Fall Colors in the Scenic City

Looking for some great ways to see the fall colors? Chattanooga offers options by bike, boat and train. And the roads are always wide open for some cruising in your car or motorcycle.

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Monday, Nov. 14, 2016: Chattanooga Fall Colors Weekly Forecast by Gene Hyde, City of Chattanooga Forester: Colors are lingering due to above normal temperatures, lack of a killing frost, and no rain to knock off loosely attached leaves. Trees are still showing brilliant colors, however, there are some that are now bare and have gone to sleep for the winter. Those trees still holding colors are:

  • Oaks – little hints of red
  • Maples – red and yellow
  • Sumac – crimson
  • Hickory – a faded yellow
  • Sweetgum – red, yellow, and purple

BicyclistsHop on a bike from the Chattanooga Bike Share System and view the beautiful fall foliage on the 13-mile paved Riverwalk that runs along the Tennessee River and through the scenic Bluff View Art District. Bring your mountain bike and explore the trails at Stringer’s RidgeEnterprise South Nature Park or on Lookout, Signal or Raccoon Mountains. 

Take a cruise into the Tennessee River Gorge where you’ll see nature’s brilliant canvas of fall colors. 

River Gorge Explorer Fall Color Cruises ($)
RiverboatOct. 15-Nov. 12, times vary
Join an Aquarium naturalist on daily two-hour excursions to view fall color while discovering history and wildlife along the way.

Southern Belle Riverboat’s Fall Foliage Cruises ($)
Oct. 1-Nov. 19, times vary
This 3-hour fall foliage cruise sails into the TN River Gorge and includes roast beef & rotisserie chicken, live entertainment, commentary & free bingo with prizes.

Jump on board the Tennessee Valley Railroad or the Incline Railway for a variety of rides that take you through the beautiful Tennessee valley or straight up Lookout Mountain. 

Tennessee Valley Railroad’s Summerville Steam Special ($)
TrainSept. 3-Nov. 13, dates vary, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Experience the fall colors aboard a vintage train that follows a historic route from Grand Junction Station in Chattanooga to Summerville, Georgia, and then back. There are a variety of cars and dining options. Explore the town of Summerville during the 1.5 hour layover.

Tennessee Valley Railroad’s Missionary Ridge Local Trips ($) 
Sept. 1-Oct. 30, times & dates vary
The Missionary Ridge Local trip begins at Grand Junction Station and takes passengers through the scenic Tennessee Valley, along one of the original railroad lines in Chattanooga, over four bridges, through a pre-Civil War tunnel, to the locomotive rotating turntable, and back. 

Lookout Mountain Incline Railway Rides ($)
Daily, times vary
The Incline Railway, one of the steepest passenger railways at a 72.7% grade, offers scenic views of the Tennessee Valley as you ride straight up Lookout Mountain. Be sure to visit the Observation Deck at the top for a panoramic view.