10 Amazing Outdoor Activities To Do In Chattanooga

outdoor things to do in chattanooga

Nestled in the mountainous terrain of Tennessee, Chattanooga is a vibrant city that offers an array of exciting outdoor activities for adventure enthusiasts. From hiking scenic trails and kayaking through rapids to rock climbing and even hang-gliding, the city provides endless opportunities for exhilaration in the midst of nature. Whether you prefer to explore the depths of underground caves or soar high above the city skyline, we have compiled a list of 10 amazing outdoor activities to do in Chattanooga that will get your adrenaline pumping and leave you with unforgettable memories. Let's get ready to embark on a thrilling journey in one of the top outdoor recreation destinations in the Southeast!

Activity Description
Hiking With over 50 hiking trails, Chattanooga offers some of the most stunning views of the surrounding mountains and landscapes.
Rock Climbing The city's proximity to the Tennessee River gorge makes it an ideal location for rock climbers.
Biking From scenic waterfront paths to challenging mountain biking trails, Chattanooga has something for all types of bikers.
Whitewater Rafting The Ocoee River is ranked as one of the top whitewater rafting destinations in the country, offering multiple rapids and stretches for thrill seekers.
Hang Gliding Chattanooga's Lookout Mountain is one of the best spots in the southeast to try hang gliding, offering incredible views and experiences.
Kayaking and Paddleboarding The Tennessee River and its tributaries provide ample opportunities for kayaking and paddleboarding, both for serene paddling and whitewater adventures.
Fishing Whether you prefer freshwater or saltwater fishing, Chattanooga is home to many great fishing spots with a variety of fish species available.
Camping With several state parks and campgrounds in the Chattanooga area, visitors can enjoy the great outdoors and sleep under the stars.


Rock climbing at High Point Climbing and Fitness

Source: www.highpointclimbing.com

If you're a thrill-seeker and love spending time outdoors, rock climbing may be the perfect activity for you. Chattanooga is home to a variety of outdoor climbing spots, but if you're looking for a safe and controlled environment to test your skills, High Point Climbing and Fitness is the place for you.

Located at the heart of downtown Chattanooga, High Point Climbing and Fitness offers both indoor and outdoor climbing options. If you're just starting out or looking to take your climbing to the next level, High Point has something for everyone.

Indoor climbing at High Point is the perfect way to get started. With 30,000 square feet of climbable terrain, including bouldering and top rope climbing, there's no shortage of challenges to tackle. Whether you're looking to climb solo or with a group, the friendly and knowledgeable staff can offer tips and guidance to help you reach your goals.

But for those who want to take their climbing outside, High Point also has an outdoor area for bouldering and top rope climbing. The outdoor area boasts beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and the Tennessee River, making the experience even more unforgettable.

One of the most popular outdoor climbing options at High Point is the Sunset Wall. This wall is a 300-foot limestone cliff just minutes from the gym. With 32 routes ranging from 5.7 to 5.14, climbers of all skill levels can find a challenge on this wall.

But outdoor climbing comes with its own unique set of challenges, including safety concerns. Thankfully, High Point's dedicated staff is committed to keeping climbers safe. They offer a range of safety classes and can provide advice on the best climbing equipment to use.

So whether you're an experienced climber or looking to try something new, High Point Climbing and Fitness has everything you need for an unforgettable outdoor adventure. With indoor and outdoor options and a dedicated staff committed to safety, there's no better place to climb in Chattanooga.

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Hiking at Lookout Mountain

Source: www.visitchattanooga.com

Outdoor enthusiasts in Chattanooga are spoiled for choice when it comes to exploring the great outdoors, but perhaps one of the best ways to experience the natural beauty of this region is by hitting the hiking trails. Of all the hiking destinations in Chattanooga, Lookout Mountain is arguably one of the best. Here's what you need to know to plan the perfect hike.

