Within recent memory, our company’s hometown of Chattanooga was voted Best City in World History by Outside Magazine readers. In support of this recognition I herein offer up my own bit of supporting evidence as to why this city is pretty cool.
Chattanooga has no skyscrapers, but the skyline makes up in silhouette and placement what it lacks in height. We have the fastest internet in the country, but we’re famous as a railroad hub. Downtown has its share of corporate castles, and we deal with traffic jams at appropriate times of the day, but if you drive 10 minutes in any direction you’ll find a trail to hike, a creek to play on, or maybe a pack of wild coyotes. In short, Chattanooga does a lot of big city stuff – and does it well – yet still offers the sanity and coziness of a small, southern town.
Case in point: one of my favorite places to go is called Stringer’s Ridge. You should visit it. Stringer’s Ridge is a wooded, hilly area full of trails north of the river, and no matter where you are in Chattanooga you can get there in under two minutes. Ok, that’s an exaggeration, but it does enjoy a great location and seems to be close to everything. If you’re at the Smart Furniture Studio on the North Shore, you can get to Stringer’s Ridge in about 2 minutes. If you’re downtown you can get there in 5 minutes. Score one for convenience.
There’s a lot of new housing popping up around this area but Stringers Ridge is under a “conservation easement” (you look it up) and, according to the internets, is under the management of the Trust for Public Land and the TN River Gorge Trust. So the only houses on the land are in ruins and are fun to look at. There’s also more than one very scenic overlook with an outstanding view of downtown and lots of well kept trails, which I believe is the work of a volunteer group called Friends of Stringer’s Ridge. You can check out their Facebook page here. This is a great spot within city limits that I hope stays exactly how it is. If you like hiking, biking, walking, trees, or sunlight, then check it out*.
When I go I usually park behind Nikki’s on Cherokee Boulevard. You can check out a pretty good map of the trails here (Nikki’s is near Trail Head 1 on the map).
*According to the Friends of Stringer’s Ridge, the park is currently closed (whoops) as trails are currently being improved. Check it out when you can though.