Experience a Breath of Fresh Air

There’s no shortage of outdoor activities in Chattanooga, whether you’re a thrill-seeking rock climber or a relaxed paddleboarder.


In Chattanooga, the word “bored” simply does not exist – there are too many paths to be explored and too many adventures to experience. As the outdoor mecca of the Southeast, Chattanooga’s natural beauty is unparalleled by nearby cities. Nestled between Racoon Mountain, Signal Mountain and Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga is a nature lover’s paradise, filled with unique hidden gems. Just 10 minutes from downtown, Ruby Falls is the nation’s tallest and deepest underground waterfall open to the public. Spy gardens, traverse bridges and bathe in views at Rock City.

Hiking & Biking Trails

Looking for the best hiking near Chattanooga? The Possum Creek Segment of the Cumberland Trail stretches 10 miles, with diverse terrain and breathtaking views of waterfalls, rock bluffs and wildflowers. From the Cumberland Trail, hikers can also reach Edward’s Point, one of the best viewpoints in Chattanooga. Another 10-mile loop, the Big Daddy Loop is composed of seven trails with varying levels of difficulty. The trail takes you nearly to the top of Lookout Mountain before stopping just shy of the summit to traverse the edge of the mountain on the beautiful Bluff Trail. For something a bit more relaxed, go for a leisurely stroll or bike ride down Chattanooga’s beautiful 13-mile Riverwalk that runs along the Tennessee River and is easily accessible from downtown. For equestrian enthusiasts, Enterprise South Nature Park offers 10 miles of horseback riding trails.

Biking enthusiasts will enjoy abundant opportunities to explore the region on wheels. For a quick spin just minutes from downtown, try out Stringers Ridge for a fast-paced ride in a dense forest. For an easy roll in the woods, head over to Enterprise South Nature Park for 10 miles of single-track joy. Looking for something a little more challenging? The trails on Raccoon Mountain have just what you need. More nearby bike trails within driving distance of downtown include Lula Lake, Five Points, and Cloudland Canyon, which are all well-maintained with incredible scenery. With the recent completion of the Chattanooga Connector Trail (CCT), which connects Downtown Chattanooga to trails in North Georgia, the city now has over 120 miles of stellar single-track biking within 30 minutes of downtown.

A man stops for a break at the top of Tanasi Trail Scenic Overlook in Chattanooga, TN with his bicycle

Boating & Paddling

Get out on the open water in Chattanooga and enjoy canoeing, kayaking or tubing down the Tennessee River. Paddle boarding is also very popular among Chattanooga residents and tourists alike, with equipment rentals conveniently located right in the heart of downtown. The 45 miles between Chickamauga Dam and Nickajack Dam, known as the Tennessee River Blueway, offers the most scenic views for explorers. Fishing is also popular in Chattanooga, especially at Chickamauga Dam, Tennessee Riverpark and Lookout Creek. Venture out a short distance from Chattanooga and you’ll find the beautiful Ocoee River, which offers Class III and Class IV rapids for skilled whitewater rafters.

Several people canoe and kayak down the river in Chattanooga, TN in front of the Tennessee Aquarium

Extreme Adventure

Looking to try something totally out-of-the-box? Fulfill your dreams of hang gliding or paragliding in Chattanooga at Lookout Mountain Flight Park, where you can attend flight school with an expert instructor. For something a bit more down-to-earth, check out Stone Fort. This rock climber’s paradise is often considered one of the best bouldering destinations in the Southeast, with intricate routes and spectacular views. Sunset Park at Lookout Mountain is also home to some of the best climbing in Tennessee.

Just minutes from downtown Chattanooga, Lookout Mountain is the most visible and iconic destination in the region. Rich in Civil War history and offering a wide range of outdoor activities along the edge of the city, it’s the perfect destination for extraordinary experiences and amazing natural beauty. The miles-long mountain is home to the steepest passenger railway in the world, the Incline Railway. For a family-friendly adventure activity, visit Ruby Falls to discover the tallest and deepest waterfall in the nation. Daredevil members of the family can get their adrenaline pumping at Ruby Falls’ High Point ZIP Adventure, soaring through the treetops across 700 feet of rushing ziplines.

People look over the edge of a cliff at Lover's Leap in Chattanooga, TN
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