Lookout Mountain is actually a series of three distinct peaks, each with its own unique character and set of trails. Some of the most popular routes include the 6.7-mile Guild Trail, which takes you to the summit of both Lookout and High Points, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding valley from the top. Other popular routes include the Bluff Trail, which follows the edge of the mountain and offers amazing views of the Tennessee River, and the Fat Man's Squeeze Trail, which takes you through narrow, rocky chasms.

One of the highlights of hiking at Lookout Mountain is the chance to explore the area's rich history. The mountain played a key role in the Civil War, as it was used as a lookout point to spot approaching enemy troops. There are several historical markers along the trails that provide information about the events that took place here, making for an interesting and educational experience.

When planning your hike, be sure to wear comfortable, sturdy shoes and bring plenty of water and snacks. Some of the trails at Lookout Mountain can be steep and rocky, so you'll want to be prepared. It's also a good idea to check the weather forecast before you go, as conditions can change quickly. Finally, don't forget your camera – the views from Lookout Mountain are truly spectacular, and you'll want to capture the memories to share with friends and family.

Overall, hiking at Lookout Mountain is a must-do for anyone visiting the Chattanooga area. With so many trails to choose from, there's something for every level of hiker, from casual walkers to experienced trekking enthusiasts. Whether you're looking for a challenging workout or a more leisurely stroll through nature, Lookout Mountain won't disappoint. So lace up your boots, grab your walking stick, and hit the trails – adventure awaits!


White water rafting on the Ocoee River

Source: www.ocoeeinnrafting.com

If you're looking for an adrenaline-packed adventure in Chattanooga, there's no better place than the Ocoee River. This beautiful river is not only one of the top white water rafting destinations in the country, but it's also home to some of the most scenic views of the Appalachian Mountains.

Located just 30 minutes from Chattanooga, the Ocoee River boasts some of the best class III and IV rapids in the Southeast. With over 20 continuous rapids and endless waves, this river is a must-do for any outdoor enthusiast.

Whether you're a seasoned rafter or just starting out, there are a variety of options for every skill level. The Upper Ocoee River is where the 1996 Olympic whitewater events took place and is a favorite for its challenging drops and technical rapids. The Middle Ocoee River is a great option for beginners and families looking for a fun day on the water.

Guided rafting tours are available through a number of local outfitters, who can provide everything from gear rental to transportation to the river. Experienced guides will lead you through the rapids, providing instruction and ensuring your safety at all times.

In addition to the thrilling rapids, the Ocoee River area also offers stunning scenery and wildlife sightings. You may catch a glimpse of a bald eagle soaring overhead, or spot a family of otters playing on the riverbank.

After your day on the river, head to downtown Chattanooga for a delicious meal and a chance to soak up the city's vibrant culture. Whether you choose to indulge in some classic Southern fare or sample international flavors, Chattanooga's culinary scene will not disappoint.

Overall, white water rafting on the Ocoee River is a must-do activity when visiting Chattanooga. With its stunning scenery, challenging rapids, and abundance of wildlife, it's an outdoor adventure you'll never forget.

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Biking along the Riverwalk

Source: www.visitchattanooga.com

If you are an avid biker or just someone who wants to experience nature in a different way, the Riverwalk is perfect for you. With numerous entry points, you can start biking from any point that suits you. However, one of the most popular sections is the 4.5-mile stretch between downtown and the Chickamauga Dam. This section of the Riverwalk boasts some of the most picturesque views of the city and the river.

As you bike along the path, you will pass various landmarks and attractions, including the Hunter Museum of American Art, Coolidge Park, and Renaissance Park. You can take a break at any of these points and take in the stunning views of the river and the city. The path is well-maintained and suitable for riders of all levels. However, the more adventurous riders can explore the dirt trails that branch off from the main path and discover hidden spots that only the locals know about.

The Riverwalk is not just about biking. Along the way, there are picnic areas, playgrounds, and numerous restaurants and cafes where you can grab a bite to eat or just relax and take in the scenery. You can also rent bikes and other equipment from the outdoor stores in downtown Chattanooga if you do not have your own bicycle.

