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!

Editor's Picks

Some of our favorite runs in Chattanooga, TN

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Tennessee Riverwalk

Chattanooga, TN

Paved multi-use path is the signature run in Chattanooga. Extends 11 miles from Richmond, through downtown, to the Chickamauga Dam. River views much of the way, numerous sites. Best sections are miles 3-6 and 9-11. Fully lit, markers every 1/2 mile.
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Chattanooga Bridges Run

Chattanooga, TN

A fun and popular run incorporating the Walnut St. pedestrian bridge, Market St. Bridge, and Veteran's bridge, with a loop around Coolidge & Renaissance parks. Add-on with Tennessee River path for a longer run.
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Chickamauga Battlefield

Chattanooga, TN

A memorable running experience. At Chickamauga Battlefield, there are 50 miles of trails, most suitable for running. We've also mapped a 4-mile loop along quiet park roads featuring a bike lane. Great views, historic sites, very scenic!
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Chattanooga Chase 8k Course

Chattanooga, TN

This route follows the course of the poplar Chattanooga Chase 8k Course through one of Chattanooga's nicest neighborhoods. Attractive homes, great views of the city & river, a section along the Chattanooga Golf Club, and lovely oak trees.
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Moccasin Bend Trails

Chattanooga, TN

Part of the Chickamaugua and Chattanooga Military Park system, located near downtown. Run the historic Brown's Ferry Federal Rd. Trail or the Blue Blazes Trail, or combine the two for a 5.8 mile run.
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Audubon Acres

Chattanooga, TN

Decent spot for some trail running in this 130-acre preserve on South Chickamauga Creek. There are 5 miles of trails, mainly on a loose sandy soil surface. Some easier, flatter sections and some hillier spots.
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Booker T Washington State Park

Chattanooga, TN

Nice spot for some trail running located on Chickamaugua Lake and the Tennessee River, 13 miles east of downtown. About 10 miles of mainly wooded trails. Outer Loop Trail is 3.9 miles. Go for a post-run dip in the Olympic-sized pool!
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Enterprise South Nature Park

Chattanooga, TN

A worth-it destination for trail running. 2,800-acre park is located 17 miles northeast of downtown, featuring 10 miles of wooded trails for those on foot. Trails are at moderately challenging and hilly. Some good road running options too.
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Harrison Bay State Park

Chattanooga, TN

One of our preferred spots for a trail run in the Chattanooga area. The 4.1 mile Bay Point Loop Trail is an easy-to-follow loop, mainly wooded with occasional water views. Generally good footing and not too hilly.
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Tennessee Riverwalk

Chattanooga, TN

Paved multi-use path is the signature run in Chattanooga. Extends 11 miles from Richmond, through downtown, to the Chickamauga Dam. River views much of the way, numerous sites. Best sections are miles 3-6 and 9-11. Fully lit, markers every 1/2 mile.
Explore

Chickamauga Battlefield

Chattanooga, TN

A memorable running experience. At Chickamauga Battlefield, there are 50 miles of trails, most suitable for running. We've also mapped a 4-mile loop along quiet park roads featuring a bike lane. Great views, historic sites, very scenic!
Explore

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.

ClimaTemps.com

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.

RUNNING STORES & GROUP RUNS

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

 

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.