Whether you are visiting Chattanooga or are a local, there are so many beautiful hiking spots to enjoy! Along with breathtaking views of the mountains, the Tennessee River, and the city, hiking is an easy way to capture the beauty of Chattanooga. There are many family-friendly hiking spots along the way too — and what’s a better family activity than something which is free, fun, and offers lots of photo backdrop opportunities?
Since becoming parents, going on hikes has been tricky with our little one. Our daughter is now two and able to walk some trails, but picking the right trails can be hard because kids and cliffs do not mix well. So, we took it upon ourselves to explore and figure out which hikes were family-friendly.
Here our are top hiking and walking trails around Chattanooga:
This trail is located in Soddy-Daisy. While following a flat gravel path, you will come across four water holes. It’s a favorite of many locals for the beautiful scenery, perfect swimming and picnic spots, and easy hike for little ones. The trail is even stroller friendly!
This trail is located in Dayton. It has breathtaking views of small waterfalls and follows along a creek, which is very popular to swim in. We wandered over a mile with our toddler and the trail was easy enough for her to walk it (there was even a one-year-old walking it with his parents in front of us). We both made it to a waterfall before turning around and the sun setting, if that tells you how fast toddlers walk.
We love the trails here because there are so many options for every skill level! There’s also a nice Visitor’s Center, which means clean restrooms (priceless when you’re potty training).
If you’re a history lover, be sure to check out Cravens House, as it combines Civil War history with breathtaking views! Cravens House is the only remaining Civil War era structure on Lookout Mountain. If you are left wanting to explore more, nearby you can find Point Park, which is a memorial park overlooking the Lookout Mountain Battlefield and Chattanooga.
Also located on Lookout Mountain, this short scenic trail offers a waterfall view and beautiful rock steps. All ages are sure to enjoy this hike!
Simple trail loop that allows you to be near the banks of the Tennessee River, while experiencing enchanting views of a forest.
This short trail is located on Signal Mountain. Be sure to take make it a day trip, by exploring this trail, playing at the Pumpkin Patch playground, and then grabbing a cookie from the Signal Mountain Cookie Lady.
Along with lots of family-friendly trails, come learn about nature and wildlife preserves! Check out their calendar for all the family-friendly and fun activities.
Located in Hixson, this park is packed with easy trails with beautiful creek views of the North Chickamuaga Creek. If you prefer to use a stroller or bike, there are also paved roads and bike paths. Or make a family day with canoeing in the creek, a picnic and picnic games to enjoy on the open field!
We couldn’t leave out the Riverwalk, if you really want to explore Chattanooga! With 13 miles to explore, the Riverwalk is perfect for long strolls, bike riding, and exploring local restaurants and shops. Plus, there’s even a playground when you can stop for a break and lots of beautiful spots to snap family pictures.
Top Tips for Hiking with Kids/Toddlers:
- Stock up on lots of snacks! You can let your child carry his/her own bag or pouch with a couple snacks and a water bottle.
- Bring a change of clothes and a towel. Your child will get messy…probably covered in mud, dirt, and all the bugs. Which reminds me, bring bug spray (especially during tick season), sunscreen and a hat!
- Consider investing in a baby/toddler carrier. Often, carriers can tote children up to 40 pounds and also serve as a diaper bag to hold all the goods, like an extra diaper and wipes!
- Turn your hike into a game by adding a scavenger hunt, bird watching, or discussing the plants you see. Your kids can take pictures or look for items with a pair of binoculars.
- Check out www.rootsrated.com or www.alltrails.com to discover all the trails Chattanooga has to offer. I love planning my hikes with the Alltrails app.