Hi. I’m Liv. I spend almost everyday out adventuring with my favorite little travel buddy, my son, Westin. I recently started a local company called Treks With Tykes that helps moms and kids get out, exploring, together.
Allow me to tell you a little back story. I moved homes every single year during college. One year, I moved twice. When I moved to Chattanooga I was certain I would not be staying very long. It didn't feel like home. I didn't know much about what there was to do and honestly, I've always been a wanderer at heart. I like change...a lot.
But, I've been here almost 6 years, now. It's safe to say that Chattanooga and the surrounding area has done more than grown on me. I've fallen in love with this river city as my home base. When my son was born (3 years ago) and I realized I would be settling here for a while, I started to explore, more. Chattanooga has so much to offer and the surrounding areas add even more.
So, if you find yourself in or around the Scenic City and you’re needing a taste of the great outdoors or just want to get away from traditional touristy settings, here are 6 of my favorite spots:
This is an absolute must. It is a short hike with an absolutely beautiful view of the city. If you want to hike a little longer, the Bluff Trail connects to the Craven trail leading to the historic Cravens House. It’s 3 miles round trip. Hold on tight to your littles at Sunset Rock. There is no guard rail or anything.
About 35 miles outside of Chattanooga is one of my favorite falls. There is a short 1.6 mile loop that will take you past rock formations, over a swinging bridge, down to the creek, and eventually to the base of the falls. However, there is more than just this short hike and Foster Falls is pretty well known for major sport climbing.
This is a Chattanooga hiker’s hidden gem. It’s never crowded and there are loads of trails. My favorite spot is Snooper’s Rock, which can be accessed from several different trails depending on your time and ability level. There is so much to discover in other parts of the forest including some small falls, really cool rock formations, and a few different overlooks.
This area is closed a large percentage of the time in order to protect the land, but if you are lucky enough to be in town during one of the open gate days, you cannot miss your chance to visit this piece of heaven. Aside from great hiking and another overlook, the falls are truly incredible and powerful. Follow the trail down to the base. If you’re feeling adventurous and it isn’t too cold, head off the beaten path and walk around to the area behind the falls. You’ll likely be the only person back there. It’s an awe-inspiring experience, but it’s a muddy walk and you will get wet. So, just be prepared.
Another waterfall, I know, but Chattanooga is full of so many great falls. Greeter is a two for one. Upper Greeter Falls is a small but fun, shallow area perfect for little ones who want to splash around. This area does lead to the bigger lower Greeter Falls, though so just be careful if you go over toward the edge. Lower Greeter Falls is perfect for swimming in the falls pool. In the warmer months, you will likely see people cliff jumping.
Okay, okay…this isn’t in Chattanooga. But, I did say the surrounding areas and I think this counts. The Great Smoky Mountains are stunning and full of soulful southern life. If you are around long enough to camp, this is the place to be. Cade’s Cove is famous for biking and bears, but it also makes a great home base for exploring other parts of the Great Smokies.
My 3 year old has been on every one of these adventures, so don’t let your kiddos keep you from exploring the Chattanooga area. They will love experiencing all the sights with you.
Chattanooga is full of tourist attractions, great places to eat, fun festivals and markets, and an awesome outdoor culture. There is more than enough to fill your days and plenty of reason to make this your next stop!