Chattanooga has tons of trails for running, and everyone has a favorite, but what I am about to share is the Holy Grail of trail running in Chattanooga.
What Makes It Great
Why Pot Point Loop is not the most visited trail in the area is a total mystery to me--but also good for me, because I love to run alone. This loop offers grand views of the Tennessee River Gorge and takes you over a large natural bridge. The majority of the trail is on contour and the trail is easy to run. While rolling a bit, the only really challenging part is out of McNabb Gulf, but even then, there are many views of Raccoon Mountain across the river gorge that make it all worth it. Ransom Hollow Overlook, in particular, is one of the best views in the region. The trail is marked with white blazes and I found it pretty easy to follow even on my first visit. That said, there are a few places where you need to keep your eyes open for the white blaze.
Running counter-clockwise, you'll pass designated campsites at McNabb Gulf Campsite and Hemlock Branch. McNabb Gulf is a beautiful piece of this trail and as you ascend, you move into Hemlock forest where there is a beautiful little stream in the gulf. At the top of the Gulf you cross Tower Road and wind your way around the other side of the mountain with views of the Tennessee River far below, culminating with the magnificent panorama at Snoopers Rock.
Who is Going to Love It
Confident runners and hikers who enjoy a remote, lesser-traveled trail will enjoy the Pot Point Loop. Footing is good although care must be taken in the Fall when leaves cover the trail.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
To reach the Snoopers Rock trailhead, drive down the graveled Game Reserve Road for about 6 miles. Just past a steep downhill grade, you will see the trailhead on the left.