The Top 9 Outdoor Activities in Chattanooga TN

tennessee river bridge

The Scenic City is surrounded by glorious mountains, ridges and rivers as far as the eye can see. Combined with a community heavily involved with nature, Chattanooga has endless opportunities for those hankering for an outdoor adventure. Check out these outdoor activities in Chattanooga TN, all within a comfortable driving distance of the Choo-Choo Hotel, the next time you’re in town!

Chattanooga Paddleboards

Because the Tennessee River runs through the city, paddleboarding has become a favorite pastime for locals. You can zip around in the calm river on a stand-up paddleboard easily rented from a number of companies downtown. The city even created two public boat ramps for the public’s convenience. Insider tip: Chattanooga Paddleboards has a Wednesday night social where you can meet up with fellow water enthusiasts like a local. Need a paddleboard or instruction? They offer rentals and lessons and have flexible pickup times and convenient locations every day of the week.

Call (423) 702-1422 for more information.

Chattanooga Riverwalk

If you are more of a solid, dry-land person but still love the beauty of the Tennessee River, check out the Chattanooga Riverwalk. This 13-mile paved stretch runs along the southern banks of the Tennessee River and passes through a diverse set of local attractions, like the iconic Walnut Street Bridge and Bluff View Sculpture Garden. Every half-mile is marked, and the path is sprinkled with water fountains, bathrooms, playgrounds and picnic areas. You can bike or walk this trail, but note that only the south end is dog-friendly.

High Point Climbing and Fitness

For those craving a more vertical adventure, check out High Point Climbing and Fitness. The company boasts 30,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor climbing walls, in addition to aerobic, weight and yoga rooms! There is even a designated Kids Zone where your little ones can enjoy rock climbing safely. If the downtown location gets too busy, High Point also has a second location that is a favorite with locals at 1007 Appling Street, Chattanooga, TN 37406.

Contact (423) 602-7625 for more details.

lookout mountain

Lookout Mountain

If you want your share of Instagrammable pictures, look no further than Lookout Mountain. Exploring this mountain, which is just minutes away from the Choo Choo Hotel, rewards you with breathtaking views of the entire city and valley. Start with a walk through Craven’s House, a Cotton Era / Civil War site with easy parking. It is the perfect gateway to a selection of trails; make sure to pick one that takes you through Pointe Park, the location of the infamous “Battle Above the Clouds.”

For more information, call (800) 825-8366.

Sunset Rock

For outdoor rock climbers, Sunset Rock on Lookout Mountain is the perfect place to test your skills AND get the reward of incredible views of the Chattanooga Valley from the top. Parking can be tricky, as there is only a tiny lot at 405 W Brow Rd, Lookout Mountain, TN 37350, so try to get an early start or park by Craven’s House and follow the Battlefield Walk and Bike Trail.

Rock City

In addition to its winding trails and picturesque panorama, Lookout Mountain houses two of Chattanooga’s most prominent attractions: Rock City and Ruby Falls. Rock City hosts rocks formations and caves that are decorated seasonally. There you will find the rock inscription pointing to the seven states you can see on a clear day! Other popular spots include Lover’s Leap, Fairyland Caverns and Mother Goose Village.

For more information and tickets packages, contact (706) 820-0675.

Ruby Falls

Ruby Falls is located over 1,120 feet below the surface of the mountain inside a naturally formed cavern. Visitors have to take an elevator deep into the heart of the mountain and wind through the caves before reaching Ruby Falls, which is brightened by dancing, colorful lights. You also have the option of taking the Ruby Falls Lantern Tour (mentioned in this New York Times article), where small groups, led by storytelling guides, carry lanterns through the caves.

Call (423) 821-2544 for more details and ticket packages.

Chickamauga & Chattanooga Military Park

Take a step back in time at this historic military destination. The Chickamauga & Chattanooga Military Park boasts not only historic significance, but it also provides serene views of Chattanooga from atop Lookout Mountain. Take a ranger-guided tour or visit during one of the park’s special events, like an artillery demonstrations, lecture programs, bike rides, and anniversary events.

Call (706) 866-9241 to plan your visit.

Chattanooga Zoo

Explore, learn, and discover at the Chattanooga Zoo. This 13-acre zoological park features several areas with exotic animals, including red pandas, jaguars, camels, cougars, and chimpanzees. Explore the forests of Gombe or venture through the jungles of Corcovado; a visit to the Chattanooga Zoo is guaranteed to excite and amaze! General admission starts at $10.95 for adults and $7.95 for children ages 3-12.

Contact (423) 697-1322 to reserve your tickets!

Chattanooga offers exciting shopping, dining and entertainment for visitors and locals alike. However, if you are an outdoor adventurer, you have hit the jackpot in this area. Feel free to ask any of our Choo-Choo staff for their favorite outdoor activities in Chattanooga TN!

Ready to explore? Book your stay at the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel today!