Distance: 5 Mile Loop (approximately)
Trail: Single Track
Location: Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga, TN
Directions: From Downtown Chattanooga take 27N to Signal Mtn Rd. Exit. At the BILO veer Right onto Mtn. Creek Road. Take a Left on the W Road (this road will be just after a Storage unit facility on the left). Once at the top of the W Road if you made it up without having a heart attack veer Right onto Anderson Pike. 2/10ths of a mile turn Right on Wilson. Go to the 4 way stop and continue straight for another 4/10thsof a mile and take a Right on Glenway Ave. Less than 1/10th of a mile on left is the pull off. The trail starts here.
Trail Description: This trail is wonderful. It’s single track from start to finish, moderately technical, and the scenery is splendid. The distance has not been accurately measured but it is approximately a 5-mile loop. The first and last 2 miles are the same. The first ¼ mile is the most technical but this is not a good description for what lies ahead for the majority of the trail. The trail is well traveled but you will need to watch for roots and stumps throughout the whole coarse of the run.
From the pull off start the trail beginning at the bridge crossing. Follow alongside the creek downhill 1/8th mile and go right towards the stone paved bridge. Follow the trail another 1/8th mile and on your left will be a tree down and the trail will go left and straight but go left. Not very far from there you will come to you first creek crossing. Note if it has rained considerably in the past few days the crossing can be difficult to bypass. Shortly after the first crossing you will run into another crossing that is usually feasible at all times. You will then wind your way thru the woods without interruption for a little while. This part is my favorite section the woods are awesome and you feel so far away from the hustle and bustle. You will eventually come to an obvious fork, which lies just past a down tree. If you can visualize a lollypop you have just made it to the pop. You will take a left here and eventually end up back in this same spot but coming in from the right. You will now begin a short but steep uphill climb that will kick you out right onto a dirt/sandy trail that runs parallel to the ridge. Shortly after coming down the off of the ridge by taking the first and only right off of the sandy trail, the route takes you very near a 180+ foot water fall and a wonderful veiw of Falling Water Gorge. There are many variations of this route with miles and miles to explore. Enjoy!
Note: There has been some residential development in the Mabbot Springs area since we first published this trail description. You won’t miss the house that’s sitting right on the trail towards the beginning, but there is a well-worn, obvious path around it. This area is still a pleasure and is well worth a visit.