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!