Friday, April 21, 2017

Pot Point Trail - Chattanooga - Hiking Review

This is a review from a novice hiker's point of view of Pot Point Trail in Chattanooga Tn. 

I am in no way an experienced hiker. I would likely die if I went out to the Appalachian and hiked. That being said, my husband, our 8 year old son and myself love to go on hikes. We are blessed to live in the TN Valley. We live in North Georgia just south of Chattanooga, Tn. There are so many great hiking places surrounding us. 

I thought it would be fun to review the hikes that we go on from a non-experienced hiker's point of view. Us average ever-day hikers like information on where we might hike as well. When I was looking around for a new place for us to hike, I took to the internet. Most things I found were from hardcore hikers. Not that it was bad, mind you. I got valuable information from them. I thought I would add to it from a novice's stand point though.

Here is my review of the Pot Point Trail - Chattanooga, TN. 

Pot Point Trail - Chattanooga - Hiking Review by march to December

First off I will give you a bit of basic information on this trail. 

- You can download a map of the trail HERE

- 3.5 mile loop trail

- Part of is it by the river gorge (picture at top)

- Up to 1,000 foot climb

- It is about 9 miles from downtown Chattanooga

- Some what difficult to find via GPS (see below)

- 1-3 hours to complete 

Pot Point Trail - Chattanooga - Hiking Review by march to December

When we took off to hike, we put the location in our GPS and set out. Once we got within 5 miles of the location, we ran into some trouble. Nothing big and we found it without having to circle around. Just some points to note about getting to the actual trail. 

  1. The roads are very narrow and the locals drive like they are not. Be careful! 
  2. The GPS told us we had arrived about half a mile before we did. We were looking for a place to turn around when we found the actual trail
  3. It will be notated with a big sign. So if your GPS tells you are there, and you don't see the sign (pic. 2) keep going. 
Pot Point Trail - Chattanooga - Hiking Review by march to December

On to the hike! The trail itself is very well marked. At no point did we not know where we were going or ever felt remotely like we were lost. Just follow the blue blazes and you are good! As mentioned above this trail does get up to 1,000 feet. I had to sit down once and my 8 year old son had to sit down once just because it was steep! There was a group behind us that turned around because they didn't know "if there was anything at the end to justify such a steep hike." 

  • If you are looking for some WOW factor in your hike, this one is not for you. There is no amazing scenery at the end or no waterfall. This is just a wonderful hike for the sake of hiking. 

  • There are a lot of rock formations along the way. Some rocks bigger than houses. 

Pot Point Trail - Chattanooga - Hiking Review by march to December
You can see the blue marks and some of the rocks in this photo

Once we got to the top of the steep climb and had our little break, on we went. We were surrounded by beautiful trees and rocks. The next part of the hike is a downward and winding trail. This part was my favorite. The trails were wide, there was beautiful flora around and the trees made for a lovely canopy over us the entire time. 

Pot Point Trail - Chattanooga - Hiking Review by march to December

The next part of the hike, in my opinion, was the only part that wasn't well marked. 
  • You will have to cross the street to continue on the hike 

Once you cross over River Canyon road you will be in the part of the trail that follows beside the river. This will lead you back to Pot Point Cabin and completes the loop. There are a few things I want to mention about this part of the hike. Had I known these things, we probably would have turned around.

  • Bugs - That part of the hike is very lush and going to have the bugs that come with water, lushness and whatever part of the season you are in. 

  • Mud - There are places where the river rises up and makes for muddy crossing. When we hiked there was no way around it. We had to go through the mud in 5 different places. If you have small children, animals or a vehicle you don't want muddy don't go this way. If you do go, plan accordingly! 

  • Trash - This really took away from part of the hike. People out fishing, hiking and camping. There was trash in numerous places. 

  • Dangerous - Okay, so we got to the point where there was a mile or less left in the trail. We came across a dangerous sign...the trail had been washed out! At no point until then was there any mention of this. You can keep going, but it isn't the safest. You have to climb over boulders and trees laying down on their side. To one side there is a steep incline where this all washed down from and on the other a steep drop of littered with boulders and pointed rocks. That steep drop off goes right into the water. If you fall, you are going to hurt yourself or worse. I was terrified!! We climbed over it and landed ankle deep in mud, but we made it. So if you don't or can't do that, don't cross over the road and do this part of the trail. 

Pot Point Trail - Chattanooga - Hiking Review by march to December

Pot Point Trail - Chattanooga - Hiking Review by march to December

I am not saying this will be there when you go hiking. They  might have cleared it up. It could be and it could happen again. When we get month long rains around this area, anything like this could happen.

This is the part of the trail where there is beautiful scenery. If you are okay with the few things I mentioned above, the view is lovely! We probably will go back in the Autumn ourselves to see this view with the colors that Autumn brings.

All-in-all, this trail was moderately easy and a great trail if all you want to do is be in nature and hike. We ourselves will probably do it again. I want to end this review with one important thing about this trail. BEWARE OF POISON IVY! If you are very allergic to it, this trail isn't for you. We did get in some when we got off the trail (I am allergic) and didn't have a problem with it. If you rather not mess with it, stay on the trail.

Happy Hiking!

Pot Point Trail - Chattanooga - Hiking Review by march to December

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