Booker T Washington State Park sits on the Tennessee River just north of the Chickamauga Dam, offering many great views of Chickamauga Lake. The park entrance is on Champion Road, just off of Highway 58 North. This is a popular mountain bike trail, so be alert if hiking or running.
What Makes It Great
There are three loop trails within Booker T Washington's 353-acres, totaling 7 miles. There are several distance choices designated by color codes (white, green, orange, yellow and blue). The blue blazes will give you the longest route. The other distances are marked by a sign on the trail at the lower parking lot.
There are a few steep climbs, which are rewarded with screaming descents. The newest section of trail also has some whoop-de-doos that make for a fun mountain bike excursion. Once out near the river, you have a few choices: take the inside track or stay outside. Choosing the outer trail gives you a view of the lake. In other words, go inside if you want the miles and outside if you want the view.
Who is Going to Love It
This is truly for everyone. Occasionally the park is home to a mountain bike or cyclocross race. The park also makes for a superb family outing, with miles of waterfront viewing, pavilions and recreational opportunities (swimming pool, basketball, volleyball, etc).
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
When entering the park, stay right at the Y. You can start in the upper lot (which is the next right turn) or park by the water in the lower lot, which is the more commonly used entrance. The sign is designated as Nature Trail. If you stay counterclockwise, the lower and upper trails intersect near the end of the cove where they cross to form a loop. The trail is fairly well maintained and is only technical in a few places.