17 Best Things to Do in Ringgold, GA
If you’re searching for an awe-inspiring destination to visit, you’ve come to the right place.
Ringgold, the county seat of Catoosa County, Georgia, is a charming city that has plenty of things in store for everyone.
Founded in 1846 and integrated as a city in 1847, it got its name from Major Samuel Ringgold.
He showed heroism at the Battle of Palo Alto during the Mexican-American War.
Besides its vibrant history and dozens of historic sites, Ringgold embraces several gorgeous tourist spots, fun outdoor recreations, and beautiful events.
At the same time, schools, restaurants, boutiques, stores, shops, and other vital businesses surround the city.
What’s more entrancing is that many marks from the past remain visible today, making its history alive and worth revisiting.
If you want to learn more, here are some of the best things to do in Ringgold, Georgia:
Pay Respects at the Historic Ringgold Gap Battlefield
Nestled on U.S. Route 41, the Ringgold Gap Battlefield is another historic site you should not miss.
This small roadside park is a big part of Ringgold’s colorful history.
It commemorates the Battle of Ringgold Gap, fought on November 27, 1863, during the Chattanooga Campaign of the American Civil War in northwest Georgia.
When you visit here, you’ll see historical markers and bronze plaques to remember the significant event in this area.
You can still see the marks of the damage the nearby Western and Atlantic Depot suffered from Hooker’s guns during the battle.
There’s a monument erected close to the site to honor Major General Patrick Cleburne’s heroism, firmness, and ingenuity during the city’s defense during the Civil War.
Meanwhile, a monument to Colonel David Ireland’s New York brigade stands near the end of Depot Street.
Ringgold Gap Battlefield has some picnic tables for a picnic lunch.
Go Hiking or Biking at the Chief Richard Taylor Nature Trail
If you have spare time, you might be up for some fun outdoor adventure.
In that case, you should try hiking or biking at the scenic Chief Richard Taylor Nature Trail, which is a 1.5-mile walk alongside South Chickamauga Creek.
The trail gets its name from Chief Richard Taylor, a chieftain of the Cherokee people who lived in Ringgold until “The Trail of Tears,” the forceful removal of Native Americans in the 1830s.
There is an interpretive marker here, which the Ringgold Convention and Visitors Bureau dedicated to Chief Taylor.
You’ll not just get some exercise here but also reward yourself with a beautiful encounter with the refreshing greens, enchanting sounds of the waters, a beaver pond, tweeting birds, and cascading waterfalls near the historic Ringgold Gap.
Its Creek Walk is a paved path that follows Chickamauga Creek, offering a peaceful area to fish, kayak, canoe, jog, or take your dog for a walk.
Besides, you’ll also spot some pretty native wildflowers and wildlife.
Moreover, this nature trail has video surveillance and provides visitors with a trailhead along Emberson Drive and a convenient parking space.
Visit and enjoy exploring the gorgeous natural wonders of the Chief Richard Taylor Nature Trail!
Bring the Kids to the Little General Children’s Park
The Little General Children’s Park is a great place to visit with the family.
It’s primarily geared to children who’ll enjoy the playground’s features, such as slides, coil rides, climbing equipment, younger children and infant swings, and a toy locomotive.
Here, you can picnic or hold small parties with your loved ones at one of the several rentable shaded picnic tables with grills.
This fenced park has a vending machine, public bathrooms, a couple of trees, and even a dirt track so you can exercise while keeping an eye on your kids.
You can find Little General Children’s Park along Cleveland Street.
Enjoy Fun Outdoor Activities at the Elsie A. Holmes Nature Park
The Elsie A. Holmes Nature Park is perfect if you want to escape from your busy life to explore the natural environment.
Ben Holmes opened this beautiful park in 1997 to honor his beloved wife, Elsie Holmes.
Exploring this park will give its visitors many recreation opportunities, from fishing in the creek to soaking in the charming scenery.
If you come in a group for a memorable get-together, reserve a 1,500-square-foot screened-in pavilion, and pre-arrange a tour with staff.
If you want to go walking or hiking, the nature park offers over two miles of lovely trails through a 66-acre forest and wooded creek alongside South Chickamauga Creek.
One trail is accessible to strollers and persons with disabilities.
While you’ll find benches along the trails for a short break, appreciate the various species of gorgeous wildflowers, trees, and other plants you might have wanted to see.
You can locate the Elsie A. Holmes Nature Park about four miles from Downtown Ringgold.
Join Leisure Activities at Jack Mattox Recreation Complex
The Jack Mattox Recreation Complex, or Jack Mattox Park, is another excellent recreation venue in the city that opened in 1999.
This 55-acre facility’s name came from the first recreation director of the county.
As one of the largest facilities in Catoosa County, this complex offers visitors plenty of things to do through its several amenities.
