By Nathan P. Gayle, Editor-in-Chief
Okay, so I have established that there are some nice and easy hikes that are within fifty miles of Chattanooga, Tenn. in this column. This months hike is not so easy but it is probably one of the best hikes there is and if you like to kayak, creek boat, you might want to take a look too. Middle Creek is located off of Suck Creek Rd. at the base of Walden’s Ridge. The Cumberland Trail runs near Middle Creek and even passes over it in a part but the trail I am talking about is off of Suck Creek Road.
The trail is on the right side of the road when traveling from Chattanooga. It is just a pull off with no signs or trail markers. Middle Creek’s trail starts off having to step over an old home’s foundation and you walk down an over grown trail that leads to Middle Creek.
The trail starts off flat and there is a little trouble hiking along the trail and balancing on rocks. In the beginning area, once you have reached the creek, there are plenty of boulders to go bouldering on. When I hike this area I tend to stay close to the right side of the creek which can make for some fun climbing opportunities. Depending on the time of year it is will determine if I stay on the right side or cross the creek to the left.
Seeing how there is no true set path, or none I have found, along Middle Creek; I suggest going there and playing around until you find your way. Just stay safe. For spring/ summer time there are plenty of blue holes to swim in and when the creek is flowing there are some sick runs for kayakers. In the fall the leaves changing are beautiful in the gorge and in winter seeing ice form on the multiple water falls is like no other in this area.
I do not recommend this hike if you are starting out. The grade, along with the terrain can make this one of the most difficult hikes in the Chattanooga area but it is one of the most rewarding too. I like to go out there in the spring time and just lay like a lizard on the rocks and relax with the warm rocks melting away the troubles of that day.