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6 Best Family-Friendly Hikes in Chattanooga

Posted by Mary Beth Torgerson on Wednesday, September 11th, 2019 at 11:23am.

Now that the weather is finally cooling down, it’s a perfect time to hit the trails for some family fun in the outdoors! But what are the best hikes in Chattanooga to bring the kiddos on? Check out our top six favorites below: 

1. Cloudland Canyon State Park 

Featuring 30 miles of trails and two beautiful waterfalls, Cloudland Canyon State Park is an awesome option for a fall-weather hike with the family. The well-marked trails include a whole lot of stairs, so if you’re not comfortable going down those or carrying smaller children down them, it may not be your best bet. BUT if you can handle that, it’s only a short, easy hike to get you to a gorgeous waterfall. Let the kids play on the rocks and enjoy the view! Don’t forget to bring $5 to pay for parking when you enter the park, and we’d also recommend packing a picnic lunch and enjoying it at one of the many sitting areas before you start your hike. Plus, this park is dog friendly, so you can bring your favorite pup along for the fun! For more information, visit gastateparks.org/CloudlandCanyon

2. Cravens House

This is a great one for the older kids who can appreciate some history along with their hike! Overlooking Chattanooga atop lookout mountain, Cravens House offers a chance to experience Civil War history and also a place for children to run around in the grass and enjoy the view. If you are up for a hike, the path from Cravens House to the Bluff Trail and Sunset Rock is a beautiful one—although one of the more difficult of our suggestions. Sunset Rock via Bluff Trail is a 3.4 mile steep, but short out and back trail that is completely worth the effort for the view! You can bring dogs, on a leash, and also pack a picnic for when you reach Sunset Rock. Just be sure to pick up after yourself for the next person to enjoy it. Also, a short drive from here is Point Park where you can learn more about Chattanooga’s Battle Above the Clouds and check out some amazing views. 

3. Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center

Just a few miles outside of downtown Chattanooga, Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center is a mecca for amazing outdoor opportunities for families including great hiking/walking trails, picnic areas, educational programs, boardwalks and a tree house for the kids to explore. There are fees to get in ($10 for adults $7 for seniors (55+) and children, 4-11 years old), but there are enough activities to make this an all-day family event. Try the Indian Profile Trail, which is an easy 2.7-mile loop offering beautiful views and an opportunity to scope out wildlife. If you don’t get enough wildlife there, the kids will love the Native Animal Exhibit, which includes animals like red wolves, a bald eagle, bobcats, sandhill cranes and more.

4. Guild Trail 

Although St. Elmo’s Guild Trail doesn’t look like much from the get-go, there are definitely some fun things for the kiddos to enjoy! This easy, flat trail offers a simple hike that leads you past a few big boulders (ample climbing opportunity for the little ones) across wooden boardwalks and right under the path of the Incline Railway. Wait long enough and you can wave to the passengers while they travel by. If you want to make a day of it, this trail will lead you directly to the lower parking area of Ruby Falls. Make your way up the stairs and across the highway (there are crossing guards directing traffic—no worries) and check out Ruby Falls! If not, when you’re finished hiking, turn back around on Guild Trail and head back to your car to explore St. Elmo. You can go for a ride on the Incline or just stop by for some Clumpies ice cream. That’s a win for everyone! 

5. Foster Falls

We couldn’t possibly make this list without another waterfall hike! There is a short walk to the overlook, which is great for small children, or if you’re able there is a short, but steep hike down to the falls and swimming hole. The kids will love climbing down rocks and across the swinging bridge on their way down and then playing on the edge of the water. You can swim at the base of the falls, but it’s pretty chilly, so we’d recommend letting the kids throw rocks and enjoy the view instead. For more information, visit rootsrated.com/chattanooga-tn/hiking/foster-falls-and-fiery-gizzard.

6. Enterprise South Nature Park 

This 2,800-acre park offers SO many options for every skill level. If you want to bring the kiddos and get their feet wet in hiking, there are even children’s trails with short loops for short legs. There are several picnic areas if you want to pack a lunch. Bonus - Enterprise South Nature Park has a visitor’s center at the entrance which has air conditioning and restrooms! For more information, visit parks.hamiltontn.gov/148/Enterprise-South-Nature-Park.


