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ADVENTURE AWAITS DEEP INSIDE A MOUNTAIN

Discover the nation’s tallest and deepest underground waterfall open to the public at Ruby Falls.

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A Waterfall Every Weekend

Chattanooga’s unique geology and spring showers create perfect conditions for wondrous waterfalls. There are many within a short drive of downtown, making them easy to access. Looking for a towering waterfall? We know the way. How about one that’s good for young kids and splashing around? We’ve got that too. Take it from a family who regularly goes on mini adventures - the Johns Family. We spoke with them about some of their favorite waterfalls to explore. We think you’ll find a new one to add to your spring or summer bucket list.

Andy, Jessica and their son Braden like to load up and hit up multiple waterfalls at once. When we caught up with them, they had just come back from Ozone and Piney Falls. 

Their favorites include Lula Lake and Fall Creek Falls. A little over an hour drive from Chattanooga, Fall Creek Falls is the highest free-falling waterfall in the eastern U.S. Lula Lake, which is about a 25-minute drive from downtown Chattanooga, has a thunderous waterfall to delight your eyes and ears. 

“If family is in town, we like to see if Lula Lake is open. If not, then we usually go to Glen Falls or Falling Water Falls. Glen Falls is not tall, but it is mighty!” said Andy. 

The trail to Glen Falls is great for families as it’s short and manageable but full of unique features. Picture stunning rock formations, a stone stairway and a rock doorway. The pools around the falls are perfect for dipping your toes in the water. 

“Glen Falls has a bunch of ledges cascading, right on that line between rapids and waterfalls. It has little pools to splash in for the kids and rocks to climb on,” said Andy. 

“You’re not terrified that your kid is going to tumble over the edge,” added wife Jessica. 

With more people finding our favorite waterfalls and getting to know the trails we love, we decided to ask the Johns for some advice on when to go and how we can care for these scenic spots. 

“Take out what you bring in and stay on the trail,” Andy shared. “Shortcuts around creeks and waterfalls can mess up the trail and undo work on the trail.” 

“On a recent outing, the parking area was full. We didn’t want to crush the vegetation, so we left and came back,” explained Jessica. “We’ve driven to Foster Falls before; it was full, but we had a backup plan. Nearby is Denny Cove – it had a great waterfall.” 

Chattanooga has endless options thanks to its position between the Cumberland Plateau and the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Think lots of ridges and places for that water to go. 

“Every waterfall is so different,” said Andy. “We’re blessed to have so many around here. You could go every weekend in a year here and not see them all.” 

TIPS

  • Arrive early. Popular local falls and swimming holes get busy after 10 a.m. during the summer.
  • Find a new trail at VisitChattanooga.com/Outdoors.
  • Go on a weekday to avoid crowds.