Chattanooga is one of my favorite places to escape to in Tennessee. The adventurous atmosphere of the city is enough to make anyone eager to explore. The city of Chattanooga is surround by two main mountains, Signal Mountain and Lookout Mountain, not quite the ones you think of in Washington or Colorado, but they are still grand enough to make for some gorgeous views. Lookout Mountain is located about 17 minutes from down town Chattanooga, making for a sweet little drive that ends up sitting you at 2,389 ft.
The hike we chose was from Sunset Rock to Point Park. Sunset Rock is a located on a large bluff, which by its name, is the perfect place to catch the sunset. The Bluff Trail which would take us to Point Park is located on the Sunset Rock trail. I did make the mistake of wearing my Nikes opposed to my hiking boots which resulted in me slipping down a set of rock-stairs onto my butt about 50 steps into the hike. This was a great reminder to always wear hiking boots, even on a short 3.3 mile hike.
Bluff Trail to Sunset Rock is a fantastic in and back hike. About half of the trail consists of rocky steps and uphill climbs. The other half is an easy path - covered in leaves and is slightly muddy. On the way, you'll see large cut outs in the rock walls of the mountain as well as small streams made by water trickling down the rocks from above. Once you've arrived at Point Park, you'll be greeted by a stone fort which is the Ochs Memorial Observatory. Inside, you'll find history on Civil War Signaling, Photography, and Moccasin Bend, which is visible below the point. It also overlooks the Lookout Mountain Battle field and the entire city of Chattanooga. From the top of the bluff at Point Park you can also see 7 states: Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama. The view from the bluff is breathtaking, we were lucky enough to make it there just in time to watch the sun start to set.
We made it back to Sunset Rock for the last 10 minutes of sunset. The city was black besides the twinkling lights from the buildings below, and a strip of dark orange, light yellow, and blue covered the sky above the mountains. We stopped for a few moments to take it all in.
From Sunset Rock to the car somehow I fell again in the same spot....yes, it was just as funny as the first time.
Next time, hiking boots.