Family Friendly Hikes Near Chattanooga
Chattanooga is known for its variety of outdoor recreational activities. Whether rock climbing or mountain biking, Chattanooga offers something for everyone. The city is also well-known for its diversity of hiking trails that cater to all skill levels. With the abundance of natural beauty that surrounds the downtown area, there are numerous family friendly hikes that you and your kids can enjoy during your stay at Wauhatchie Woodlands. Let's get started! Here is a list of some of the most popular family friendly hikes in Chattanooga.
Blue Blazes Trail
1.5 miles | 28 minutes |Easy
Get a taste of Chattanooga’s natural beauty by exploring the Blue Blazes Trail, located in the Moccasin Bend National Archeological District. Just short of two miles, this trail is a leisurely, family friendly adventure that winds through the forest, lined with towering pine trees and occasional views of the Tennessee River.
You can begin your adventure from either trailhead off of Moccasin Bend Road; since it’s a loop trail, don’t worry about which way to start. As you are walking along the trail, you will get glimpses of the Tennessee River between breaks in the bushes. If you are a lover of all things outdoors, you are in for a treat. At the end of the northern trail, you will stumble upon a golf course. You can head over after taking in this trail's natural beauty! This trail isn’t just a walk in the woods; it’s peaceful and surrounded by all sorts of scenery to keep things interesting.
After it rains, it is common for the trail to have a few muddy spots; embrace it! It is all part of the beauty of this simple trail. If you find yourself exploring before dusk, keep your eyes peeled for the local wildlife. You never know what fun creatures you will see!
Greenway Farms Loop
2 miles | 38 minutes | Easy
The Greenway Farm Loop is the perfect family friendly trail. With its wide shaded paths and sand-packed, flat terrain, it has become popular for visitors of all ages. Walking or running on this trail, you can expect to meet many friendly fellow hikers.
This trail loop is located in the Greenway Farm Park. This 180-acre park is filled with adventure that will keep you busy all day. As you wander through the trails, visitors can learn about the rich history of the park and its contents.
You can easily access this loop from the trailhead located in the parking lot, where you will also find restrooms. Along the trail, you will come across multiple abandoned structures, each with a plaque explaining their compelling history. A dog park is situated directly next to Greenway Farms, so bring your pups along!
Upper Guild Trail
2.4 miles | 53 minutes | Easy
The Upper Guild Trail is located next to one of Chattanooga’s top attractions, Ruby Falls. This trail is a great way to kill time in between your visit to Ruby Falls or just a great way to explore this unique region of Chattanooga.
Considered to be one of the moderately easy trails, it is well-maintained and family friendly. Upper Guild is part of a system that contains two trails that merge to follow the 5-mile span of the abandoned Guild Railway. If you feel like 2.5 miles is the perfect length for your adventure, you can access this upper portion at the end of the Ruby Falls parking lot.
The path is lined with beautiful forestry and large boulders that add to the allure of the scenery. Throughout your trek, you will find that the trail contains several historic sites, including Cravens House and Point Park. Visitors can learn about the history of this intriguing area and become familiar with its past by exploring these sites along the way.
Big Soddy Creek Gulf
3.5 miles | 1 hr 21 minutes | Easy
The Big Soddy Creek Gulf Trail is a popular attraction for locals and tourists. This trail is located on the 285-acre plot of land containing several swimming holes that tend to draw in a majority of the visitors, especially during the warmer months of the year. The trailhead is near the gravel parking lot, making it easily accessible for visitors to find.
The gulf offers hiking trails, mountain views, a waterfall, swimming holes, and numerous rock formations along the creekside. A majority of the trail is flat and wide, perfect for a wide range of hikers, especially families. If you want to experience the area's natural beauty without going the entire length, you can visit the waterfall, which you gain access to after 1 mile of hiking.
Along the trail, there are numerous places to sit and rest; you can stop to picnic or jump in the creek for a refreshing break. The rushing creek follows the trail for almost the entire length, offering beautiful views throughout your entire adventure. There are distance markers along the way so that you can easily track where you are on the trail.
