Edwards Point via Signal Point Signal Point Park, TN
DIFFICULTY 10.2 Medium
DURATION 2-4 hours
There And
Back Again
Edwards Point via Signal Point

Rocky terrain won't stop you from experiencing multiple breathtaking views along the Tennessee River Gorge just outside Chattanooga. Hike from Signal Point to Edwards Point and stop at Julia Falls Overlook along the way. A view packed hike, this is one of the best trails in the area.

Begin your day at Signal Point Park. Take the short paved path to the overlook and pavilion down the hill for your first view. Then follow the split rail fence to the right to an opening in the chain link fence to get on the Cumberland Trail. Drop down 150 feet through the mousetrap, a series of steep steps, rocks, and ramps. At the bottom, a side trail leads straight out to a rocky ledge for your second overlook.

Continue following the white blazed trail along the edge of the gorge. A few small side trails are easy to navigate past. The trail splits around a large boulder, reconnecting shortly afterward. At half a mile you'll arrive at Julia Falls Overlook with a view over the Tennessee River Gorge and towards Edwards Point, the final destination on this hike.

The next section of trail is the most rugged, travelling over multiple boulder fields that obscure the path. Side trails that reconnect are common and it seems many have taken the wrong trail, including me...twice. The trail could use more blazes along here.

At 1.4 miles you'll come to a small sketchy suspension bridge followed by the longer one that crosses over Middle Creek. Before crossing, follow the trail along the creek through several campsites to explore the creek and to the Rainbow Lake Dam Waterfall.

After crossing the suspension bridge, stay left while climbing up more rocky terrain. The trail navigates along several large rock faces with a few arches up high. Further on you'll pass the signed Lockhart Arch. Pass a couple unmarked side trails that angle away from the gorge cliffs to the right before arriving at Edwards Point.

Much like Julia Falls Overlook, the Edwards Point Overlook faces the other direction, looking back toward Signal Point where you began the hike. Enjoy your final view of the Tennessee River Gorge before heading back the way you came. For a shorter, slightly easier route, start on the Rainbow Lake Trail. I'd recommend this route if hiking with kids.

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Elevation Map Length (miles) by Elevation (feet)
Slope Breakdown
Elevation Gain
Elevation Range
Grade Range
Elevation Gain
0 - 250 ft/mi
~ 0 - 5 %
1.5 mi
166 ft
250 - 500 ft/mi
~ 5 - 10 %
0.6 mi
233 ft
500 - 750 ft/mi
~ 10 - 15 %
0.3 mi
201 ft
750 - 1000 ft/mi
~ 15 - 20 %
0.2 mi
153 ft
1000+ ft/mi
~ 20+ %
0.2 mi
356 ft
For out-and-back hikes, elevation loss is the same as the gain.
Terrain Map Click to control map
0.0 mi
0.0 mi - Trailhead
0.07 mi
0.07 mi - Signal Point Overlook Continue from the overlook to the right, following the split rail fence to the opening in the chain link fence to get on the Cumberland Trail.
0.2 mi
0.2 mi - Side Trail to Overlook After descending the final steps, a side trail leads straight out to another overlook.
0.5 mi
0.5 mi - Julia Falls Overlook
0.95 mi
0.95 mi - Side Trails on Left Extremely steep side trails supposedly lead down to Rainbow Falls. It was a near vertical mud slide when I hiked the trail. I was told by another hiker they closed these trails and they are no longer maintained.
1.2 mi
1.2 mi - Boulder Field Intersection, Stay Left Stay left. I ended up going right and it does reconnect but much more overgrown and not maintained.
1.42 mi
1.42 mi - Suspension Bridge, Then Stay Left If you want to explore around Middle Creek or visit the Rainbow Lake Dam waterfall, head past the bridge along the creek. After crossing the bridge, stay left.
1.6 mi
1.6 mi - Rock Walls and Arches Pass several rock walls and arches including the signed Lockhart Arch.
Next .5 mi
Next .5 mi - Stay Straight Several unmarked side trails to right heading away from gorge edge. Stay straight, following wider path and white blazes.
2.7 mi
2.7 mi - Edwards Point
length5.4 miles
difficulty10.2 Medium
duration2 - 4 hours
trail typeThere And Back Again
elevation gain990 ft.
state Tennessee 
park/forestSignal Point Park
Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park
hoursSunrise - Sunset
parking feeNone
trailhead coordinates 35.120345, -85.366629 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 35°7.22, W 85°22 (Degree Minutes, MinDec)
N 35°7'13'', N 35°7'13'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Trailhead Directions
35.120345, -85.366629 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 35°7.22, W 85°22 most GPS units use this one
N 35°7'13'', N 35°7'13'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Google Map It
Parking Capacity
16 parking spots, overflow along road.
Restrooms are available at Signal Point Park.
Sections of the trail are extremely rocky.
Several steep drop offs. Be careful with children and dogs.
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Reviews / Comments
Average Review Rating
5 (1)
hikethesouth-4 years ago
Favorite Hike in Chattanooga Area
So far, this is my favorite hike in the immediate Chattanooga area. 4 epic views and 2 suspension bridges make this an interesting hike. Don't let the elevation fool you though, it's very rocky and could use some more blazes for navigation, both of which make it more difficult.
Medium | Hiked Summer 2019
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