Ringgold is ideally located along I-75 in North Georgia as a bedroom community to the greater Chattanooga area. Staying in Ringgold means that you are not only close to Chattanooga, but also within a short drive to Dalton, the "Carpet Capital of the World".
Elsie A. Holmes Nature Park
Address: 88 Ben Holmes Rd, Ringgold, GA, 30736, (706) 891-4199
Monday and Tuesday: 9 am - 6 pm
Wednesday: 9 am - 6 pm
Thursday and Friday: 9 am - 6 pm
Saturday: 9 am - 6 pm
Sunday: 1 pm - 6 pm
During Daylight Savings Time: 9 am - 9 pm (April - October)
The Elsie A. Holmes Nature Park provides visitors a place of recreation that includes trails, fishing, picnics, or just a quiet place to enjoy nature.
The 66-acre park was officially opened July 25, 1997. Catoosa County resident Ben Holmes donated the property for the spacious park in memory of his wife, Elsie.
Married in May 1946, the couple moved to Catoosa County in 1948. Mrs. Holmes died at the age of 69 in November 1978 after suffering with Alzheimer's disease for about six years.
Located at 88 Ben Holmes Road, the park is bordered by the South Chickamauga Creek and includes five walking trails, a 1,500-square-foot screened-in pavilion, rest rooms, and an office.
The pavilion can be reserved for groups, and the park staff is available to speak or give guided tours on a prearranged basis.
Visitors to the park can find many different species of wildflowers, plants, and trees. Some selected trees are marked with signs to identify them. There is also a trail located on the ridge that is accessible for strollers and those with disabilities.
Walking in the park at the age of 85 and suffering from heart disease just a few weeks before the park opening, Mr. Holmes said, “My days are numbered. I wanted to see it before I kicked off.”
Mr. Holmes said that he donated the land because, “I hated to see the place cut up and put into housing tracts. I decided I would save it for the good of the county.”
Mr. Holmes died on September 3, three months after the park opened.
“Most people don't realize what a gift Mr. Holmes has made to us. I can't convey how nice it was for him to do that,” said Catoosa County Manager Jim Callaway.
Directions to the Park
From Ringgold: Take Ooltewah/Ringgold Road north from Highway 41 in Ringgold. Drive approximately 3 miles, turn left onto Saunders Road and follow the signs.
From East Brainerd: Turn South onto Ooltewah/Ringgold Road, drive 3 miles South, turn right onto Saunders Road and follow the signs.
Catoosa County Recreation
Recreation Office Hours
Monday - Friday: 8 am - 5 pm
Address: 749 Pine Grove Road, Ringgold, GA , 30736, (706) 891-4199
The 55-acre Jack Mattox Recreation Complex opened in 1999 and was named after the county's first recreation director. The Complex has seven lighted ball fields, a walking track, and a fishing pond. There are three Recreation Associations (Boynton, Ringgold and Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe) located throughout Catoosa County. These Associations facilitate and promote a variety of athletic programs and leisure based activities. Allocated S-P-L-O-S-T revenues continue to be used for park grounds and new fields for baseball, soccer, and football.
Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park
Address: P.O. Box 2128, Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia 30742, (706) 866-9241
Located south of Ringgold on US 27 Battles set the stage for Union's 1864 invasion of Georgia. Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, the nation's first, was created in 1890 to preserve and commemorate these battlefields and allow visitors a first-hand look into the gateway of the deep south. The military park houses both the Chickamauga and Lookout Mountain Battlefields and offers major points of history and interest to people of all ages. The Chickamauga Battlefield has a driving tour and hiking trails with many monuments and historical landmarks to see along the way. Visitors to Lookout Mountain Battlefield will experience Point Park and scenic vistas.
Operating Hours & Seasons
All units of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park are open between 6:00 a.m. Eastern Time and sunset.
Both Visitor Centers are closed on Christmas Day and on New Years Day.
The historic Cravens House on Lookout Mountain is open for tours Saturday and Sunday afternoon from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. during the summer. Cravens House closes at 5:00 p.m. Contact Lookout Mountain Battlefield Visitor Center at 423-821-7786 for additional information.
The summer season provides a wider variety of ranger led programs for the public. Please check our summer schedule for programs offered.
The summer season is from Memorial Day to August.
Fees & Reservations
No Entrance Fee
Cravens House on historic Lookout Mountain:
Point Park at Lookout Mountain Battlefield:
School groups may request an academic fee waiver if you make reservations at least two weeks prior to your visit. A fee waiver application must be submitted along with a letter of request on institution letterhead requesting and explaining the reasons are for educational purposes, and the resources or facilities the group proposes to use support the curriculum related to the purpose of the park. Talks or guided tours must be reserved in advance and are subject to availability of staff.
America The Beautiful - National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Pass :
SENIOR PASS . . . . . . $10
ACCESS PASS . . . . . . FREE
POINT PARK ANNUAL PASS . . $20
* Interagency pass available for purchase at the Visitor Center Information Desk.