2 miles | 1 hr 8 minutes | Moderate
Sometimes, a quick and easy adventure is all you need. Glen Falls, located in the Chattanooga National Military Park, provides you with both of these. It spans just about 2 miles while providing beautiful mountain scenery and views of a graceful waterfall. This trail is full of surprises and packs so much fun into such a short time.
Only a half-mile from the trailhead, you will encounter the waterfall. It flows over sleek slabs of rock as the water cascades into a pool below. There are a few swimming spots along the trail for visitors who need a little more adventure.
At some point on the trail, you will cross a wooden bridge and come across several stone staircases. Don’t let those intimidate you! They are family friendly and surprisingly easy to navigate, leading you to some worthwhile scenery. You will also find unique stone formations, including a natural cave and a stone door, waiting to be explored.
On your return hike, there will be places that offer panoramic views of the surrounding forested landscape, a sight you don’t want to miss!
Stringers Ridge Park via Blue Trail
3.3 miles | 1 hr 28 minutes | Moderate
Stringers Ridge is a unique location that is rich in history and filled with numerous hiking trails. There are five different trails for both bikers and hikers to enjoy within the park, but the Blue Trail is the most popular, although longer it provides you with the most worthwhile scenery.
You begin your journey at the Spears Avenue Trailhead, where you can also find restrooms and a water fountain. As you hit the trail, be prepared to hike up about a half-mile before reaching the first trail junction. Stringers Ridge is user-friendly: Each junction has a map and benches, making it easy for you to follow the path you want. Even if you find yourself on the wrong path, most trails loop around, so getting lost is more of a challenge than a concern!
The Blue Trail consists of a steady incline, is shaded, and has a moderately wide path, so you can be next to your hiking buddy chatting the entire time if you want! If you are a sucker for a good view, then veer onto the main Cherokee trail, which takes you to one of the most popular sights of this trail system. This popular overlook offers visitors incredible views of the Northshore and Downtown area.
There is a decent-sized parking lot with free parking! So you can spend as much time as you need to experience this unique area.
Cravens House Trail
3.9 Miles | 1hr 53 minutes | Moderate
Craven’s house is located in an area that played a crucial role in the Civil War. Lookout Mountain was the site of the “Battle Above the Clouds” in November 1863, and the Cravens House itself was used as a headquarters by both Union and Confederate forces during the conflict. Visitors can explore the grounds and learn about the history of the area.
This trail is part of a network of trails in the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. It connects to other trails, allowing hikers to explore the broader park and enjoy stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, including the Tennessee River, Chattanooga Valley, and the City of Chattanooga. The vantage points along the trail provide hikers with picturesque scenery, especially during the fall when the foliage is vibrant.
Tennessee Riverwalk (Bonus)
16.1 miles | Easy
The Tennessee Riverwalk stretches over 16 miles on the Southern Banks of Chattanooga along the Tennessee River. Don’t be intimidated by the length of this trail because you don’t have to do it all at once. This paved path passes by numerous attractions and provides you with multiple access and exit points.
This family friendly trail wanders through the heart of downtown, giving visitors direct access to the Bluff View Art District, Walnut Street Bridge, and numerous places to explore Chattanooga’s cuisine. At almost any point in the day, you will find people running, walking, and biking on this trail because it provides you with such a diverse experience of Chattanooga’s culture.
There are seven handicap-accessible restrooms, water fountains along the way, and multiple trail markers to help you stay on track. The beauty of this trail is that it can be as long or short as you want. You can pack your day full of activities or just enjoy a peaceful walk along the trail!
Not far from Wauhatchie Woodlands, we have unveiled the best trails, each offering a unique adventure for every explorer. Whether you seek waterfalls, mountain views, or a stroll through history, there is a trail waiting for you. Don’t forget about the urban charm of the Tennessee Riverwalk, guiding visitors to all the wonders of this Scenic City. So find your spirit of adventure and get ready to embark on an adventure filled with charm and natural beauty that truly reflects the grandeur of the city.