Hikers on the Cumberland Trail. (Photo: Contributed)

Outdoor Chattanooga will offer a unique hiking experience in 2018.

Throughout the year, experienced guides will lead participants on short hikes (4–7 miles each) on the Cumberland Trail. Hikers will explore geological formations, discover seasonal flora and fauna, and trek over creeks and across suspension bridges to ridge tops, waterfalls and scenic overlooks.

These hikes are meant to connect you with the Cumberland Trail, provide hands-on experience to learn and improve hiking and backpacking skills, and encourage stewardship of Chattanooga’s local trails.


Outdoor Chattanooga will offer 12 hikes in this series, including half-day hikes and equipped overnight backpacking adventures.

The Cumberland Trail, a scenic footpath following the eastern edge of the Cumberland Plateau, begins in Chattanooga’s backyard on Signal Mountain. Development and maintenance of the trail is primarily done by volunteers with the Cumberland Trails Conference. Although still under construction, there’s plenty to explore—with 210 of the projected 300 miles currently completed.

As an added incentive to hike, participants who complete these hikes with Outdoor Chattanooga will earn credit toward the 50 Miler Award from the Cumberland Trails Conference. To earn the award, individuals must complete 50 unique miles on the Cumberland Trail and complete 10 hours of service work with the CTC.

The one-way hikes have been carefully selected to be mostly downhill, and a shuttle service will be provided, helping participants maximize the experience and unique miles covered.

You can join one hike or do the entire series.

The guided hikes begin Jan. 13 and conclude Dec. 1. Registration is required in advance, as space is limited in the shuttle vehicle.

The half-day hikes are free, but there’s a $65 fee per person for the equipped overnight backpacking adventures. Full details will be provided upon registration.

As the Cumberland Trail is remote and traverses rugged terrain, Outdoor Chattanooga requires participants to have some hiking experience and be in good-enough physical condition to hike 4–7 miles continuously on sections rated as moderately strenuous. Those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a participating parent or responsible adult.

For more information or to register for one of the hikes, contact Outdoor Chattanooga at [email protected] or 423-643-6888.