The Big Soddy Creek Gulf Trail is a very accommodating trail with beautiful scenery.
It is a short scenic drive, just north of downtown Chattanooga. So if you're looking for an easy hike near the Chattanooga area, put this one on your list.
It is no secret that Chattanooga, Tennessee is the perfect city for those that love to hike! You'll find plenty of Chattanooga hikes on Signal Mountain and Lookout Mountain.
But travel just a few minutes north of Chattanooga, up Highway 27 and you come to Big Soddy Creek Gulf. It is located in Soddy Daisy, TN and is a beautiful and easy hike!
There is a good sized parking area at the head of the trail, just off Back Valley Road, with portalets and information about the trail.
They have additional portalets at 2 other points along the trail. One at approximately .5 mile and another at 1 mile. You will also find several benches and picnic tables along the way, with trash cans and even complimentary "poo-bags" for your dogs!
This trail is great for those looking for an easy walk along the creek and also for those more adventurous who might want to extend that walk into a hike up the mountain along Board Camp Creek.
I believe the trail is officially 3.8 miles out and back.
There is even a small waterfall along the way.
The first mile or so of the trail is relatively flat (an old railroad bed) and more or less follows alongside Big Soddy Creek, a large creek that offers up several tempting swimming holes for a hot summer day.
At about a quarter mile in there is easy access to the creek, perfect for swimming. There are rocks to climb on and even a few picnic tables. In the summer, you usually find a few people swimming.
The wide, flat trail ends when you reach the intersection with Board Camp Creek. At that point, if you choose to continue the trail to the right along Board Camp Creek, you must cross the creek on large rocks.
It is relatively easy if the creek is low but can be a challenge when the creek is up. A nearby footbridge over the creek was washed out recently so the rocks are the only crossing option, as of this post.
If you continue the hike along Board Camp Creek, be prepared for an increase in grade. It's not as luxurious as the flat section along Soddy Creek but it is an interesting hike with plenty of pleasant scenery - forest views, moss covered rocks and the sounds of Board Camp Creek.
This creek also has another scenic swimming hole not too far up the trail!
This would probably be a very good winter hike, when the leaves are down. We didn't venture any further than where the trail intersects the Cumberland Trail. The upside to the climb is that the return hike to Big Soddy Creek went a lot faster!
We highly recommend a visit to Big Soddy Creek Gulf!