Annual Pass - Cost $80
Senior Pass - Cost $10
Access Pass - Free
* The Senior Pass provides a 50 percent discount on some Expanded Amenity Fees charged for facilities and services such as camping, swimming, boat launching, and specialized interpretive services. In some cases where Expanded Amenity Fees are charged, only the pass holder will be given the 50 percent price reduction. The pass is non-transferable and generally does NOT cover or reduce special recreation permit fees or fees charged by concessionaires.
Things To Do
6-pounder cannon on display at Chickamauga Visitor Center.
National Park Service
Chickamauga Battlefield features a 7 mile self-guiding auto tour, monuments, historical tablets, hiking trails and horse trails. The Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center contains exhibits and the Fuller Gun Collection which contains over 300 examples of military long arms.
For groups or individuals wishing to hike certain distances and learn along the way, several designated hiking trails are available. Please click on the desired trail map below.
Confederate Line Trail (6 Miles)
Lookout Mountain Battlefield contains monuments, historical tablets, hiking trails, scenic vistas, and the historic Cravens House. The Lookout Mountain Battlefield Visitor Center also houses the "Battle Above the Clouds" painting by James Walker.
Moccasin Bend National Archeological District currently has a 3 mile loop trail designed for hiking. The trailhead for the Blue Blazes Trail and parking area are located off Moccasin Bend Road in Chattanooga.
Things To Know Before You Come
Horseback Riding at Chickamauga Battlefield
Please click here or stop by the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center for information and a trail map before riding. Remember to carry water because the only source for drinkable water on the battlefield is at the Visitor Center. For your safety, check the weather forecast before beginning your ride. Horse trailers may be parked in the gravel lot at the west end of Dyer Road. This is the only area where horse trailers are allowed inside the park.
Pets at Chickamauga and Chattanooga NMP
Please remember to keep your pets on leashes at ALL times while hiking, walking, or jogging inside Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. We hope you enjoy visiting YOUR National Park!!
Picnicking and Recreation in the Park
Those groups or individuals wishing to picnic must do so in designated areas. Please refrain from building fires or grilling in the park. Picnic areas are located in Chickamauga Battlefield and off Sanders Road on Lookout Mountain.
Recreational activities such as flying kites, playing baseball, football, soccer, etc., throwing Frisbees, Easter egg hunting, and all other approved activities are limited to the Recreation Field at Chickamauga Battlefield.
Chickamauga was one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. This National Military Park was created to preserve the history of this battle. Today the National Park Service manages this battlefield as a historic site. This is why recreational activities are often restricted. We encourage all our visitors to learn more about the compelling stories that occurred on these hallowed grounds. Thank you for your cooperation.
For more information on picnicking or recreation at Chickamauga Battlefield, please click here or call the Visitor Center. For more information on picnicking at Lookout Mountain Battlefield, please call the Visitor Center at (423) 821-7786.
Enjoy a relaxing walk along Chickamauga Creek in Downtown Historic Ringgold. This newly constructed walk connects the Highway Commercial district to the Historic Downtown district. The walk is parallel with Lafayette Street (Old Federal Road) and crosses the Old Federal Bridge.
Martha Denton Swimming Pool
The Martha Denton Swimming Pool, located at 406 Cotter Street, is open every summer and provides a safe and enjoyable recreational activity for all ages. Family summer passes are available, and the pool may be reserved for special evening activities. The pool is open Memorial Day-Labor Day.
Admission prices: 0-2 years old is Free, 3 & up $3. Season passes are available: Family - $125, Individual - $60.
Swim Lessons: $30 for four-30 minutes sessions (Mon-Thurs 10-12)
2 children per instructor
Pool Party Rental: $50 per hour. Times available for parties are Mon-Thurs 7-10, Fri & Sun 5-10, Sat 9-12. There is a $50 non-refundable deposit
Birthday Party Packages: $75 includes tablecloths, plates, cups, napkins, cutlery, 4 pizzas & drinks of choice (15 kids). The $75 does not include pool rental. Typical 2-hour party with package is $175.
Operating hours for the summer: Monday through Saturday from noon to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Little General Children's Park
This lovely little park, located at 15 Cleveland Street, is geared toward children. The kids can enjoy coil rides, climbing, sliding, small children and infant swings and a toy locomotive to climb in. There are several small picnic pavilions. There is one large pavilion that is available for rental with two rental slots: 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Each time slot requires a $50.00 deposit of which $25.00 is kept and $25.00 may be refunded if the area is cleaned properly.
The Park hours are from 7:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m.
The one and a half mile walk winds along beside South Chickamauga Creek where you go in and around large hardwoods and pass through a large beaver pond. As you get in the heart of the historic Ringgold Gap you witness a beautiful waterfall .
Please, click in the following to view maps of the Nature Trail.