It has seven lighted ball fields, concessions, covered bleachers to shade those who watch games, a fishing pond, a pavilion, picnic tables, and a beautiful baseball-themed children’s playground.
While you can take advantage of those amenities, you can also try hiking the 1.2 miles paved walking track with some elevation changes or stroll around, appreciating nature.
Try playing the beginner-friendly nine-hole disc golf course or head to the batting cages to practice or sharpen your batting skills.
Besides hosting recreation youth plays annually around spring, summer, and fall, Jack Mattox Recreation Complex also hosts nearly 30 baseball or softball tournaments.
It has three recreation associations that facilitate and boost various athletic programs and recreation-based opportunities.
Visit Jack Mattox Recreation Complex along Pine Grove Road.
View the Dolly Parton Mural
Are you a fan of Dolly Parton?
In 1966, Dolly Parton, one of the most renowned iconic and successful country singer-songwriters of all time, married Carl Dean in Ringgold.
Hired by the city, artist Kim Radford painted this beautiful mural about 24 feet high and 60 feet wide to pay tribute to Dolly Parton’s 56th Wedding Anniversary.
Kim Radford titled this mural “Tie the Knot.”
You can find the Dolly Parton Mural at the corner of Nashville Street and Tennessee Street in Downtown Ringgold.
If you are in the area, consider stopping by and taking a photo by this remarkable artwork.
Sip Fine Wine at Georgia Winery
If you’re in northern Georgia or Chattanooga area, you might want to drop by Georgia Winery.
Their founder, Dr. Maurice Rawlings Sr., a heart doctor passionate about fine wines, purchased 52 acres of land in 1982 in the corner of Northwest Georgia’s Lookout Mountain’s foothills and made it his vineyard.
The following year, he established Georgia Winery, continuously producing award-winning fine wines that invite visitors for a taste.
The winery has various wines you can choose from, from dry to sweet and light to full-bodied, with complimentary tastings of all signature wines.
This winery doesn’t only offer American wines but also the distinct taste of the South, proudly and uniquely made from their fruitful Muscadine vines.
Before departing the winery, you might want to visit their gift shop to browse for some local products and items as presents for your friends.
Visit, relax, and enjoy a glass of delicate wine at Georgia Winery along Battlefield Parkway.
Travel Back in Time at the Old Stone Church
If you’re looking for a place with lots of history to learn about and see, visit the historic Old Stone Church on Catoosa Parkway.
Organized initially as the Chickamauga Presbyterian Church in 1837, the Old Stone Church is said to be the first church in Catoosa County.
However, because of a naming conflict with another church, they changed its name to Stone Church in 1912.
After changing ownership several times, the Catoosa County Historical Society owns and maintains the historic church.
It has undergone a few changes, yet its significant interior features date back to the 1850s.
Intriguingly, they used the church as a Civil War hospital for wounded Confederate and Union soldiers who fought in the nearby Battle of Ringgold Gap.
Besides its original altar and pews, you’ll see visible blood stains on the floor from amputations performed here during the war.
The hymn “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” was first sung here in this church.
Moreover, this historical site now houses a museum filled with fascinating artifacts, most of which are Civil War memorabilia.
After visiting the historic site, you can have a picnic lunch at the Joseph T. McConnell Park, a park named after a Confederate colonel, with a shelter and playground.
Behind the Old Stone Church is the cemetery.
Spend Your Special Event at Ringgold Depot
In the heart of Downtown Ringgold, historic Ringgold Depot is the city’s foremost event rental and community center.
Built around 1849, this structure served as a prime transportation hub for the Western and Atlantic Railroad and an essential supply spot for Union and Confederate troops during the Civil War.
This beautifully historic depot has survived the ravages of time, from its construction to the Civil War until today.
Even its wall repairs in the 1860s are still visible today, and the rustic appearance of the place makes you feel like you have returned to the past.
It now houses the town visitors center and the Ringgold Depot Opry, which features live country, folk, and bluegrass performances on the second Saturday of every month.
Aside from those, Ringgold Depot also hosts meetings, conferences, seminars, receptions, weddings, parties, and other events.
You need not worry as it has other features such as areas for smaller gatherings, serving food, free parking, and public restrooms.
You’ll not just enjoy but also learn about its exciting past through the area’s historical markers and informative plaques.
Check out their rates and make the historic Ringgold Depot a venue for your memorable event.
Watch the Trains at Ringgold Rail Viewing Platform
The city has a train-watching park called Ringgold Rail Viewing Platform, also known as the Tom Clark Train Viewing Platform.
It features a covered pavilion with lighting for evening viewing, a radio scanner, and benches to sit on and relax while enjoying watching trains without getting bathed in the hot sun.
The viewing platform also has an open grass field, picnic tables at the park’s north end, and a cemented footpath between the covered shelter and the free public parking area.
