Tell me about Chattanooga- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Tell me about Chattanooga

    I have a potential job opportunity in Chattanooga and would like some input on the riding there, and quality of life in general. I am aware of decent mtb trails near town, but how is the road riding? Gravel? I like all disciplines and would really like to be somewhere with a nice balance and variety of riding. How far is the nearest backcountry riding? Stacked loops are okay for an evening ride, but I really love backcountry riding. Anyone with experience in the GWNF or Pisgah that can offer comparisons? Is the riding good year round? Do the trails drain well?

    How is life off the bike? I'm in my 40's, so a young nightlife scene isn't too important to me, but good restaurants and drinks are definitely desirable. How is the healthcare infrastructure in town? How is traffic during busy times?

    Thanks in advance for any input.

  2. #2
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    I used to spend a lot of time in Chattanooga rock climbing back when I lived in Nashville. It’s a hip place with a little bit of grit and a healthy amount of soul. Outdoors wise, it’s as good as it gets in the region. The paddling (locals call it “creekin”) is excellent, good fishing, excellent climbing, good bit of public land etc and a lot of it is immediately accessible from downtown. You’re also close to NC.

    IMHO: You could definitely do worse.

  3. #3
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    I live in Cleveland which is just north of Chatt. All of my gravel riding friends ride forest service roads in Cherokee national forest and Cohutta. Last winter we got a ton of rain, and a lot of the mountain bike trail systems got shut down to preserve them from erosion. I missed out on a lot of riding because of that and am getting into gravel riding as an alternative when I cant ride trails. Most winters though the trails generally stay open. Most of the trails drain well and are maintained well.

    Downtown Chattanooga is a much much nicer place than when I was growing up in the 70s and 80s. I had my fill of downtown during my college years at UTC, but it is very nice to visit. If you work downtown 8-5 or something, you will be frustrated with traffic - especially if you live east of town and have to drive through the Missionary ridge cut.

    It is a great area to live.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNTall View Post
    I live in Cleveland which is just north of Chatt. All of my gravel riding friends ride forest service roads in Cherokee national forest and Cohutta. Last winter we got a ton of rain, and a lot of the mountain bike trail systems got shut down to preserve them from erosion. I missed out on a lot of riding because of that and am getting into gravel riding as an alternative when I cant ride trails. Most winters though the trails generally stay open. Most of the trails drain well and are maintained well.

    Downtown Chattanooga is a much much nicer place than when I was growing up in the 70s and 80s. I had my fill of downtown during my college years at UTC, but it is very nice to visit. If you work downtown 8-5 or something, you will be frustrated with traffic - especially if you live east of town and have to drive through the Missionary ridge cut.

    It is a great area to live.
    It looks like a short drive to the N. GA mountains. Am I correct? Mulberry Gap is supposed to be good.

    I would like to live somewhere with easy access to good riding. I know many prospective coworkers live on/in Signal Mtn. Do you know if the roads in that area are decent for road rides. I basically need good evening/night riding from the front door, and then I can drive to the good stuff on the weekends.

  5. #5
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    Mulberry Gap, Pinhoti, etc is a great area to ride. I'm less than an hour from there. I can't tell you about road riding on Signal Mountain.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmal View Post
    It looks like a short drive to the N. GA mountains. Am I correct? Mulberry Gap is supposed to be good.

    I would like to live somewhere with easy access to good riding. I know many prospective coworkers live on/in Signal Mtn. Do you know if the roads in that area are decent for road rides. I basically need good evening/night riding from the front door, and then I can drive to the good stuff on the weekends.
    From my recollection, road riding is very popular on Signal Mtn. It’s some stout climbing with a bunch of switchbacks. Lookout Mtn as well. Now, unless something has changed, the roads on Signal Mtn are pretty tight with no shoulder, which is a downside, but locals are used to bikes being on the road as well.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the replies. Seems like there is plenty of good riding in the area. I'll be visiting soon for a first hand look. Major moves are always big decisions, and this one would be a long term endeavor, so I need to make the right choice.

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    Chattanooga is great! I just moved to town about 13 months ago and have been loving the riding. I live on the Southside of downtown and it puts me pretty central to everything. Loads of great restaurants/bars/breweries within walking distance. 15 minute drive to Raccoon Mtn which has 30+ miles of technical, physical singletrack. Tons of other trails within 20-30 minutes (5 points, ESNP, Bauxite Ridge, White Oak Mountain, plus new trails on Lookout Mountain called the Moonshine trails). Plenty of road riding as well. My typical after-work ride is to leave from my house and within 15 minutes, mostly on a greenway type trail, I can be at the foot of Lookout Mountain and can climb as far up as I have time for on a mix of singletrack/doubletrack (Guild Trail). Check out Trailforks...no shortage of riding here!

    Some people complain about the traffic, but coming from a much larger city (Minneapolis) the traffic is almost a non-factor here. It's really a great, upcoming city! I was a bit worried about fitting in culturally coming from a Northern "blue" state, but I've found Chattanooga to be a nice progressive place for TN, especially the closer you are to downtown.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2m2hs View Post
    Chattanooga is great! I just moved to town about 13 months ago and have been loving the riding. I live on the Southside of downtown and it puts me pretty central to everything. Loads of great restaurants/bars/breweries within walking distance. 15 minute drive to Raccoon Mtn which has 30+ miles of technical, physical singletrack. Tons of other trails within 20-30 minutes (5 points, ESNP, Bauxite Ridge, White Oak Mountain, plus new trails on Lookout Mountain called the Moonshine trails). Plenty of road riding as well. My typical after-work ride is to leave from my house and within 15 minutes, mostly on a greenway type trail, I can be at the foot of Lookout Mountain and can climb as far up as I have time for on a mix of singletrack/doubletrack (Guild Trail). Check out Trailforks...no shortage of riding here!

    Some people complain about the traffic, but coming from a much larger city (Minneapolis) the traffic is almost a non-factor here. It's really a great, upcoming city! I was a bit worried about fitting in culturally coming from a Northern "blue" state, but I've found Chattanooga to be a nice progressive place for TN, especially the closer you are to downtown.
    Moonshine trails ? …. tell me more

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2m2hs View Post
    Chattanooga is great! I just moved to town about 13 months ago and have been loving the riding. I live on the Southside of downtown and it puts me pretty central to everything. Loads of great restaurants/bars/breweries within walking distance. 15 minute drive to Raccoon Mtn which has 30+ miles of technical, physical singletrack. Tons of other trails within 20-30 minutes (5 points, ESNP, Bauxite Ridge, White Oak Mountain, plus new trails on Lookout Mountain called the Moonshine trails). Plenty of road riding as well. My typical after-work ride is to leave from my house and within 15 minutes, mostly on a greenway type trail, I can be at the foot of Lookout Mountain and can climb as far up as I have time for on a mix of singletrack/doubletrack (Guild Trail). Check out Trailforks...no shortage of riding here!

    Some people complain about the traffic, but coming from a much larger city (Minneapolis) the traffic is almost a non-factor here. It's really a great, upcoming city! I was a bit worried about fitting in culturally coming from a Northern "blue" state, but I've found Chattanooga to be a nice progressive place for TN, especially the closer you are to downtown.
    Thanks for the info. Sounds good.

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