Maximize Your Hike

5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Hike

Hiking is a wonderful opportunity to self-reflect, workout, and build a connection with nature, often all at the same time! With our proximity to the Appalachian Mountain system our connection to hiking runs deep. So we pooled our collective expertise to offer these 5 tips for you get the most out of your hike.

By Candice Graham

Switch up the speed.

Incorporate interval training into your hike. To do this, alternate between sprints and walks. Try to sprint during the steeper, more difficult stretches, and take a break to walk when the trail turns flat.

Include nature.

Just because you won’t have weights with you doesn’t mean you can’t give your arms a workout. Find a solid branch and hold it over your head while lunging forward. Be sure to keep your knee above your ankle and repeat with both legs, continuing to hold the branch overhead.

Give your legs a rest – but not your body.

On a long hike, you might reach a point where your legs need to take a break. Look for other ways to keep your body active while you give them a rest. Do a set of crunches or triceps dips to keep your heart rate up.

Try a vertical pushup.

Use a sturdy tree to help you execute a vertical pushup. Place your palms against the tree with fingertips facing inward. Then extend your arms, standing high on the balls of your feet. Do as many pushups like this as you can.

Hold a chair pose.

Using a tree as your workout partner again, lean your back against the trunk and step your feet out as you scoot toward the ground. When your knee joints are over your ankles, you’ve reached the proper chair pose. Hold it for at least 30 seconds.
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Ry Glover, Features Editor at RootsRated, gave us his top five picks for trails in the greater Chattanooga area that’ll get your heart racing.

Trail Miles What Makes It Great

Fiery Gizzard Trail
12.7 miles point-to-point
considered one of the top 25 trails in the nation

Bluff Trail on Lookout Mountain
5-9 miles
history and nature make this a stimulating hike

Perimeter Loop at Raccoon Mountain
13-mile loop
with singletrack trails in great shape, it’s equally enjoyed by hikers and runners

Mullens Cove Loop
10-mile loop
a favorite of local runners thanks to the soft, but often technical single track trail

Signal Point to Edward’s Point
5.8 out-and-back
offers beautiful views and a variety of easy and challenging trails

*For more information on these trails and others, visit


Looking for a more relaxing stroll or walk? We’ve also compiled this list of our favorite spots to walk in the greater Chattanooga area!

Photo of North Chickamauga Creek Greenway taken by Eric J Williams Photography

Photo by Eric J Williams Photography


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