Tim and I took a mid-week trip to Chattanooga to ride the TN Riverwalk. This riverside path parallels the Tennessee River from the Chickamauga Dam to Ross’s Landing Park in downtown Chattanooga near the Tennessee Aquarium and extends all the way to the beginning of the St. Elmo/Lookout Mountain area.
For our day of exploring, we opted to ride mountain bikes fitted with hybrid tires, but road bikes would have worked. The path from the dam to St. Elmo is about 12 miles one way, mostly flat, concrete, and very scenic. There are many trailheads with parking, bathrooms, water fountains, benches, bike repair stations and rental bikes, see Riverwalk map. Between the dam and downtown would be a great place to start the ride, especially for riders who are less experienced. On the northern section, there is the dam, modern industry, and the Hunter Art Museum on your
journey toward downtown. On either side of downtown the trail is wide, clean, and safe. Downtown the trail gets a bit narrow but it is okay to “hike a bike” there. Also, downtown close to the Walnut Street Bridge, there are lots of places to eat. (At the end of our ride, we enjoyed a sandwich on the porch at Beast and Barrel.) The trail has a different feel when you head out of downtown toward St. Elmo; going by apartments, marinas, and the Siskin Steel buildings. This area was really open and very hot on this sunny 90 degree day, so the Riverwalk Smoothy we enjoyed at the Trailhead Juice Bar at the St. Elmo trailhead hit the spot and gave us energy to finish the ride and get back where we parked downtown. We recommend this trail to everyone.