Reflection Riding is a 375 acre preserve developed in the tradition of the old English "riding parks." Named for the reflecting pool found in its open fields, this wonderful place is the result of many years of careful landscaping and preservation by John A. and Margaret Chambliss. Although longtime mountain resident William Raoul writes that "during his lifetime the enthusiasms of John Chambliss were regarded by his friends with more amusement than understanding," generations of people have since had cause to celebrate his special vision. Most come to drive or walk the 2.4 mile automobile loop which passes hundreds of varieties of trees, plants, and wildflowers, many of which are labeled, historic markers, and vistas of uncompromising beauty.
On the property is the Chattanooga Nature Center, which includes numerous interpretive exhibits, a wetlands boardwalk, and a wildlife rehabilitation center. In addition to the automobile loop, there are over seven miles of hiking trails and paths on the Reflection Riding Grounds. Most allow loops of varying lengths, with several connections to the NPS trails above. Bicycles are allowed on the main roads, but not on the hiking trails. If you expect to leave after normal visiting hours, you may wish to park in the small designated area outside the main gate (or back down the hill on Garden road in the larger gravel lot) to avoid being locked in.
Although admission is charged to Reflection Riding and the Nature Center, the money goes to a good cause and the experience is well worth the expense. An annual membership in the Nature Center will entitle you and your family to a year of unlimited visits--a true bargain.
Start Your Hike
You should start at any hike at the Nature Center where you can register and (if not already a member) sign up or pay for admission.
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