|Amazing Lookout Mountain, Rock City and
Ruby Falls Cave at Tennessee-Georgia Border
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We toured the amazing Lookout Mountain, Rock City (石林古城), Incline Railway and Ruby Falls Cave at the
border of Tennessee and Georgia, USA on November 3, 2009 in the autumn season.
Lookout Mountain rises over the Tennessee Valley like a monolith, its steep sides protruding to the sky. The
mountain is more than 1200 feet above the valley floor. At Lover's Leap is Seven States Flag Court with a
sweeping vista of the Valley and Ridge section of northwest Georgia and southeastern Tennessee. From this
plaza high above the Tennessee valley, tourists enjoy breathtaking "See 7 States" panoramic views where
tourists can see the magnificent view of seven American states of Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, North
Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky.
The Seven States Flag Court, the highest, at 1,700 feet, on the Lookout Mountain, is also known as Lover's
Leap. According to legend, a young Indian brave named Sautee fell deeply in love with Nocoochee, a beautiful
Cherokee maiden from a rival tribe. They were from two different tribes and their tribes were in the midst of a
bitter feud. It seemed that they would never be together because of the feud between the two tribes. Finally,
the lovers decided to take the problem in hand and ran off. Incensed by the affair, Cherokee warriors captured
Sautee and tossed Sautee from the mountaintop here at the Lookout Mountain. Nocoochee, in deep despair
and grieving for her lost love, leaped over the edge to her own death. The tragedy of the two young lovers have
a great deal to do with the fascination of one of the most beautiful places in the United States. It is the native
Indian's equivalent of Shakespeare's tragic love story of Romeo and Juliet.
Lover's Leap is now a popular spot for wedding proposals
The Lookout Mountain is blazing with colorful autumn foliage, a vista of the fall glories.
Rainbow Hall along the under-cliff passage
The 1,000-ton Balanced Rock perches atop the two points of its tiny rock base as if it has been there forever.
Follow the stone path that winds through massive rock boulders. Each step is a discovery!
Thread yourself through the amazing Needle's Eye, shoulder-to-shoulder with tall boulders that allow only
slivers of sunlight to penetrate the shadows. Strong winds produce a mighty howl as they whistle through the
narrow Needle's Eye passage. But those winds have an easy time squeezing through, compared to most
hikers. With the cool stone walls towering close on either side, you really start to get a sense of how massive
these natural monuments are.
We also went to the other side of Lookout Mountain to take the Incline Railway car, the world's steepest
passenger railway, as another way to get up to the top of Lookout Mountain
Looking down from the top of the Incline Railway. It is a mile long and the steepest passenger railway in the
world at an incline of 72 degrees. The train itself helps to make travellers aware of this - with seats arranged
in such a way that you are pulled up the mountain while looking at the ground disappear from beneath you
through a glass window, a strange sensation even if you don't have a problem with heights.
The Seven States Flag Court, or Lover's Leap, is 1,700 feet above sea level, with a 100-foot waterfall that
cascades down the mountain.
From the Lookout Mountain, we enjoyed the gorgeous view of the scenic city of Chattanooga on the banks of
the beautiful winding Tennessee River.
Under-cliff passage at Lookout Mountain
The wonders of Rock City on the Lookout Mountain include 4100 ft. Enchanted Trail surrounded by natural
geological wonders, massive ancient rock formations, gardens with over 400 native plant species, 90-foot
waterfall, The Swing-a-Long Bridge, a 180-foot long suspension bridge that provides an amazing view of the
Chattanooga Valley and Lover's Leap for breathtaking panoramic view of 7 states. An unforgettable journey
along the Enchanted Trail where each step reveals natural beauty and wonders along the woodland path to
wind our way through massive rock boulders and caverns (由各式奇岩怪石所構成, 進入此城如進入石林仙境
Steps to go down into narrow crevices known as Fat Man Squeeze.
This rock plate shows the directions to see the seven states from the Seven States Flag Court of the Lookout
Part of the breathtaking panoramic view from the Lookout Mountain.
