoes.  But, they are unavoidable and a complete nuisance when trying to enjoy the outdoors.  I recommend a heavy-duty repellent to put your mind at peace before taking to the Tennessee wilderness.  Here is the mosquito repellent I use to deter them!

Best hikes near Chattanooga
Best hikes near Chattanooga

Lightweight Daypack:  If there is one thing I have too many of, it is daypacks.  While I love my Sandqvist and Ucon Acrobatics Bags, I opt for something a bit more lightweight when hiking.  My top recommendation is the Osprey Ultralight Stuff Pack.  It is durable and well-made and will be an effortless accompaniment for your day hike.  Click here to check out color options and purchase.

Larabars:  When I travel, I always keep some type of ‘bars’ on me and my favorite are Larabars.  I have been eating these for well over a decade and they are perfect for exciting day hikes as they are richer and more filling than their size indicates!  You can buy a variety box or just purchase your favorite.  Click here to purchase a box of Larabars for your hike.

Before heading out, give the weather a check to see if rain (or snow) is on the horizon and adapt what you bring accordingly.

Did we miss your favorite place to go hiking near Chattanooga?  Let us know your favorite Chattanooga trails in the comments! Thanks!

Additional Tennessee Travel Guides

Pin this Chattanooga Hiking Guide

Are you looking for the best places to go hiking near Chattanooga, TN? This guide details the best Chattanooga trails in the city and nearby! Learn more here! | Chattanooga trails | Chattanooga hiking trails | Hiking trails in Chattanooga | Hikes in Chattanooga | Hikes near Chattanooga | Things to do in Chattanooga | Bike trails near Chattanooga | Day hikes in Chattanooga | Day hikes near Chattanooga | Waterfall hikes near Chattanooga | Chattanooga waterfall hikes | Chattanooga day hikes

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