Its location is ideal for spending an hour or more of relaxation alone or with friends.
Meanwhile, you’ll see the General Locomotive Chase Monument, a historical marker nearby, dedicated to Andrews’ Raiders with the General’s scale model and a short history of the Great Locomotive Chase in 1862.
You can find Ringgold Rail Viewing Platform along Depot Street next to Ringgold Depot.
Have a Laugh at the Ringgold Playhouse
If you’re feeling blue, perk up your mood at the Ringgold Playhouse.
Located at Ringgold Depot, the playhouse presents many fantastic acts by impressive casts and crew.
One example of a great play performed in this theater is “The Play That Goes Wrong,” a smash-hit farcical comedy bringing so much laughter to its audience.
Are you excited to watch and laugh at the phenomenal performances brought to the Depot stage?
Check out the Ringgold Playhouse’s schedule for any shows that might interest you.
Go Tent Camping at Battlefield Campground and RV Park
Camping is an exciting activity you’ll also enjoy in the city.
Set up camp at Battlefield Campground and RV Park on KOA Boulevard with your family or friends.
You can do fun recreation activities through its seasonal swimming pool, picnic pavilion, picnic tables, and playground.
Take advantage of other amenities such as an office store and library, Wi-Fi, fire rings, and more.
Their pull-through and back-in campsites, graveled and paved, have full hookups with available 30 and 50 amp sites.
If you have dogs, walk them and see them socialize with others at the dog park.
Moreover, Battlefield Campground and RV Park provide easy access to nearby restaurants, stores, shopping centers, parks, and attractions you’ll want to visit.
Beat the Heat at the Martha Denton Swimming Pool
Keep cool amidst the hot summer by swimming at Martha Denton Swimming Pool, located on Cotter Street nearby Ringgold Gap Battlefield.
The pool opens from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and you and your family can delight in the place’s features.
Grab some delectable food and cold drinks for a more enjoyable day.
They have events and offer lessons if you want your kids to learn swimming.
You can also book the place for a pool party or other particular evening activity you want to do there.
Besides, the Martha Denton Swimming Pool’s rates are affordable, so check this out and enjoy your summer break!
Spend the Day at the Ringgold Recreational Complex
Behind the Martha Denton Swimming Pool is the Ringgold Recreational Complex.
It is another place where you can enjoy outdoor escapades.
You can play your favorite sports with ball fields, soccer fields, and running tracks.
If you’re not into athletic activities, perhaps you will love water adventures.
You can enjoy canoeing or kayaking with your family and friends along the beautiful banks of South Chickamauga Creek.
On the other hand, you may witness blissful annual events at the Ringgold Recreational Complex, such as races, tournaments, and more.
Shop for Unique Items at Ringgold Feed and Seed Antiques
Are you an antique lover or a junk explorer?
You should check out Ringgold Feed and Seed Antiques on High Street, 0.2 miles from Ringgold Depot.
They have a great selection of lovely, unique antiques, vintage treasures, and other items to add to your home collection.
When you browse for stuff, you might find something you didn’t expect.
Interestingly, you can also come here during the Ringgold Feed and Seed High Cotton Market, the largest antique market in the area that attracts thousands of visitors annually.
The market opens in the store, parking lot, and over the sidewalks in spring, summer, and fall.
Visit Ringgold Feed and Seed Antiques and meet friendly vendors!
Revel at the 1890 Days Jamboree
The 1890 Days Jamboree is a two-day joyous street festival on Nashville Street in Downtown Ringgold.
Since 1975, it has become a signature event in the city, attracting over 20,000 visitors—more than four times Ringgold’s population.
It features many entertaining things people will enjoy and love.
Two days will be enough to enjoy the food, a parade, arts and crafts vendors, live music, car cruise-ins, and a fireworks display.
The 1890 Days Jamboree falls on Memorial Day weekend.
Join this remarkable event and see Ringgold’s kind, vibrant community!
Join the Rabbit Valley Farmers Market and Music Festival
The Rabbit Valley Farmers Market opens every Saturday from May to October at the pavilion across from the historic Ringgold Depot.
You’ll meet local vendors who offer many products at more affordable prices.
You'll go home satisfied with fresh produce, farm products, soaps, candles, bread, and homemade goods.
Likewise, the Fall Rabbit Valley Music Festival occurs at the Ringgold Recreational Complex.
Buy a festival ticket to watch this two-day event and two-stage Americana music festival and see top singers or songwriters play the hits.
Ringgold offers many attractions and recreation activities you can enjoy with family and friends.
Whether you’re a history buff, a laid-back tourist, an art lover, a live music and performances watcher, a water adventurer, or a nature lover, you’ll always have a place to go in Ringgold.
Take a tour of its historic and scenic sites while having a learning experience here.
Enjoy the best things to do in Ringgold, Georgia!