|The official Chickamauga and Chattanooga Park Service map contains a nice
driving tour of the battlefield. If you have more time to spend, there are also a
number of topical hiking trails available at the Visitor's Center Information Desk.
When you really want to see more of the battlefield but really don't know where to start,
these trails are a good choice. Each trail map has a series of questions that you
need to answer along the way based on various battlefield sites and monuments. When
you complete your hike you can get a ranger at the Visitor's Center to grade your answers,
then submit your papers along with a form and a nominal fee to the Rossville,
Georgia Kiwanis Club to get a patch for completing the hike. These are popular
hikes for scout groups, and all are pretty much flat terrain. Besides the trail
instructions and map, you should always take along a copy of the official park map and/or
the overall park trails map to provide clarification when necessary. You can never
get very lost, but you can sure end up in a place different from where you thought you
were going, particularly in the northeast part of the park on the first day's battlefield.
Note that these maps are not the ones given out at the Park Service Desk. These have been updated and corrected where required. I made up a detailed trail maps because I got tired of not being able to find various points on the battlefield, and I have redrawn the trail maps onto this common map.
Also be aware that the distances for each trail listed below are usually shorter than the ones listed on the existing park maps. I rescaled the trails off the detailed 1934 survey map (after correcting for modern changes), and also checked some distances with a GPS during a Boy Scout Hike. The Perimeter and Nature Trail is only 11 miles, not the 20 that is listed on the old trail map. Maybe they were assuming that you would do it twice. For Boy Scouts who need a 20 mile hike for their hiking merit badge, I suggest starting with the 11-mile Perimeter-Nature Trail (bring a compass), and then reverse your path by doing the 9-mile Cannon Trail. You'll get in 20 miles and earn three patches.
Click on each hike below for a brief review, overview map, an image of the trail patch, and a pdf file of the trail instructions and detailed map.
|General Bragg Hike - 4.5 miles|
|Cannon Hike - 9.5 miles|
|Confederate Lines Hike - 5 miles|
|Historical Hike - 10.5 miles|
|Memorial Hike - 8.5 miles|
|Perimeter & Nature Trail Hike - 11 miles|
There is a 100 mile patch available if you hike all of the official trails (the first 6 bullets above, plus the seven mile Blue Beaver Trail on Lookout Mountain). This seems to come out at just under 100 miles, but if you also hike along the Missionary Ridge battle line (7-8 miles) this will get you closer to the 100 mile mark.