Lookout Mountain is also the site of the romanticized "Battle Above the Clouds" that occurred during The
American Civil War. The top is surrounded on three sides by a near vertical rock wall that has afforded
protection to the occupants of the top.
The mountain is known for a unique weather phenomenon. Sometimes, after a clear dawn, a layer of fog
descends toward the valley below, stopping about halfway down the peak. This inverted fog has been written
about since the first whites visited the area sometime before 1735. It was on a fateful day, November 24,
1863, that this weather anomaly set in, creating the most poetic name for "The Battle Above the Clouds" in
the American Civil War.
A stone face on the vertical cliff wall just below Lover's Leap.
The trail also leads visitors beneath the delicately balanced 1,000-ton rock.
The thrilling Swing-A-Long Bridge that stretches a full 180 feet through the blue sky for a breathtaking view of
the Chattanooga Valley and to reach Lover's Leap and several observation points
Rock-solid Stone Bridge to reach Lover's Leap
One of several white fallow deer in the Deer Park in Rock City, descended from European species imported
here in the 1930s.
Inside the Incline Railway car.
View from inside the train car as it was going up the Incline Railway. The thrill of riding "America's Most
Amazing Mile" has delighted guests for over a century. The Incline Railway up historic Lookout Mountain is the
world's steepest passenger railway.
The breathtaking panoramic views of Tennessee Valley, Chattanooga and beautiful winding Tennessee River
from the top of Incline Railway are similar to those at Lover's Leap.
In addition to going up to the top of Lookout Mountain, we also came here to go down into a deep cave 1,120
feet below the surface of Lookout Mountain to see the fantastic massive underground waterfalls known as
Ruby Falls (紅寶石瀑布) deep under the Lookout Mountain （深藏於山中地下的飛瀑). Ruby Falls are named
after the wife of a local caving enthusiast, Leo Lambert, who discovered the underground waterfall while
exploring the area in the 1920s.
The entrance building for the tour of Ruby Falls was built from the limestone excavated from the elevator
shaft and the cave trails. This entrance was touted as the “World’s Most Magnificent Cave Entrance.”
“Cavern Castle,” as it was named, was modeled after a fifteenth century Irish castle.
the cave winding and narrow passages for about half mile to go deep into and under the Lookout Mountain to
reach the huge and impressive elongated chamber with very high ceiling that makes us feel like inside a huge
cathedral as shown in the following photos.
The marvelous jewel, the 145-foot Ruby Falls inside the huge chamber in this long and deep cave. We were
awestruck by its magnificence and remarkable beauty. It is America's deepest tourist cave and largest
underground waterfall accessible to the tourists.
Mid-section of Ruby Falls. I also took a movie clip of Ruby Falls in action as shown on the following YouTube
Lower section of Ruby Falls where tourists were walking around the base of water falls to view them from
The website of Ruby Falls shows more photos at:
The first three pictures (in gold color) in this set show more clearly why this impressive elongated high
chamber looks like a huge cathedral.
On our way along the cave trail to the Ruby waterfalls, we enjoyed many geological wonders located
throughout the cave including Stalactites, Stalagmites, Flowstone, etc. as shown in these sample photos.
I enjoyed very much this tour of amazing Lookout Mountain, Rock City, Lover's Leap, Incline Railway and Ruby
Falls. We thank Anna Wang for organizing this 4-day group bus tour for 16 friends from New Jersey to Virginia,
Tennessee and Georgia with extraordinary views, inspiring sites and shared memories that will last a lifetime.
The photos and stories from the other three days in this 4-day trip are on my Travelogue web page at:
Flags at the Seven States Flag Court on the Lookout Mountain.
These attractions at Lookout Mountain are very popular and attract very large crowd of tourists in the summer
high season resulting in very long waiting lines and long waiting time in the summer season. This can be
bothersome to some people. We were lucky to tour these attractions in the first week of November at low
season, thereby, avoiding the large crowd of tourists, long waiting lines and long waiting time.
The change of seasons play out on nature's grandest stages, flaming foliage ignites the mountain slopes,
making for an especially breathtaking spectacle.