Audubon Acres is probably the best deal in Chattanooga. For only $4 for adults (my goddaughter is two and was free) we spent the entire day here and had a great time. This is a beautiful mostly wooded property with a wonderful variety of plants and wildlife. We rented nature guides in the visitor center ($1) and spent the morning hiking the roughly 5 miles of trails which are wide and easy to follow. This was a great break from overdeveloped nature parks that feel more like a city park than a walk in the woods. If you're not into dirt and tree roots on the trails, then what are you doing at a wildlife sanctuary? Trails are mostly level and cross over the creek via a swinging bridge that my goddaughter loved! Couldn't resist letting her throw a few rocks in.
If you're into birdwatching this place is great; we racked up over 30 species without really trying (Cerulean Warblers - life list!). Left to grab a picnic lunch (lots of tables around the property) and to make a quick trip to Walmart for inner tubes. Audubon Acres allows tubing on the creek provided you bring your own tubes. Spent the afternoon staying cool in the water. The tubing trail is about a mile and mostly shaded which was great. Saw Barred Owls near the swinging bridge then bought some cokes in the visitor center. Asked to see the historic cabin and the volunteer on duty gave us an impromptu tour.
Not sure about Mclellan Island, but we had a wonderful day at Audubon Acres for much less than other Chattanooga attractions cost. Highly recommend to anyone looking for a peaceful day in the woods.
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