Walden Ridge, looking northeast from Mt. Roosevelt
Walden Ridge, looking northeast from Mt. Roosevelt

Walden Ridge (or Walden's Ridge) is a mountain ridge and escarpment located in Tennessee, in the United States. It marks the eastern edge of the Cumberland Plateau and is generally considered part of it. Walden Ridge is about 74 miles (119 km) long, running generally north-south. Its highest point is at Hinch Mountain (near Crossville), which reaches 3,048 feet (929 m) above sea level. Sometimes Walden Ridge is called the Cumberland Escarpment.


Sequatchie Valley, a long valley in the Cumberland Plateau, is located just west of the southern part of Walden Ridge. Being part of the Cumberland Plateau, Walden Ridge is also part of the Appalachian Plateau physiographic province. The Sequatchie River runs through the valley. To the east of Walden Ridge are the Ridge-and-valley Appalachians and the Tennessee River. Walden Ridge is significantly higher than the Cumberland Plateau, and its eastern slope, descending over 1,000 feet (300 m) from the plateau to the Tennessee Valley, is steep and escarpment-like. Geologically, Walden Ridge continues south in Georgia and Alabama as Sand Mountain. Walden Ridge originally extended across the present path of the Tennessee River to Sand Mountain, but was eroded when the Tennessee River Gorge was formed.[1]


The section of Walden Ridge that is visible from the Chattanooga area is often colloquially referred to as "Signal Mountain" due to the presence of the small town of Signal Mountain, Tennessee nearby, the proliferation of broadcasting towers on its eastern edge, and the area's use by early nineteenth century Native Americans (and later Civil War soldiers) as a signal point toward Lookout Mountain south across the Tennessee River.

According to the USGS, variant names of Walden Ridge include Waldens Ridge, Walldenns Ridge, Wallens Ridge, Walden's Ridge, and Walden Ridge Plateau.[2]


  1. ^ Johnson, Douglas Wilson (1905). "The Tertiary History of the Tennessee River". The Journal of Geology. 13 (3): 194–231.
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Walden Ridge

Coordinates: 35°41′55″N 84°57′28″W / 35.69861°N 84.95778°W / 35.69861; -84.95778