Distance: Approx. 5.3 miles Round Trip
Trail: Technical but well maintained single track hiking trail
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Location: East side of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee
Directions: From Downtown Chattanooga drive south on Broad Street towards Lookout Mountain. Follow signs to the Incline Railway tourist attraction, on Tennessee Ave. Go thru St. Elmo and turn right just pass the Incline Railway on Ochs Highway. This road starts taking you up Lookout Mtn. About ¼ of a mile on your left is a parking area with a designated trailhead sign. Park here and cross the street to start the run on the Guild trail.
Trail Description: The Guild Trail is a fine gravel forest service access road. In 0.3 miles turn left at the marked White sides Trail sign. This trail takes you 0.5 miles up to a paved road and picnic area often used by Lookout Mtn tourists in the summer season. Cross the paved road and continue up the trail. At this point the trail becomes the Shingles Trail. It continues for about 0.9 miles through deep wooded forests and huge boulders. The Shingles Trail pops out on Ochs Hwy, where you cross the road and start the Glenn Falls Trail. These entire trail junctions are well marked. The Glenn Falls Trail is truly the most superb section of this entire trail. It is 0.9 miles long and takes you to a breath taking view of Glenn Falls. Eventually you pop out at the trail end, which is at Ochs Hwy, almost at the crest of Lookout Mountain. The trail is intended to be an out and back.
I highly recommend this trail for 3 reasons. In a 2.8-mile section you gain approx 1,800 feet, but the trail is never very steep at any given area. It seems very easy and gradual. Also, the trail has a lot of history and at some places you can stop and read about it. Thirdly, being so close to Chattanooga, these trails are rarely traveled but very well maintained. My guess is you don’t get a lot of runners or hikers on this trail because it’s an out and back (or should I say, up and down). This trail can be linked via the Guild trail for a long run if you’re willing and able.