After leaving the cabin in Blue Ridge, we made a last minute decision drive towards Lookout Mountain to see Rock City, Ruby Falls, and ride the Incline Railway!
Both my husband and I haven’t been to Lookout Mountain since we were little kids, so it was a fun, unfamiliar experience for all four of us.
Also known as “America’s Most Amazing Mile” is the world’s steepest passenger railway that takes you straight up historic Lookout Mountain at a breathtaking 72.7% grade! In operation since 1895, the Incline is a National Historic site and Mechanical Engineering Landmark.
Incline Railway from the bottom of Lookout Mountain
View from the top
Only six miles from downtown Chattanooga, Rock City is 1700 feet above sea level, with a 100-foot waterfall that cascades down the mountain, and the famous Swing-A-Long bridge that spans nearly 200 feet. This self-guided tour along Lookout Mountain gives visitors a birds-eye view from the top!
See 7 States from Rock City – Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama
Swing-A-Long Bridge – a very high suspension bridge! It was super scary as a kid, still scary as an adult.
Lover’s Leap – The local legend is that a young woman believed her lover had been killed so she threw herself off the top.
Fat Man’s Squeeze – a “tight squeeze” through the rocks. Needle’s Eye is actually a tighter squeeze!
Ruby Falls is one of the “Ten Most Incredible Cave Waterfalls on Earth.” It is America’s deepest commercial cave and largest underground waterfall.
We took a guided tour through the cavern to a 145-foot underground waterfall!
History of Ruby Falls:
In 1905, Lookout Mountain was closed to the public since a tunnel was being built at the time. The tunnel sealed the main entrance of the Lookout Mountain Cave.
In 1923, a chemist and cave enthusiast, Leo Lambert, wanted to reopen the limestone cave as a tourist attraction, and formed a company to do so.
On December 28, 1928, one of the men working on the construction of the elevator shaft felt a gust of air at the 260 foot mark. Upon further investigation, they discovered a small passageway about 18 inches high and five feet wide.
Leo Lambert disappeared for 17 hours exploring this opening while crawling on his hands and knees. Lambert found gorgeous rocks along with streams, and he discovered the formerly hidden Ruby Falls Cave and its waterfall!
The next time Leo Lambert went to visit his grand discovery, he took his wife. Right in front of the beautiful waterfall, he told his wife Ruby that he would name it in her honor. This is how Ruby Falls got its name.
Ruby Falls was probably my favorite of the three places we visited. Mostly because I have never been to Ruby Falls before, and the story of how it was discovered is just incredible!
Natalie said her favorite was the Incline Railway, and Haley said she loved all of them!
And for those who have asked, all of these photos were shot with one prime lens:
Body: Canon 6D, Lens: 40mm 2.8
See what’s in my camera bag here!