Booker T Washington State Park - Mountain Biking

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About

Summary

A popular mountain biking destination in Chattanooga, TN, with plenty of options and spectacular views of Chickamauga Lake.

Written by

Drew Streip

Distance

7.0 miles

There are three loop trail options, totaling 7 miles of trail.

Destination Distance From Downtown

5.2 miles

Difficulty

2 of 5 diamonds

Time To Complete

1 hours

1-1.5 hours

Seasonality

All Seasons

While it's possible, you probably don't want to ride here during the summer, as the overgrowth and poison ivy can be absolutely out of control, and can make your experience truly miserable.

Dog Friendly

No

Not Recommended

Fees Permits

No

Land Website

SORBA Chattanooga Site

Review

Intro

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. 

Location

Booker T Washington State Park

5801 Champion Road Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chattanooga, TN, 37416
35.109428, -85.171205

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