In conclusion, biking along the Riverwalk is one of the best ways to experience the natural beauty of Chattanooga. The paved path, breathtaking views, and numerous amenities make it the perfect outdoor activity for people of all ages and skill levels. So, if you are in Chattanooga, make sure to set aside some time to explore this stunning natural wonder.


Camping and fishing at Harrison Bay State Park

Source: www.southeasttennessee.com
Characteristic Description
NameHarrison Bay State Park
TypeState park in Hamilton County, Tennessee
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.6 / 2,998
Address7855 Bay Marina Circle, Harrison, TN 37341
Phone(888) 867-2757
HoursSunday - 8:30 AM–4 PM
Monday - 8:30 AM–4 PM
Tuesday - 8:30 AM–4 PM
Wednesday - 8:30 AM–4 PM
Thursday - 8:30 AM–4 PM
Friday - 8:30 AM–4 PM
Saturday - 8:30 AM–4 PM

Located just a 20-minute drive away from Chattanooga, Harrison Bay State Park is a haven for outdoor lovers seeking a place to camp and fish. The state park overlooks a waterside setting that encompasses 1,200 acres, making it an excellent spot for visitors seeking a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Read on to learn more about camping and fishing at Harrison Bay State Park.

Camping at Harrison Bay State Park

Harrison Bay State Park offers a variety of camping options for visitors, from tents to fully-equipped RV sites. There are a total of 154 campsites, including 128 with hook-ups for water, sewer, and electricity. In addition, there are plenty of amenities provided for convenience such as a bathhouse, playgrounds, and picnic areas. Visitors can also take advantage of the on-site swimming pool, hiking trails, and boat rental facilities.

The camping grounds at Harrison Bay State Park offer spectacular views of the lake and are surrounded by natural beauty. It's a perfect spot for both a weekend getaway and a longer vacation to enjoy the great outdoors with loved ones.

Fishing at Harrison Bay State Park

Fishing is allowed in the park and is a popular activity among visitors. Harrison Bay State Park offers a variety of fish, including largemouth bass, catfish, and crappie. The park's marina also provides boat rental facilities for those who prefer to fish from a boat, making it a great spot for seasoned anglers as well as beginners.

Visitors are required to have a valid Tennessee fishing license to fish at Harrison Bay State Park. Following the park's fishing rules and regulations is also important to ensure the safety of other visitors and the preservation of the park's ecosystem.

In Conclusion

Harrison Bay State Park offers an ideal location for camping and fishing enthusiasts. With its breathtaking views, abundance of outdoor activities, and easy access to Chattanooga, it's a must-visit destination for anyone looking for a relaxing, outdoor adventure. Whether you're planning to go for a weekend or a longer stay, Harrison Bay State Park offers a perfect escape from everyday life.


Kayaking or paddleboarding on the Tennessee River

Source: l2outside.com

Chattanooga, Tennessee is a great place to enjoy the great outdoors, especially when it comes to kayaking and paddleboarding on the Tennessee River. With stunning views of the surrounding mountains and plenty of water activities to choose from, Chattanooga is the perfect destination for water lovers.

Kayaking on the Tennessee River is a popular activity that provides a fun and exciting way to explore Chattanooga. There are several outfitters in town that rent kayaks and offer guided tours for all levels of skill. From beginners to experienced paddlers, there is a trip for everyone. Some of the most popular kayaking tours include the Downtown Kayak Tour, the TN River Gorge Tour, and the Chickamauga Lake Kayak Tour.

Before heading out on the water, be sure to pack plenty of water and sunscreen, and wear appropriate clothing and shoes. Always check the weather conditions and water levels before setting out, and be aware of the potential hazards like rocks, rapids, and other watercraft.

