Rainbow Lake was built in 1916 as part of the Signal Mountain Hotel (now Alexian Village) and since that time has remained one of Signal Mountain’s most popular outdoor destinations. From the parking lot on Ohio Avenue, you’ll walk alongside the golf course, then past an old spring house. At the half-mile mark, you’ll come to a junction and can choose a left turn to descend immediately to the dam, or go straight to circle the lake on a 2.3-mile loop that is rocky and challenging. Whichever you choose, you’ll eventually find yourself at Middle Creek at the base of the dam. The creek is the perfect spot to cool off on a summer day. Nearby, through a pretty grove of hemlocks and laurel, is a 100-foot long suspension bridge over the creek, part of the Cumberland Trail.
If you’re feeling more ambitious, follow the Cumberland Trail on the south (trailhead) side of Middle Creek 1.4-miles to Signal Point. This is a rocky trail with spectacular overlooks and a steep climb at the end. You’ll end up at the parking lot and can walk the half mile of road from Signal Point back to your car. From the far side of the bridge, you could follow the Cumberland Trail the other direction towards Edwards Point, or even make a loop that includes Edwards Point. The choices are limited only by your time and energy.
Rainbow Lake Trail is perfect for hikers and families who enjoy a variety of trail, from easy gravel paths to rocky, ankle-turning trails on the optional loops. Kids seem to love going down to Middle Creek at the suspension bridge. The Rainbow Lake Trailhead is on Ohio Avenue on the edge of the golf course near Alexian Village. The easiest way to find the trailhead is to follow the signs toward Signal Point, but continue past Alexian Village until you see the trailhead on your left.
Check out this article from the Outbound Collective to find the hidden Rainbow Falls.
Open Daily: Sunrise to Sunset.
Yes, on a leash
Town of Signal Mountain
1111 Ridgeway Avenue
Signal Mountain, TN
(423) 551-8316 or 531-4733