Hiking trails & Greenways

Hiking

Walk the path less traveled, pause and take a deep breath of clean, pure mountain air. See the beauty of nature surrounding you; hear the birds singing in the trees, the distant sound of a waterfall and the leaves crunching under your feet. These are the joys of hiking and the Ocoee Region is a fabulous place to experience them!

The Ocoee Region is full of beautiful hiking trails that will transport you…allowing you and your family to get away from the hustle and bustle of your daily lives and to experience nature at its best. Whether you enjoy long winding trails that are difficult or a short trail perfect for the kids, the Ocoee Region has something for you!

 Cherokee National Forest
The 640,000-acre Cherokee National Forest lies in the heart of the Southern Appalachian mountain range and is visited by millions of people each year. A remarkably diverse area, the forest provides habitat for 43 species of mammals, 154 species of fish, 55 species of amphibians and 262 species of birds.

The Cherokee National Forest has a wide variety of trail difficulties, from easy to advanced. With more than 600 miles of trails, including the Benton McKaye trail and 150 miles of the Appalachian Trail, hikers have the opportunity to hike long distances if they choose. The Forest is the location for the popular Benton Falls Trail, which is part of the Chilhowee Trail Complex.

Red Clay State Historic Park
Red Clay State Park is the site of the last council grounds of the Cherokee Nation before their removal along the tragic Trail of Tears. A Cherokee farm and council house of the period have been replicated to offer visitors a glimpse of how the area might have looked 150 years ago. The sacred council spring produces over 400,000 gallons of sapphire-blue water a day, providing the area’s long-ago residents with fresh spring water. An interpretative center houses a theater, exhibits and artifacts. Recreational facilities include a 500-seat amphitheater, a picnic pavilion, picnic area with grills and tables, and a two-mile loop trail with a beautiful limestone overlook tower.  This trail is perfect for beginners and for hikers with small children.

If you want a less strenuous walk, Cleveland has some great urban trails for you to choose from.

Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway
The Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway is a 3.94-mile-long public greenway walking path along Mouse Creek that will eventually stretch from the Village Green shopping and office center to the Hiwassee River in Charleston.

The Greenway weaves through the northern part of Cleveland from Willow Street to Mohawk Drive. The path follows South Mouse Creek and crosses the waterway in five locations. Highlights of the greenway include an 18-space parking area at the north end of Harris Circle, five pedestrian bridges that cross Mouse Creek, five underpasses (Mouse Creek Rd., Keith St., 17th, 20th and 25th Streets), two playgrounds, three restrooms, and a connection to the Prayer Walk Plaza at the Church of God International Offices.

Phase Location Length
Phase 1 25th to 20th Street 0.57
Phase 2 Raider Drive to 25th Street 0.8
Phase 3 20th to Willow Street 0.51
Phase 4 Mohawk Drive to Tinsley Park 0.75
Phase 5 Tinsley Park to Raider Drive 1.17
Phase 6 (proposed) Willow Street to Inman Street 0.44

Downtown Walking Tour
This tour allows you to personally experience Cleveland’s unique history. Historic sites along the tour include Craigmiles Opera House; Café Roma, fine dining in an historic building that once housed the local daily newspaper; and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, a Gothic Revival structure rich in local folklore. The self guided tour brochure is available at the Chamber of Commerce.

Fletcher Park
Fletcher Park is a 720-acre passive, nature oriented park. The park has a five-mile walking trail, 100+ year-old springhouse, fishing pond, and picnic area. Other features are a boardwalk, observation walkway and amphitheater. The park is located on Tennessee Nursery Road and is appropriate for beginners and hikers with small children.