Paddleboarding is another fantastic way to enjoy the Tennessee River. Stand-up paddleboarding, or SUP, is becoming increasingly popular in Chattanooga, and there are numerous rental companies providing SUP equipment, as well as guided tours.

Many people find paddleboarding to be a relaxing and meditative activity, as the peaceful rhythm of the water and the stillness of the surroundings provide a unique sense of calmness. Plus, it’s a great workout that engages the core muscles and improves balance and flexibility.

Whether you’re kayaking, paddleboarding or just taking in the scenic views, the Tennessee River is a must-visit destination for any nature lover or water enthusiast. With its striking natural beauty and variety of water activities, Chattanooga is the perfect place to explore and discover the great outdoors. So head out on the water, immerse yourself in nature, and experience the beauty of the Tennessee River for yourself.


Hang gliding at Lookout Mountain Flight Park

Source: www.cntraveler.com
Characteristic Description
NameLookout Mountain Flight Park- Hang Gliding and Paragliding Training Center
TypeFlight school in Rising Fawn, Georgia
WebsiteGo to website
Address7201 Scenic Hwy, Rising Fawn, GA 30738
Phone(706) 383-1292
HoursSunday - 9 AM–6 PM
Monday - 9 AM–6 PM
Tuesday - Closed
Wednesday - Closed
Thursday - 9 AM–6 PM
Friday - 9 AM–6 PM
Saturday - 9 AM–6 PM

If you're looking for a thrilling adventure in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Lookout Mountain Flight Park is the perfect destination. Nestled on the side of Lookout Mountain, this park offers stunning views of the surrounding valley and an adrenaline-packed activity: hang gliding. Here's everything you need to know about hang gliding at Lookout Mountain Flight Park.

First and foremost, don't let your fear of heights hold you back. The experienced instructors at the Flight Park are highly trained and dedicated to keeping you safe while you soar through the air. They'll provide all the necessary gear, including the hang glider, harness, and helmet, and give you a thorough lesson on the basics of hang gliding.

Once you're ready to take flight, you'll be towed up to the launch point by a specially designed vehicle. From there, you'll launch off the side of the mountain and experience the thrill of a lifetime. The park offers several different flight options, ranging from short and sweet to longer, more challenging flights. No matter which option you choose, you're guaranteed to have an incredible experience.

One of the best things about hang gliding at Lookout Mountain Flight Park is the scenery. As you soar through the air, you'll enjoy stunning views of the Chattanooga Valley and the surrounding Appalachian Mountains. It's truly a breathtaking experience that you'll remember for the rest of your life.

If you're looking to make a weekend out of your hang gliding adventure, Lookout Mountain Flight Park has you covered. The park offers on-site camping and RV facilities, as well as a cozy clubhouse and grill. There are also plenty of other outdoor activities to enjoy in the area, such as hiking, biking, and rock climbing.

In conclusion, if you're an adventure seeker and want to experience something unlike anything else, head to Lookout Mountain Flight Park for a hang gliding adventure. With stunning scenery, expert instructors, and a variety of flight options, it's the perfect place to soar through the air and create memories that will last a lifetime.

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Zip-lining at Ruby Falls

Source: chattanoogapackages.com
Characteristic Description
NameRuby Falls
TypeTourist attraction in Chattanooga, Tennessee
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.6 / 16,480
Address1720 Scenic Hwy, Chattanooga, TN 37409
Phone(423) 821-2544
HoursSunday - 8 AM–8 PM
Monday - 8 AM–8 PM
Tuesday - 8 AM–8 PM
Wednesday - 8 AM–8 PM
Thursday - 8 AM–8 PM
Friday - 8 AM–8 PM
Saturday - 8 AM–8 PM

Located just a few minutes from downtown Chattanooga, this zip-line course has something for everyone, from beginner to advanced levels. The facility boasts a total of six zip-lines and two aerial bridges, each with its unique features and challenges.