 

Search Homes Near Hiking Trails

Looking to live in an area where you can get out and about? Take a look at some homes in the Chattanooga area that offer great opportunities to be close by to local hiking hot spots!

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Photo of Listing #1298540

1204 Dallas Rd E, Chattanooga, TN - $800,000

Residential, Residential
  • 5 Beds
  • 5 Baths
  • 4,516 SQFT
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If You Are Looking For A Newer Home With Gorgeous Finishes, An Open Floor Plan, Finished Basement With A 2nd Kitchen, Great Storage, 2 Car Garage, Screened In Porch, Built-in Grill And Level Back Yard In A Super Convenient North Chattanooga Locati...

815 Franklin St Lot 49, Chattanooga, TN - $799,500

Residential, Residential
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  • 4 Baths
  • 3,674 SQFT
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Franklin Street Urban Sophistication By Dexter White Construction On The North Shore With Walkability To Everything Chattanooga. Over 3600 Square Feet Of Living Space On Two Levels With Oversized Garage. Ten Foot Ceilings On Main With Eight Foot S...

Photo of Listing #1283962

174 Crest Rd N, Chattanooga, TN - $799,000

Residential, Residential
  • 4 Beds
  • 5 Baths
  • 5,942 SQFT
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Open House - Sunday 8/11 2-4 P.m. Great Home With Room For Everyone! This Quality Renovated Home Is Located In The Historic Neighborhood Of Missionary Ridge Minutes From Downtown Chattanooga, Hospitals, Restaurants And Shopping With Breathtaking...

Photo of Listing #1299774

1608 Carroll Lane, Chattanooga, TN - $799,000

Residential, Residential
  • 3 Beds
  • 4 Baths
  • 3,064 SQFT
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Welcome Home To 1608 Carroll Ln In Popular Fairhills/riverview. This Is One Level Living At Its Finest. This Home Has Been Meticulously Updated And Upgraded. It Features An Open Floorplan, Hardwood Floors, Living Room With Fireplace And Built-ins,...

Photo of Listing #1288584

1023 Scenic Hwy, Lookout Mountain, GA - $795,000

Residential, Residential
  • 5 Beds
  • 4 Baths
  • 4,697 SQFT
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Truly Unique Opportunity To Own 6.58+/- Partially Wooded And Private Acres In The Heart Of Lookout Mountain Just Minutes From Schools And Downtown Chattanooga. Hard To Find, 5 Bedroom, 4 Full Bath Home, All On One Level With So Many Wonderful Upda...

134 Stonesthrow Lane, Lookout Mountain, GA - $795,000

Residential, Residential
  • 5 Beds
  • 5 Baths
  • 5,346 SQFT
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Fabulous Family Home Is Perfectly Nestled On 1.43 Acres Overlooking The Western Brow Of Lookout Mountain, Ga! Enjoy Stunning Pastoral And Sunset Views From The Spacious 3 Tiered Decks And Most Rooms. Equally Beautiful Is The Front Facing View Of S...

1317 Falmouth Rd, Chattanooga, TN - $795,000

Residential, Residential
  • 4 Beds
  • 4 Baths
  • 3,972 SQFT
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Taken Down To The Studs And Completely Renovated In 2004, This Gorgeous, Designer 4 Bedroom, 3.5 Bath Home Is One Of Riverview's Secret Gems, Tucked Away With Wooded Privacy And Move-in Ready For The Discerning Buyer Looking For A Dynamite Locatio...

Photo of Listing #1301179

4 Cherokee Blvd. 410, Chattanooga, TN - $775,000

Residential, Condo
  • 2 Beds
  • 2 Baths
  • 2,036 SQFT
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Stunning Unit Available At The Luxurious And Fantastically Situated Bridgeview Condominiums. Located Within Walking Distance To Everything The North Shore And Downtown Chattanooga Has To Offer! This Spacious, Corner Unit Is One Of A Kind With An O...

Photo of Listing #1295881

63 Crest Rd S, Chattanooga, TN - $770,000

Residential, Residential
  • 5 Beds
  • 5 Baths
  • 6,252 SQFT
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Open House | Sunday, Sep 22nd | 2-4 Pm . . . Welcome To This Historic Missionary Ridge Home With Some Of The Most Magnificent Scenic Views Around! This Incredible Home Features Unparalleled Views Of Downtown Chattanooga Where You Can Watch The Mag...

