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Lookout Mountain

Lookout Mountain is full of bragging rights experiences. People may not believe you when you tell them you took an elevator 26 stories below ground then walked deep into a cave past stalagmites, stalactites, and drapery formations to see the  largest and deepest underground commercial waterfall in the United States, Ruby Falls. Above ground, it’s ok if you scream while your heart’s pumping on the Ruby Falls’ High Point ZIP Adventure as you glide along 700 feet of ziplines or conquer the 40-foot climbing tower. Done.

Have you ever stood at a point where you could see 3 states? 5 states? How about 7? A short walk from Rock City Gardens’ entrance, you can stand at the famous Lover’s Leap and get a panoramic view of 7 states across the valley. Exploring Rock City takes you through beautiful gardens with ancient rock formations, a sky bridge across a massive waterfall and a swinging bridge. Wait for it… you end the experience through Fairyland Caverns and Mother Goose Village that will most likely give you a new perspective on those childhood fairy tales. Check.

What else? You can ride the world’s steepest passenger railway, the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway, at an impressive 72.7% grade! The new cars have clear roofs with an incredible view of the Tennessee Valley, and when you get to the Upper Station, you’ll get a breathtaking panoramic view. No, you do not jump off the side of the mountain your first time hang gliding at the Lookout Mountain Hang Gliding, Flight Park & Training Center. That would be crazy. Once secured on the hang glider, you and your guide are carefully towed up to 1,500-2,000 feet by an ultralight, then the cord separates and you’re flying!

If you are not quite ready for the extreme, Lookout Mountain offers some wonderful soft adventures. Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center is a hidden gem at the base of Lookout Mountain featuring wide open spaces, Lookout Creek, hiking and biking trails, boat rentals, a native animal exhibit and a giant treehouse you can explore.

Embark on peaceful hiking trails such as the Guild and Hardy Trails, Lula Lake Land Trust, Skyuka Springs and Sunset Rock (accessible by parking at the Craven’s House) which offers incredible views and of course one of the best sunset spots in the area.

Brush up on your Civil War history as you explore the 10-acre Point Park Battlefield, the highest point on Lookout Mountain, located in the Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park. The view of the horseshoe-shaped Moccasin Bend and the Tennessee River is truly incredible. At the adjacent Battles for Chattanooga, you can even hear the sounds of battle with a 3-dimensional presentation.

Tired from all that hiking and adventure? Welcome to the boutique RiverView Inn nestled on the side of Lookout Mountain or a variety of accommodations on and around the mountain.