Whitewater rafting on the Ocoee River in Tennessee
Photo Credit: Journal Communications Inc/Jeff Adkins

Chattanooga Bucket List Adventures

Looking for adventures in Chattanooga? Explore Ruby Falls, Lookout Mountain and more for an unforgettable bucket list adventure.

If you're looking for outdoor activities, Chattanooga is your natural playground. Tennessee's Scenic City is full of things to do outside from adrenaline-pumping activities like whitewater rafting and rock climbing to low-impact hiking and walking trails. Check out the article below for your bucket list adventures in Chattanooga.

Chattanooga Outdoor Activities

Whitewater Rafting 

Chattanooga is an outdoorsperson’s dream. Nestled in the ridge-and-valley Appalachians and the Cumberland Plateau, the “Scenic City” comes by its name honestly with seemingly endless outdoor activities. For paddling enthusiasts, enjoy whitewater kayaking or whitewater rafting on the Ocoee River, Suck Creek or North Chickamauga

Rock Climbing near Chattanooga

Photo Credit: @tennesseebavarian

With incredible heights in the surrounding mountains, world-class rock climbing is everywhere from the Tennessee Wall to Sunset Rock. The Tennessee Wall is one of the premier trad climbing destinations in the Southeast. With hundreds of great routes on hard sandstone, you can enjoy the climbing at all levels. Sunset Rock is home of some of Tennessee’s finest sing-pitch trad climbing. You’ll love the views as you scale the different and various climbing routes.

Hiking Trails near Chattanooga

Photo Credit: @hope.maum

Chattanooga hiking is some of the best in the country with myriad trails. Snoopers Rock Trail in Prentice Cooper State Forest is a 5.9-mile trail that rewards you with stunning views of the Tennessee River Gorge. The Cravens House Loop Trail in Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park is a 3.4-mile loop trail full of history. Here, you can see the old CCC Camp Demaray that housed 200 men, the Hardy house and a turn-of-the-century Tudor home in addition to stunning overlook views, rock formations and more.

Lookout Mountain

Just minutes from the heart of Chattanooga, Lookout Mountain is full of things to do outside, boasting iconic attractions and breathtaking vistas that promise unforgettable experiences. If you’re looking for things to do outside, Lookout Mountain provides with attractions like Rock City or the Incline Railway, which has been transporting passengers up and down Lookout Mountain’s slopes since 1895. From the top of the mountain, view awe-inspiring vistas of the Tennessee River Valley and downtown Chattanooga below. 

Ruby Falls

Descend 260 feet via a glass-front elevator into the heart of Lookout Mountain and take the cavern trail to encounter the tallest cave waterfall accessible to the public in the United States. Discover the fascinating tale of the cavern's accidental discovery, marvel at striking rock formations and immerse yourself in the exhilarating roar of the waterfall. Plus, Ruby Falls proudly holds the distinction of being the first attraction in the United States to receive certification from Green Globe for their eco-friendly initiatives..

Rock City

Perched atop Lookout Mountain just 6 miles from downtown Chattanooga, Rock City stands as a magnificent testament to nature's wonders and is one of the breathtaking outdoor activities you can do in Chattanooga. Here, you'll encounter colossal ancient rock formations, meander through gardens boasting more than 400 native plant species and breathtaking "See 7 States" panoramic vistas. Meander along the Enchanted Trail where each step unveils the natural beauty and marvels along the woodland path. Immerse yourself in the enchanting Fairyland Caverns and Mother Goose Village, explore regional gift shops and indulge in a delicious meal at the Big Rock Grill.

Chickamauga Lake

Famous for record-setting bass and part of the Bill Dance Signature Lakes initiative, Chickamauga Lake is a must-visit for all categories of anglers and seekers of Chattanooga adventures. As you navigate its waters, keep your eyes peeled for a glimpse of catfish, largemouth bass, crappie or bluegill gliding beneath the surface. Spanning 36,000 acres and boasting 810 miles of shoreline, this expansive lake offers ample room to cast your line and reel in that tournament-winning bass while immersing yourself in the unparalleled beauty of Tennessee's natural landscapes.

With this Chattanooga adventure bucket list, you'll have lots of opportunity for adrenaline-pumping experiences. Find even more things to do outside in Chattanooga and more areas in Tennessee on our Trip Inspiration page.

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