Chattanooga a mountain biking destination? While it may not receive as much press as the Pisgah National Forest trails a few hours east in Brevard—nor feature trails as challenging and/or terrifying—Chattanooga has quietly stacked up miles and miles of premium MTB singletrack over the last decade or so. The moderate weather means mountain biking is a year-round sport, as the trails are usually in pretty good condition.
If flowy singletrack is what you’re after, you’ll find a wealth of options available. Enterprise South Nature Park features the most popular (and perhaps fastest) mountain bike trails in Chattanooga, and nearby White Oak Mountain, on the Southern Adventist University campus, offers a variety of fun loops on similar terrain. Both are beginner-friendly. Those pressed for time or lacking a vehicle will enjoy Stringer’s Ridge on Chattanooga’s North Shore—a short loop with deceptively punchy climbing throughout.
If you like a bit of technical riding with your recommended daily allowance of flow, TVA’s Raccoon Mountain trail system is deserving of its status as a Chattanooga favorite. These purpose-built mountain bike trails skew toward the more seasoned rider, with plenty of rocks and roots, as well as massive climbs if you choose to start at the boat ramp trailhead.
For those willing to venture beyond city limits, some of the Southeast’s best mountain biking awaits. Perched atop Lookout Mountain just south of town, Five Points offers 20+ miles of high-speed riding. An hour or so away, the Tanasi trails at the Ocoee Whitewater Center attract cyclists from across the region, and the Pinhoti / Bear Creek trails around Mulberry Gap are hard to beat in terms of beauty or elevation gain. All three are well worth the drive.