Best time to travel to Chattanooga, TN

Fall Colors in Chattanooga, TN

While every season is great in its own way, there's something quite magical about fall near Tennessee River

Best time: late October–early November

Fall Colors

The Scenic City has its nickname for a reason. Mountains of maples, tupelo, and other deciduous trees pop with saturated colors. Whether by boat along the Tennessee River or by foot, everything works as fall in Chattanooga is terrific.

Peak fall colors in Chattanooga

To catch the most beautiful fall scenery, plan your trip to Chattanooga from mid to late October. The last week of October and the first week of November is the peak time to see fall foliage in the city. Sometimes the season lasts even until mid-November.

Best places to see fall colors in Chattanooga

What can be better than hiking and having a picnic with fall colors in the background? Fortunately, the beautiful Chattanooga scenery will satisfy even the most demanding leaf peepers. To the southwest of the town, there are several hiking destinations such as Point Park and Sunset Rock, where you can go all the way up Lookout Mountain to capture great birds-eye views. Alternatively, go up Signal Mountain, discovering Signal Point surrounded by clouds.

However, when in Chattanooga, one can not miss boating on the Tennessee River. The river's coast stretches for 13 mi (20 km) and is lined with hardwoods that turn burning red, yellow, and orange. You can view fall foliage from cruise ships like the Southern Belle Riverboat.

Chattanooga fall foliage train

Tennessee Valley Railroad trains will take you to several scenic routes including Lookout Mountain. Interestingly, Incline Railway goes up this historic mountain and is the world's steepest passenger railway. Missionary Ridge Local is a short line ride on a vintage train, going from Grand Junction Station to East Chattanooga. If you are ready for a longer ride, opt for a 4.5-hour Hiwassee Loop, a 50 mi (80 km) trip to the Hiwassee River gorge that looks simply stunning during the fall foliage season.

Practical info

When can one enjoy the colors of fall in Chattanooga the most?

The peak time to enjoy Chattanooga's fall colors is from the last week of October to the first week of November. Tourists will witness the progression of hardwoods with vibrant colors. Even the season remains active till mid-November with a special view of maples, and tupelo. Show more

Which places are best for sightseeing the colors of fall in Chattanooga?

If someone wishes to witness the fabulous fall colors of Chattanooga, best scenic places are hiking destinations such as Signal Mountain, Point Park, and Sunset Rock. Alternatively, for a different approach, boating, and viewing along the Tennessee River can be an excellent option, and on the shoreline area lined with hardwoods turning burning red, yellow, and orange, the view is serene. Also, there is a vintage train ride with the Tennessee Valley Railroad. Show more

What are the activities that can be enjoyed to witness fall foliage in Chattanooga?

A fantastic railway ride while enjoying scenic views, visitors can take the Tennessee Valley Railroad's vintage train ride. Also, the Incline Railway going up through Lookout Mountain, known as the world's steepest passenger railway. Meanwhile, travelers can experience the beautiful view of Lookout Mountain and Hiwassee River gorge while enjoying a vintage train with the Tennessee Valley Railroad. Show more

Which well-known event in Chattanooga is celebrated for fall foliage?

Annually, Chattanooga celebrated the Wine Over Water festival, which gives visitors a chance to try out the local food and sip fine wines, beers, and spirits together with a striking view of the fall foliage and beautiful Tennessee River. The event is eagerly anticipated, but temporarily it has been put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Show more

Can tourists experience a train ride to witness fall foliage in Chattanooga?

Yes, the Tennessee Valley Railroad provides different train rides that showcase the vivid fall foliage of the region. For example, visitors can travel through the historic Missionary Ridge Local, starting from Grand Junction Station, or can enjoy the Incline Railway ride to the top of Lookout Mountain. The Hiwassee route towards the Hiwassee River gorge, covering a 50-mile area, is great to witness the whole area's scenic view. Show more

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