One of the most exciting parts of the zip-line course is the chance to fly over the waterfall at Ruby Falls. The experience is truly breathtaking, with visitors getting a bird's eye view of the majestic, cascading waterfall.

The zip-line course is designed to provide a variety of experiences, with the high-speed lines spanning up to 700 feet in length, while the shorter lines allow visitors to experience the thrill of flight at a more leisurely pace. The aerial bridges add another layer of excitement, requiring visitors to navigate a series of obstacles, such as balance beams and swinging steps, as they make their way across to the next zip-line.

The staff at the Ruby Falls Zip-line Course is dedicated to ensuring that visitors have a safe and memorable experience. Before anyone is allowed to take to the skies, they undergo a thorough safety briefing and training session. Safety gear, including helmets and harnesses, is provided.

If you are looking for a unique and thrilling experience in Chattanooga, zip-lining at Ruby Falls is an excellent choice. Whether you are a seasoned zip-liner or a beginner, there is something for everyone at this world-class facility. Book your adventure today and get ready to soar through the sky!

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Sightseeing at Rock City Gardens

Source: www.visitchattanooga.com
Characteristic Description
NameRock City Gardens
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.7 / 20,878
Address1400 Patten Rd, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750
Phone(706) 820-2531
HoursSunday - 8:30 AM–6 PM
Monday - 8:30 AM–6 PM
Tuesday - 8:30 AM–6 PM
Wednesday - 8:30 AM–6 PM
Thursday - 8:30 AM–6 PM
Friday - 8:30 AM–6 PM
Saturday - 8:30 AM–6 PM

If you're looking for a beautiful outdoor destination in Chattanooga, Tennessee, look no further than Rock City Gardens. As one of the South's oldest and most popular natural attractions, Rock City Gardens offer visitors stunning views, unique natural formations, and plenty of opportunities for outdoor fun.

Located on Lookout Mountain, just a short drive from downtown Chattanooga, Rock City Gardens is a 4100-foot walking trail that takes visitors through a variety of natural landscapes. Along the way, visitors will encounter unique rock formations, towering cliffs, and lush foliage. At the top of the walk, visitors can enjoy stunning views of seven states – Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia – from high atop Lookout Mountain.

One of the most popular features of Rock City Gardens is the Fairyland Caverns, a series of underground passages lined with colorful lights and sculptures depicting characters from classic fairy tales. Visitors of all ages will delight in exploring this whimsical, magical world, which includes everything from a giant pumpkin to scenes from the story of Snow White.

Rock City Gardens also offers a variety of seasonal events throughout the year. In the fall, visitors can enjoy the Enchanted MAiZE, an interactive corn maze featuring a different theme each year. And during the winter holiday season, Rock City transforms into a winter wonderland, complete with a sparkling light display and visits with Santa Claus.

For those looking to pair their visit to Rock City with some outdoor adventure, Lookout Mountain offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, and rock climbing. Located just a short drive from the entrance to Rock City Gardens, the Lookout Mountain Trail System offers over 30 miles of hiking and biking trails. And for those looking for a real heart-pumping challenge, Lookout Mountain is home to some of the best rock climbing in the Southeast.

No matter the season or your particular interests, there's something for everyone at Rock City Gardens. With stunning natural beauty, unique attractions, and plenty of opportunities for adventure, it's no wonder that this Chattanooga landmark has been drawing visitors for over 80 years.


Horseback riding at Willow Tree Farms

Source: liltravelfolks.com
Characteristic Description
NameWillow Tree Farm & Riding School LLC
TypeHorseback riding service in Gilmer County, Georgia
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.8 / 18
Address2600 Sunlight Rd, Ellijay, GA 30540
Phone(706) 889-3646
HoursSunday - Closed
Monday - Closed
Tuesday - 3–9 PM
Wednesday - 3–9 PM
Thursday - 3–9 PM
Friday - 3–9 PM
Saturday - 3–9 PM

If you're looking for an outdoor activity near Chattanooga that lets you experience the natural beauty of the area, horseback riding at Willow Tree Farms is a great option. Located just a short drive away in nearby Ringgold, Georgia, Willow Tree Farms offers trail riding experiences for riders of all levels.

