It's no secret that Chattanooga is a thrill-seeker's outdoor paradise during the warmer months, however, with average high temperatures in the area ranging between 82 and 50 degrees from September through February, there’s no need to ignore the call of the outdoors once the official summer season ends. 

With some slight clothing adjustments, you can easily participate in many outdoor activities in the Chattanooga area through the winter. For example, hiking during the cooler months will unquestionably deliver some of the most breathtaking views of the changing seasons.

The Point Park Loop Trail or the trails at Audubon Acres will not disappoint if you are looking for spectacular scenic views of the city or a swinging bridge and unique wildlife. Make sure to take advantage of the many trails at the tops of Lookout Mountain, Signal Mountain, Raccoon Mountain and Stringer’s Ridge when hiking on cooler days. The exposed sun will certainly keep you warm.

Speaking of breathtaking views, the Chattanooga area is a year-round premier destination for rock-climbing enthusiasts. Our mild, cooler months make it quite easy to seek out sunny climbs at locations such as Tennessee Wall, Suck Creek, Sunset Rock, Big Soddy and more. Make sure to check out Outdoor Chattanooga’s climbing guide for area details, including seasonal climbing recommendations.

Another outdoor activity you can enjoy during the cooler months in the Chattanooga area is mountain biking. With over 100 miles of singletrack, the area’s mountain biking trails are considered some of the best in the Southeast. You are guaranteed a gratifying riding experience while taking in the beautiful scenery on trails such as Tesla’s Revenge, Enterprise South CCW or 5-Points.

More trails are on the way. SORBA, the local chapter of the International Mountain Bike Association, is a partner on the future Walden’s Ridge Park, which will expand Chattanooga’s biking trails by 8 to 12 miles and will incorporate features suitable for beginner — and expert-level mountain bikers. The new 200-acre park on the side of Signal Mountain will also offer additional hiking trails and rock-climbing opportunities beginning Spring 2022.

Thanks to Chattanooga’s amazing natural amenities and mild climate, our recreational time can be full of outdoor activities like hiking, climbing or mountain biking during the cooler months ahead!

Indoor Activities 

Of course, indoor climbing is always an option during inclement weather or on days that may be too cold for your personal enjoyment. High Point Climbing and Fitness and Synergy Climbing & Ninja provide indoor climbing fun for the entire family all year. You can even practice or refine your climbing skills by taking a belay, lead belay or bouldering class at the facilities.

Outdoor Gear 

If you plan to participate in any of these activities on an exceptionally cold day in Chattanooga, make sure to follow proper cold-weather procedures for your hobby. Since temperatures may change from early morning to late afternoon, layering your clothing during these months can be especially helpful if you plan to be out all day in the Chattanooga area. If you are unsure of what to wear in our climate, just stop by one of our local outfitters like Four Bridges Outfitters, Rock/Creek or The Gear Closet for a clothing consultation.

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The original version of this article first appeared in a previous edition of our Magazine.