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Chattanooga, TN: North Chickamauga segment of Cumberland Trail

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Distance: 7.5 miles


A perfect summer hike, this 7.5 mile in-and-back features a cool swimming hole at the halfway point in North Chickamauga Creek. Indian rock houses, wild blackberries, and remnants of the coal industry can be found along this trek.
  • Trailhead sign
  • Trailhead kiosk and map
  • Trail begins slow ascent
  • Swimming hole
  • Trail turns right
  • Crossing Hogskin Branch
  • Lower loop intersects main trail
  • Rocky cliffs
  • Coal tipple remnants
  • Switchback climb
  • Crossing stream
  • Mine entrance
  • From inside the mine
  • Hiking along rocky cliffs
  • Ladder #1
  • Scenic overlook into the gorge
  • Trail flattens out
  • Picking wild blackberries
  • Stream crossing
  • Timber Rattler
  • Left turn
  • Cable crossing
  • Ladder #2
  • Bald eagle
  • Swimming hole
  • Turn right to head back to main trail

This segment of the Cumberland Trail follows North Chickamauga Creek and was home to a coal mining operation at the turn of the 20th century. Numerous deep swimming holes along the trail make it very popular for locals.

From the trailhead, follow the creek along a gentle rise. Stay straight to take the Lower Loop of Hogskin Branch as the trail asends to follow along an old roadbed. Continue climbing until you reach a set of ladders that take you to a scenic overlook of the gorge below. The trail then picks up another old roadbed along the ridge where summer months gift the hiker with wild blackberries. Leave the road and bear hard left down a steep hill (500 feet in about half a mile) featuring a cable crossing and another ladder until you reach the deep swimming hole of North Chickamauga Creek. After a lunch and swim break, head back up the hill and retrace your steps back to the trailhead, but this time veer left and take the short Upper Loop of Hogskin Branch to again rejoin the main trail.

-Mapped by Kelly Stewart, Nashville Hiking Meetup

 

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