At Chattanooga the Cumberland Mountains and Tennessee River meet in a dramatic landscape of towering cliffs and valleys. It was this very aspect of the landscape which appealed to Dragging Canoe. An outspoken opponent of colonial encroachment on Cherokee land, Dragging Canoe found himself at odds with much of the Cherokee Nation who were less inclined to resist.
Dragging Canoe moved his band of Chickamauga Cherokee south to the Lookout Mountain area settling five lower towns which served as the center of their inter-tribal resistance movement against colonial settlements. On a clear day, you can see seven states from Lookout Mountain, an excellent defensive vantage point to watch for attacking forces.
Today, the lookout point on Lookout Mountain is part of Rock City, an unusual amusement park with several gardens, and natural wonders, as well as a kitschy display of gnomes.
Photos Copyright Christina Berry, All Things Cherokee
Lookout Mountain Travel Details
Rock City is something of an amusement park. Price of admission is $19.95 adults for or $11.95 for children. The hours of operation change seasonally, but the park is always open at 8:30 a.m. During the summer the park closes at 8 p.m., and in the spring and fall the park closes at 6 p.m. During the winter the park closes at 4 or 5, but during the holiday season the park reopens for an Enchanted Garden of Lights each night from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and in April it opens for Fairytale Nights from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Ruby Falls admission is also $19.95 adults for or $11.95 for children (combination discounts available). It is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. year round, closed Christmas Day.
Directions: From Chattanooga follow the signs to Rock City. For specific directions, click the “Directions” link in the location bubble of the map above and enter your starting location on the left.
GPS & Map: 34.97420370843135,-85.34919440746307