Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Upcoming Places To Explore In Chattanooga

I've been working on a mental list of places in the Chattanooga area that I want to explore. Most of the locations are places that I go regularly, as a child or now with my family. There are so many more places to go and things to do, and Outdoor Chattanooga has a more comprehensive website to checkout. 

I like lite expeditions into the outdoors. I little hike, a cool spot to watch people kayak or hang glide, a good open field, or a friends farm. That's the kind of outside I like. There are several playgrounds in our city or fancy farms that charge admission (Old McDonald farm looks cute and pricey). There's nothing wrong with playgrounds, but I get bored with them and I have to hover over Fern too much. There are several gorgeous farms or nature centers, but I can't stomach to pay a fee, especially when there are so many free places available. I'm also really stoked if I can find a friend who owns a farm or has an inside connection somewhere. That's right up my alley!

Every so often, someone texts or calls me and asks for places to go, so I've compiled a list of my favorite spots in the Chattanooga area:

Places I've been:
Rainbow Lake (Easy hiking on Signal Mountain. Hike down to falls and back. Wide paths)
Glen Falls (Easy hiking with kids to a small waterfall on the side of Lookout Mountain. Easy to navigate. Paths are mostly flat and very narrow)
Cloudland Canyon (Thirty minute drive. Camping, hiking, great views)
Foster Falls (hour drive from Chattanooga. Steep hike to base of a gorgeous waterfall, lots of climbing, fun hiking)
Enterprise South (by Volkswagan plant. I love the hiking and easy spots to post up in the woods. They have a small lake that I hope to explore.)
Sunset Rock (Great overlook spot, fun hike to the base of Point Park. Probably my most hiked location as a child and teenager)
Greenway Farms (Fireside on Thursdays) Cute little cove with a small loop. Strollers can easily handle the trails. Click the link for the best kept secret of what to do on Thursdays in October. We loved the canoeing last year for a fun date.
Battlefield (There's a lot of trails here, but mainly I want to because a photographer did a cute family photo shoot here and it was my favorite location that she visited!)
Chester Frost Park (I hope to take the kids here to be near the water and let them dig in the sand for as long as they want!) 
Crabtree Farms (Quaint fruit and veggie farm just minutes from downtown. It's a cute place to explore and take pictures.)
Hang gliders (On the back of Lookout Mountain is the best hang gliding in blah, blah, something. We used to go here as a kid and watch people run off the side of the mountain.)
Ocoee River (I've rafted this river several times, but I love to go and sit on the rocks by the wildest rapid and watch paddlers and rafters go through it. One of my favorite things my dad did with us as kids.)
Fall Creek Falls (This is a family favorite, and our camping spot. There is so much to do here, and John just went solo camping here over the weekend and found some great trails. It's about 45 minutes from town.)

New Places I like to explore:
Eagles Rest (This is my friend's buffalo farm that I am so excited to go to in a couple of weeks!)
Falling Water (I've seen pictures on Instagram, but I'm not exactly sure where to go or what it's like. I know it's woods, hiking, and cascades. Very eager to find this!)
 Tennessee River Gorge Boat Ride (This is the only thing that cost money on the list. It's pricey, but I would like to do it as a date for John and me.)
 Laurel-Snow Pocket Wilderness (Our neighbors go here a lot...two waterfalls, easy hiking, thirty minutes north of the city.)
Stringers Ridge (Closest hike in Chattanooga, a friend goes here often and helped get the trails ready.

I'm looking for a pumpkin farm and farm with animals to pet. If you have any hints, please send them my way. Also, if you have any insider information on private farms, then please pass them along! This list took quite a while to compile, but I hope it offers some good places to explore for the Chattanooga people!


Updates on this post: 

I was reminded of Little River Canyon about an hour south of Chattanooga in Alabama. My brother climbs there, but I know they have tons of waterfalls, trails, and fun to explore. John and I are dying to go there!

A friend texted me about the cutest pumpkin farm about an hour north of here. It's $9 for adults, kids under 4 are free, and it has a ton of cute attractions for kids. I'm hoping to gather some friends and make the drive up there! Thanks Lydia!


  1. I'll have to keep this list for future reference. I'm always interested in hikes that don't make me feel like I will lose my offspring to a sudden fall over the edge!

    1. Then stay away from Sunset Rock! Leave that for a date night.

  2. I know an incredible farm that is close as Fall Creek Falls.

  3. You can get to Falling Water from Mabbitt's about 3 miles. I am sure there is an easier way though. My friend and I were trail running and just happened upon it. I was too scared to go near it. Don't take your kids there.

    Also, I really like the Signal Point to Rainbow Lake hike....

    I've also heard that the Little River Canyon near Ft. Payne is awesome! I've been wanting to go there.

    Great Post!

    1. Yes!!! I meant to add Little River Canyon. My brother climbs there, and I want to play there! Thanks for the info!!!

  4. Such a great list! Bookmarking this so J and I can hit the great outdoors. Knox loves a good trail.