Parks & Protected Properties
Located in the southernmost extension of the Cumberland Plateau, the area surrounding Lookout Mountain is in one of the most biologically diverse eco-regions in the world. It stretches over 90 miles from Chattanooga to Gadsden, Alabama, with three miles in Tennessee, 35 miles in northwest Georgia and 52 miles extending into northeast Alabama. Its important conservation sites include Zahnd Natural Area, McLemore Cove, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Pigeon Mountain and Otting Wildlife Management Areas.
McLemore Cove is named from Robert and John McLemore, sons of a white trader and a Cherokee mother. Along with its scenic beauty, McLemore Cove is known for antebellum structures, vast farmlands and houses dating back into the 1890’s. See this marvel of mother nature for yourself. The cove is located about three miles south of Chickamauga, in an area roughly bounded by Lookout and Pigeon Mountain.
Cloudland Canyon State Park
Backpacker Magazine designated Cloudland Canyon one of the top 20 hiking destinations in the country. The rugged geology of the trail system includes waterfalls, caves and 1000-foot sandstone cliffs. The park trails are accessible for both day hikers and backpackers. The trail system now connects the Cloudland Canyon Connector Trail system and the Lula Lake Land Trust, adding an additional 40 miles of hiking, mountain biking and equestrian trails.
Crockford-Pigeon Mountain Wildlife Management Area
Home to Rock Town and Ellison's Cave, the Crockford-Pigeon Mountain Wildlife Management Area is a geological finger jutting northeast from the Lookout Mountain escarpment. The tabletop contains sinkholes, rock formations, meadows and forest, as well as rocky gorges that cut through the sides of the mountain. This State Wildlife Management Area contains approximately 100 miles of trails and forest service roads that are open to hikers and equestrians.
Zahnd Wildlife Management Area
Zahnd is a 1,387 acre Wildlife Management Area located in Walker County, Georgia. The location provides a wonderful assortment of fine grained sandstone boulders ranging from vertical slabs and textured slopers to cavernous overhangs. The actual boulder field is approximately 163 acres, containing over 100 established boulder routes.
Lula Lake Land Trust
The Lula Lake Land Trust consists of 1,200 acres surrounding Lookout Mountain’s Lula Lake and protects over 8,000 adjacent acres. When hiking at the core preserve at Lula Lake, there are several must-see locations. One is the upper falls and Lula Lake itself, viewed from an old railroad bed dating back to the 1800s. Another is the lower falls, best viewed from the bottom after descending either a steep and rugged trail, or the new, easier trail. Most anyone capable of a short hike can find something to like about Lula Lake.
Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park
In 1863, Union and Confederate forces waged epic battles over the control of Chattanooga—the gateway to the Deep South. Though the Confederate troops were victorious at Chickamauga in September, renewed fighting in Chattanooga in November won the Union troops final control. Today, there are well over 1,000 monuments, markers, and tablets spread throughout the park.
Point Park is a ten acre memorial park that overlooks the Lookout Mountain Battlefield and the city of Chattanooga. There is a paved walking path around the park that takes visitors by several historic tablets, monuments. Confederate artillery positions, and scenic overlook. The largest monuments in Point Park is the New York Peace Memorial, which was erected by the state of New York as a tribute to peace and reconciliation between Union and Confederate veterans after the war. Inside Point Park, at the point of the mountain, is the Ochs Memorial Observatory. Inside are exhibits on Civil War signaling, photography, and Moccasin Bend, which is visible below the point.
Desoto State Park
DeSoto State Park protects some of the most unique ecosystems in the United States. The Little River, the west fork of which flows through the park, is one of the only rivers in the world that flows almost entirely on a mountain top. DeSoto State Park also offers miles of hiking trails, beautiful bluffs and rock formations and a number of small waterfalls.
Fall Creek Falls State Park
Fall Creek Falls State Park is one of Tennessee’s largest and most visited state parks. The park encompasses more than 26,000 acres sprawled across the eastern top of the rugged Cumberland Plateau. Laced with cascades, gorges, waterfalls, streams and lush stands of virgin hardwood timber, the park beckons those who enjoy nature at her finest. Fall Creek Falls, at 256 feet, is one of the highest waterfalls in the eastern United States. Other waterfalls within the park include Piney Falls, Cane Creek Falls and Cane Creek Cascades.