Mowbray Mountain, located 25 minutes north of Chattanooga, is chalk full of world-class sandstone begging to be climbed, trails waiting to be hiked and creeks offering a reprieve from Southeast Tennessee’s summer heat. The drive up the winding mountain road alone offers spectacular views, but hikers along the Cumberland Trail and climbers topping out on sport routes know that their views are unique and well earned. Whether you’re into hiking, bouldering, sport climbing, or just looking for a place to cool off, Mowbray has a something for everyone and might become your favorite place for outdoor recreation near Chattanooga.
Big Soddy GulfThe Big Soddy Creek Gulf is a pristine, 285-acre wilderness area located about 30 minutes north of Chattanooga. The Gulf offers hiking trails, mountain and gorge views, natural habitats, a waterfall, swimming holes and rock formations along Big Soddy Creek.An easy 1-mile hike along the creek takes you to the confluence of Board Camp Creek and Big Soddy, where a blue hole and open recreation area provide opportunities for swimming and picnicking. Hikers can continue on to connect with the Soddy Creek Gorge (South) Section of the Cumberland Trail.
This trail is ADA accessible on the third Saturdays, April through October. There are no restroom facilities at the trailhead or along the trail. Please practice Leave No Trace Principles when visiting.
Cumberland TrailJustin P. Wilson Cumberland Trail State Park is a Tennessee State Park and scenic hiking trail. When complete, it will run the length of the Cumberland Plateau from Chattanooga to the Kentucky-Virginia-Tennessee border. As of November 2016, over 210 miles of the trail are open for hiking. These miles are divided into 14 different segments. Between these segments, land acquisition for the proposed trail corridor is an ongoing process, so gaps in the proposed trail route do exist. There are two long sections located within half an hour’s drive of downtown Chattanooga.The Tennessee River Gorge segment begins at the Signal Point unit of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park in the town of Signal Mountain, 15 minutes northwest of downtown Chattanooga. The segment extends 24 miles across the Suck Creek Gorge and into Prentice Cooper State Forest. The Three Gorges segment – Soddy, Possum, and Rock Creeks – are some of the most beautiful sections of hiking trail in the entire Southeast. The rugged, rock-strewn trail rolls over 40 contiguous miles by boulder fields, rhododendron thickets, and dramatic overlooks.
Hours and Cost
Open Daily: Sunrise to Sunset
Yes, on leash
220 Park Rd.
Caryville, TN 37714
Great Eastern TrailThe Great Eastern Trail is a project of the Great Eastern Trail Association, working with the American Hiking Society and local trail partners, to create America’s newest long-distance hiking trail extending from Alabama to New York! Still under development, the Great Eastern Trail (GET) runs through Chattanooga using parts of the Cumberland Trail, North Chickamauga Creek Greenway, Tennessee Riverpark, and Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park’s Lookout Mountain trail system.
When complete, the GET will connect the Florida National Scenic Trail to the North Country National Scenic Trail in New York State, as well as making connections to the Benton MacKaye, Pinhoti and Appalachian Trails. Currently, long-distance hikers can access nearby backcountry sections of the GET from downtown Chattanooga using temporary routes on city rights of way and greenways.
Chattanooga was designated a GET Trail Town in 2013.
LedaLeda is a small roadside crag located west of Soddy Daisy, Tennessee on Mowbray Mountain amid the North Chickamauga Creek Gorge. The crag, which has both sport and trad style climbing, is situated on private land owned by Montlake Golf Course (Luken Holdings). Climbers must go to Montlake Golf Course Club House to sign the waiver and pay the user fee for climbing at Leda (same process as climbing at Stone Fort). Parking for Leda is located across from Terrace Falls on the hairpin turn coming up Montlake Road. Leda has become Chattanooga’s go-to crag for learning how to climb outside due to its proximity to downtown and abundance of moderate grades.
Hours and Cost
Open Daily: 7 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Cost: $8.75 per climber per day
Yes, on leash
Located half an hour north of Chattanooga on Mowbray Mountain, adjacent to the Montlake Golf Course is Stone Fort, otherwise known to the climbing community as “Little Rock City”. Stone Fort is one of the most well-known bouldering areas in the country and has become famous as one of three venues for the annual Triple Crown of Bouldering competition.
The boulders at Stone Fort are divided into different areas, starting with the Front Area and going all the way to The Back Nine Area. With over 700 established problems, there's plenty for every skill level.Stone Fort is on property owned by the Montlake Golf Club. Parking is available for climbers and golfers at the clubhouse, where climbers check in, pay the day-use fee and sign a waiver of liability for access to the boulder field. Please observe basic rules and courtesy when using this private property.