Trail

Glen Falls

Chattanooga, TN
Length: Varies
Type: Out & Back

About This Trail

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Glen Falls is an easy trail on Lookout Mountain just a couple miles outside of Chattanooga, TN. This is a short trail–only half a mile from the parking lot to the falls, but offers a little bit of elevation change and a rugged feel, for being so close to the city limits.

The trail leads to a bridge next to the lower falls, where you can find a swimming hole when there has been enough recent rainfall. Just past the bridge, the trail gives you the option of continuing straight to another parking spur making a .9 mile total hike, or you can turn to the right, and travel up a set of stone steps and through a natural tunnel, to the upper falls which affords a beautiful view and more opportunities for water play. The right turn is definitely the better option! There is so much for kids to explore, and the trail to the left is very overgrown, narrow, and rarely trafficked.

This is a great toddler hike as it is short and there are a lot of natural play spaces. There are however a couple of hazards to be aware of–a sheer drop-off just outside the tunnel at the top of the falls, and the falls themselves. The elevation gain on the return trip can also be hard for little legs, so bring a carrier if you have young walkers!

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Trail Features

Surface type Dirt
Elevation gain 425 ft.
Stroller friendly No
ADA accessible No
Water fountains No
Bathrooms No
Cell reception Spotty
Pet friendly Yes
Nearby convenience store Yes
Camping Nearby No
Emergency support
within 5 miles
Yes

Trail highlights

Creek / River, Mud Puddles, Natural Play Area, Shaded Hike, and Waterfall

When there has been recent rainfall this is a very WET trail–there are numerous runoff points for puddle jumping, and a seasonal stream about halfway to the falls, and the swimming hole is almost deep enough for little ones to actually swim in! However in dry spells the main waterfall may be reduced to a trickle and the swimming hole will be more of a giant sandbox.

The upper falls, like the main waterfall, differ wildly depending on rainfall. When it’s try there is so much opportunity for rock hopping. When it’s wet there are a lot of small, still pools good for crawlers and walkers, but there are also places the water moves very quickly.

The tunnel at the top of the falls is very narrow–babywearing is possible in soft carriers, but framed backpacks will not fit.

Fee & Parking Details

Fee : $0.00

Parking is the most difficult part of this trail. The parking lot is a pull of located on Ochs Hwy. When cars park perpendicular to the main road, the parking spur can fit 8-10 cars, but if cars park parallel it will only fit 2-3. Ochs Hwy is also very busy right here, and there is a curve just past the parking spur. Keep very close watch on kids, especially toddlers, as cars coming around the curve will not be able to see children if they stray too close to the road.

Trail Contributor

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I am the Branch Ambassador for Hike It Baby Chattanooga. A native of Richmond, VA, I spent most of my adolescence and early adulthood hiking and camping in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and once my children were born started taking them on adventures with me! I am a portrait photographer and freelance writer, trying to hike my way through all the trails southeastern Tennessee has to offer.

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