United States

Chattanooga, TN

The Best Places to run in Chattanooga. Includes some great spots near town

Chattanooga is one of those smaller cities that’s a hidden gem for running. Tennessee’s fourth largest city, Chattanooga features a scenic setting on the Tennessee River, and is surrounded by mountains. The city has undergone extensive revitalization in recent years, and has become a mecca for outdoor activities. There’s an excellent variety of running in Chattanooga, between its riverfront setting, historic battlefields, and 150+ miles of trail running within 30 minutes of downtown.

The signature run in Chattanooga is the 11-mile Riverwalk. This can be incorporated into other fun downtown area runs, showcasing the city’s bridges, historic neighborhoods, and nearby Lookout Mountain. Another great place to run is the Chickamauga Battlefield, and other historic spots administered by the National Park Service. Other paved favorites include the Chattanooga Chase 8k Course, featuring nice neighborhoods north of town; the South Chickamauga Creek Greenway; and the Reservoir Loop at Raccoon Mountain. Trail running options abound. Favorites near downtown include Lookout Mountain and Stringers Ridge. Within 1/2 hour drive are Audubon Acres, Booker T Washington State Park, Enterprise South Nature Park, and Harrison Bay State Park.

Although there is a public bus system, a car is generally needed if getting out of the downtown area. Runners should also note that summers can be very hot and humid — use caution!

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Chattanooga has decent weather for running year-round, but summers can be quite hot and humid. Temperatures can be near 90F many days, with sultry nights. Spring and fall are delightful for running. Winters can be cool, but many days near 50F and rarely is there extended cold or snow. In summer, be wary of thunderstorms.


There’s a good selection of hotels downtown, which would place runners in proximity of the Riverwalk and other downtown area routes. There’s also a cluster of hotels in the Lookout Valley off I-24, which we’d avoid from a running perspective — not near any our routes!

Chattannooga has a vibrant running culture.


Three signature running stores in Chattanooga:

Fleet Feet. Great store, lots of events. Group Run Calendar.

Front Runner Athletics. Signature running store in town since 1982.

Fastbreak Athletics. In business since 1977! Group Runs Sundays and Thursdays. Calendar


Looking for road or trail races in this area? Find them on RaceRaves, the best online race calendar and reviews community for runners!

Find races in Chattanooga, TN

Event Calendar, courtesy of Fastbreak. There are 100+ 5K and family running events every year!

Here’s a good resource on signature running events in the Chattanooga area.