Sunday Hikes: Rainbow Lake Trail

Located on Signal Mountain in Chattanooga, Tennessee is a network of trails that take you to great overlooks but with much less traffic than you might find on Lookout Mountain. I️ went on a day trip to Chattanooga a couple weeks ago and the Rainbow Lake Trail was recommended to Erin and I️ by an employee at my favorite Chattanooga coffee shop, Velo. We arrived at the trailhead (which is right next to a golf course) and wandered down the trail. Not long into the trail we reached a wooden bridge built over a small spring with an old well next to it!

The trail continues downward into a valley where the trail crosses the creek via wobbly drawbridge! This is where the creek is dammed creating a very cool waterfall!

Once crossing the drawbridge the trail ascends steeply up the other side of the valley with rocky steps. There were a lot of trees fallen down here, presumably from the recent snow storm! After leveling out briefly past some tall cliffs, the trail continues upwards past and around a natural arch with a small waterfall flowing through!

From here the path levels out and continues on towards the overlook. We found a nice spot to sit on the cliff across from the old folks home on the other side of the valley.

We left from here with hopes of grabbing some more Velo coffee before they closed with a short detour down a side trail to a shelter for camping in!

The hike back went by quickly and we hurried to Velo, got some coffee and went up to lookout mountain for a peanut butter sandwich picnic dinner!

I️ didn’t know anything about this trail going in and it definitely exceeded any expectations I️ had! If you are in Chattanooga this hike is definitely a fun hike to do!

Thanks! – Josh