A Chattanooga Day Trip To Foster Falls & Sewanee


A Chattanooga Day Trip To Foster Falls And Sewanee: An Opportunity For Both Adventure And BeautyJust a few weeks ago, our family had the gift of a day with no plans. In some seasons, this may feel boring, yet there are times where it is just what you need. A blank canvas, margin, room to dream a bit and decide your priority and intention for the day. On this particular day, we set aside tasks that are always there and decided to adventure. Since moving to the Chattanooga area, we had been wanting to head west from Chattanooga and just explore.

This was the perfect opportunity to venture in this direction. 

We first explored Foster Falls which is located in Sequatchie, Tennessee, and is about a 45-minute drive from downtown Chattanooga. From the parking lot (which includes clean bathrooms, which are always helpful when adventuring with kids), there is a quick, easy walk that overlooks the falls. While this itself was plenty beautiful, we took time for the hike that led us down to the falls and the pool of water that we have heard makes for quite the natural swimming hole in the summer. From the suspension bridge, you can really take in the site of the 60 foot waterfall. Surrounded by mountain laurel, rocks, and water, the view is beautiful. While temperatures were not quite swimming weather, it was incredibly beautiful to simply take it all in. The hike itself was downhill to the water and base of the falls, and something that medium and big kids can definitely navigate. While uphill returning the car was more difficult, it is short enough to feel like an attainable challenge.

From there, we loaded back into the car, filled up from the beauty and adventure that we had just encountered, and drove twenty miles further through Monteage, TN, to Sewanee, TN, where the University of the South is located. With all of its majestic buildings, we came face to face with a different kind of beauty: regal and old, reminding me of Oxford, England, yet in the big scheme of things, it is really just right down the road and up a mountain from Chattanooga.

It was a gorgeous day, sunny and windy, with daffodils blooming everywhere and spring not quite here yet, but almost. It was lovely simply to wander around the campus with children in tow, taking in the beauty around us. And perhaps planting a few seeds in our children that if possible, we would love for them to go to college (less so about this specific school, but in general) and further their opportunities for growth and education. 

Before our trip, a friend had recommended a coffee shop on campus called Stirling’s that is in an old yellow house. It was worth a visit and gave us an opportunity to connect a little more with the community for the time we were there. This friend also recommended visiting the Perimeter Trail, a 20-mile hiking trail that circles the campus. The trail can be accessed in various places, but one is by a big cross memorial that honors war veterans that previously had attended the college. We enjoyed driving to the cross memorial, parking there, taking in the view of the valley below, and hiking for a bit on the Perimeter Trail. 

All in all, it was one of those days that feels like a gift, where it’s both good for the parents and the kids, where all are filled up a little bit with a sense of adventure and beauty and connection. And it reminds me of what a gift it is to live where we live, where both right in our city and any direction you drive outside of it, you can find trails, mountains, waterfalls, and opportunities for adventure and beauty. 

If interested more in the concept of caring for kids while also caring for yourself well, read here. For more reading about nearby Chattanooga waterfalls, visit here. For more reading about family-friendly hikes in or near Chattanooga, read here