The farm is set on over 400 acres of beautiful rolling hills and forests, giving visitors plenty of stunning scenery to take in as they ride. The trails are well-maintained and provide varied terrain, making for an interesting and engaging ride. You'll have the chance to see wildlife up close, including deer, wild turkeys, and a variety of birds.

At Willow Tree Farms, the horses are well-trained and cared for, so even beginners can feel comfortable and safe on the trail. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly, and they'll pair you with a horse that suits your skill level and personality. Whether you're a seasoned rider or a first-timer, you'll enjoy the experience of exploring the countryside on horseback.

The farm offers a range of riding options to fit your schedule and interests. You can choose from a one-hour trail ride, a two-hour ride with a picnic lunch provided, or a sunset ride that takes you out on the trails as the sun sets over the beautiful landscape. Prices start at just $35 per person for the one-hour ride, making it an affordable activity for couples, families, or groups of friends.

If you're looking for a unique outdoor experience near Chattanooga, consider horseback riding at Willow Tree Farms. The beautiful trails, well-trained horses, and friendly staff make it a must-do activity for anyone who loves spending time in nature. Plus, the memories you'll create will last a lifetime.

Frequently asked questions

- Some popular outdoor activities in Chattanooga include visiting Lookout Mountain, hiking the trails at Signal Mountain, exploring the Tennessee Riverpark, and enjoying the scenic views of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.

- Yes, there are several great places to go kayaking or canoeing in Chattanooga. The Tennessee River, Lookout Creek, and the Ocoee River are all popular spots for water activities. Additionally, the Chattanooga Riverfront and Coolidge Park offer easy access to the Tennessee River for paddle boats and kayaks.

- Some of the best parks to visit in Chattanooga are Coolidge Park, Renaissance Park, Stringer's Ridge Park, and the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. These parks offer a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, picnic areas, and playgrounds.

- Yes, there are several great mountain biking trails in the Chattanooga area. Check out the Enterprise South Nature Park for over 20 miles of trails or the Raccoon Mountain Trail System, which offers 30 miles of challenging terrain.

- Chattanooga hosts a variety of outdoor festivals and events throughout the year, including the Riverbend Festival, the 4 Bridges Arts Festival, and the Chattanooga Market. Additionally, the Southern Brewers Festival is a popular event for craft beer enthusiasts.

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Kamal Berry

I've always been a fan of outdoor activities, and Chattanooga did not disappoint! One of the highlights of my trip was renting a kayak and exploring the Tennessee River. The calm waters and stunning scenery made for a perfect day on the water. I also had the chance to go rock climbing at High Point Climbing and Fitness. The climbing walls were challenging and well-maintained, and the staff was knowledgeable and helpful. If you love being outdoors, Chattanooga is the place to be!

Brendon Guzman


Zohaib Brooks

I recently took a trip to Chattanooga and was blown away by the amazing outdoor activities available. One of my favorite things to do was hike up Lookout Mountain. The views from the top were absolutely breathtaking, and the trail was well-maintained and easy to follow. I also enjoyed exploring the Tennessee Riverwalk, which offers a scenic path along the river with beautiful views of the city. Chattanooga is definitely a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts!
Thank you so much for sharing your experience in Chattanooga! I'm thrilled to hear that you had such a great time exploring the outdoor activities there. Hiking up Lookout Mountain sounds incredible, and I can only imagine how breathtaking the views must have been from the top. It's always a bonus when the trail is well-maintained and easy to follow. The Tennessee Riverwalk sounds like a perfect place to unwind and enjoy the scenic views of the city and the river. It's wonderful to know that Chattanooga offers so much for outdoor enthusiasts. I'll definitely keep it in mind for my next adventure!

Tobias Bartlett

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