5 Hikes in Chattanooga to Explore This Winter
December 14, 2020
Are the winter doldrums keeping you down? Get outside and go for an adventure! Chattanooga is lucky to have 4 seasons of outdoor recreation. Even in the winter, you can get outside and go for a gorgeous hike. See a waterfall, hike to an overlook, or simply stroll around the woods with these great winter hikes.
This 2.5 mile loop on Signal Mountain is the perfect quick outing for a chilly winter day. The gentle terrain is enough to keep your heartbeat up while being short enough that you don’t have to bring excessive gear. This unassuming trail leads users around the woods and over several funky bridges including a long suspension bridge. You can also veer over to Mushroom Rock or connect to another trail network to extend your trip.
Tucked into the woods just north of town, Stringers Ridge Park is one of Chattanooga’s most beloved gems. During the summertime you’ll find this park crawling with mountain bikers, hikers, family picnics, and more. But during the winter months, you’ll have the entire park to yourself. There are lots of trails criss-crossing through the park but one of the favorites is the Cherokee Trail. This short gravel and asphalt road leads you to the main overlook of Chattanooga. You won’t get muddy (even on the wettest of days) and the sights are always breathtaking.
When the weather takes a turn for the worst, head under ground! Ruby Falls is one of Tennessee’s most beloved gems. Descend 260 feet below the earth to a series of caverns around a massive 145 foot underground waterfall. The paved cavern trail is around a mile and lets you explore all of the geological wonders of this cave. This attraction is wildly popular and to give a specialized experience to all visitors, their groups remain small so it’s a good idea to reserve your tickets in advance.
Built during the Great Depression, the Lookout Mountain Bluff Trail established Chattanooga as one of America’s best outdoor towns. Almost a hundred years later and the trail is just as magnificent as it was on day one. Along the 4.7 mile (one way) trail you’ll find unique rock formations, more waterfalls than you can count, and a great view from the bluff at the end of the trail. Rugged hikers to strolling families all love this great trail.
Raccoon Mountain is a favorite for build-your-hike adventures. If you’re in the mood for a quick 1 mile stroll, the SwitchYard trail is a great option. If you want to continue the adventure, the possibilities are endless with several routes winding through the woods. During the winter months, the lack of foliage on trees opens your viewing possibilities. Peer over the gorge, spot some hidden rock formations, and check out the 230-foot dam with ease.
Ready to hike Chattanooga this winter? Stay at Chanticleer Inn Bed & Breakfast. With luxurious accommodations that prioritize beauty and comfort, your home base will give you a peaceful stay in a central location, close to all of our favorite restaurants!