151 Woodland Ave, Chattanooga, TN - $750,000

Residential, Residential
  • 2 Beds
  • 3 Baths
  • 2,500 SQFT
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Now Pre Selling Bridge Tender Homes - Six Urban Homes In The Very Heart Of Downtown Chattanooga's Northshore District. Located Just Steps Off Frazier Avenue, Bridge Tender Combines The Size, Amenities And Ease Of A Single Family Luxury Home With O...

161 Woodland Ave, Chattanooga, TN - $750,000

Residential, Residential
  • 2 Beds
  • 3 Baths
  • 2,800 SQFT
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Now Pre Selling Bridge Tender Homes - Six Urban Homes In The Very Heart Of Downtown Chattanooga's Northshore District. Located Just Steps Off Frazier Avenue, Bridge Tender Combines The Size, Amenities And Ease Of A Single Family Luxury Home With O...

920 Rushing Water Tr, Rising Fawn, GA - $750,000

Residential, Residential
  • 2 Beds
  • 4 Baths
  • 3,219 SQFT
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The Newest Home In Mclemore, And What A Home!, Every Upscale Feature Included Throughout This Home, State Of The Art Kitchen, Private Media Room, Open Floor Plan, Master On Main, Screened In Porch With Fireplace, Very Private. Heated Pool With S...

3188 Crest Place S, Chattanooga, TN - $750,000

Residential, Townhouse
  • 4 Beds
  • 5 Baths
  • 4,200 SQFT
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Life Perfected. It's Here For The Taking At The Brownstone Townhomes Of Bragg Point. Nestled 500 Feet Above The City In Historic Missionary Ridge, Bragg Point Defines Luxury Living With An Idyllic Convenient Location, Awe Inspiring Eastern And Wes...

Photo of Listing #1295194

76 Crest Rd N, Chattanooga, TN - $742,500

Residential, Residential
  • 4 Beds
  • 3 Baths
  • 4,264 SQFT
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This Home Is A Brow Top, Desired, Location, On Missionary Ridge, With Incredible Sights Of Smokey Mountain Sunrises To Sunsets Overlooking Lookout Mountain. You Can Enjoy These Must-see Views From The Comfort Of Your Wrap Around, Old Charm Porch. ...

608 Elinor St, Chattanooga, TN - $739,500

Residential, Residential
  • 5 Beds
  • 4 Baths
  • 3,600 SQFT
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Once You Open The Gate To Enter The Private Gardens Of This Beautifully Landscaped Courtyard You Will Instantly Understand This Is No Ordinary Home, Nor Ordinary Seller. Custom Built In 2017 By A Well Known Builder And His Talented Decorator Wife...

Photo of Listing #1298613

1301 Fort Stephenson Oval, Lookout Mountain, TN - $735,000

Residential, Residential
  • 4 Beds
  • 4 Baths
  • 3,611 SQFT
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Very Private Lot On Lookout Mountain! Spectacular Mountain And Valley Views! Fabulous Outdoor Living With Natural Sandstone Patio, Covered Deck, And Swimming Pool! You Will Have Access To Two 40'' Tvs And A 110'' Projection Screen On The Covere...

Photo of Listing #1301689

334 Pine Ridge Rd, Chattanooga, TN - $729,900

Residential, Residential
  • 6 Beds
  • 6 Baths
  • 4,777 SQFT
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Who Is Looking For An Airbnb Or Vrbo Nightly Rental With An Incredible View?? Did You Know Chattanooga Is Now Ranked The #5 Destination For Nightly Rentals??3 Separate Stories That Can Each Be Rented Out Independently With Their Own Private Entran...

Photo of Listing #1289238

2 Minnekahda Place, Chattanooga, TN - $700,000

Residential, Residential
  • 3 Beds
  • 4 Baths
  • 3,105 SQFT
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Riverview Location! Zoned Normal Park! This Gorgeous, Mid Century Gem Has All The Best Features Of Mid Century Design As Well As Luxurious Modern Amenities. Original To The Home Are Solid Doors, Vintage Knobs, One Inch Oak Flooring, Cedar Lined Cl...

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