Suck Creek Road to Mushroom Rock is a 3.8 mile out and back trail located near Chattanooga, Tennessee. The trail is good for all skill levels and primarily used for hiking.
As some others have said finding this trail is the hardest part. If you are heading up Suck Creek road the trail is going to start on your right. Heading up Suck Creek road near the top, before you reach the Walden Ridge community sign, you'll just barely spot a set of stairs leading to a trailhead on the left side of the road. There are typically a few cars parked in the location so that's your best marker. The trail to mushroom rock has nothing to do with the stairs, just a good place marker to find where you need to be. The only thing marking the location you want is a hard to spot "trail crossing" sign on the Creek side just before the stairs when driving up. Hop over the guard rail and you'll see the start to your journey.
The trail itself comes quickly down to a bridge from the road then up an incline followed by a nice leisurely flat stretch. After a mile or so you'll start heading down the back side of the ridge you just climbed, down to a long suspension bridge over North Suck Creek. On the other side of the bridge you can either chose the more strenuous red blaze course directly In front of you, or follow the white blazes to the right that pass through the little camping area. Either way you chose this is the hardest part of the trail. It has a decent elevation gain. A short hike later (30 minutes?) you'll be greeted by Mushroom Rock.
If you do a google search for mushroom rock Chattanooga you'll likely see lots of 1900's era pictures of tourist and locals alike perched all about and on the rock formation. Most the time fully suited in their Sunday best. Anyhow... it's a nice little piece of Chattanooga culture.
Enjoy YOUR hike!
I had a very hard time locating the entrance. Going up Suck Creek there will be stairs on the left. Park in pull off right past there. Cross the road and walk back down the road. You will see the trail. Hop the guard rail.
The trail is well kept and easily to identify along the way. After the second bridge (at the bottom of the gorge) turn to the rightWard the campsite and follow the white markings.
My dog handled this trail well. I was able to run a lot of it. This is a strenuous hike.
Technical, but not difficult. I would rate this as a moderate trail. You can park on Suck Creek Rd. on the shoulder that is ~1/4 mile up the road (much more room than the shoulder closer to the sign on the left side of the road) from the Hikers Crossing sign where you have to go over the guard rail to get to the small bridge to start the hike.
Would NOT recommend following the red blazes after you cross the suspension bridge. Very steep and dangerous with multiple fallen trees and loose gravel at a steep incline that was like climbing a ladder on hands and knees. Follow the white blazes to the right after you cross the suspension bridge.
Great hike. Some steep inclines and moderate downhills. Great water crossing areas and picnic locations. Fun 5 hour round trip.
The first hike up was a little steep, but the middle section was a wonderful, brisk walk. After the swinging bridge you're in for a serious incline up a rocky path. Push yourself to make it to the top and you'll get to see the awesome geological feature that is mushroom rock. I would recommend some trekking poles for the trip down that rocky incline, ESPECIALLY if its been raining.
Fun trail. Short and technical. Super steep gains and losses that keep your legs burning. Mushroom rock looks..like a mushroom. Neature. Once you get up towards the rock you can continue along the Cumberland Trail if you're looking for a little more mileage.
This portion of the Cumberland Trail was very fun. It offers a wide variety of technicality. It starts with a descent to the first bridge on the other side of the guardrail from the road. It immediately goes into a step ascent with lots of roots and rocks. After the first ascent, it has a nice flat area so that you may catch your breath. The next descent takes you to a swinging bridge to cross North Suck Creek. Immediately after the bridge, you begin the final ascension to Mushroom Rock. Follow the red markings on the trees. This is the most intense portion of the trail due to the length of the ascension. The hike is well worth it once you reach Mushroom Rock. It's one of the most fascinating natural wonders in the Chattanooga region.
Helpful hints: Look for the white blazed trail to the right when you cross the suspension bridge to take the leg up to the rock.
Parking can be difficult to find. Go slightly north up the road and park on the rockwall side where there is a wider shoulder.
Trail climbs out of Suck Creek gorge to a short level section. Then descends to the 225 ft. Suspension bridge spanning N. Suck creek. Then again climbs, steeply this time. When you reach the top you are greatly rewarded with the magnificent Mushroom Rock.