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If you travel North on I-75 from Georgia, United States as you enter the Tennessee State line; you are forced to notice an immense rock formation to the west that overlooks the City of Chattanooga. This mountain ridge is known as “Lookout Mountain”. The top of Lookout Mountain is located in Georgia while it’s populated area at its’ base is located in Tennessee. Its’ highest peak reaches an elevation of 2,389 feet. Lookout Mountain is is well known for its’ historic military battles and for its’ many major tourist attractions.
Lookout Mountain is home to the “Incline Railway” which is a National Historic Site. At it’s base at the St. Elmo’s station, it climbs approximately 1 mile high with an incline of 72.7%. It’s the world’s steepest passenger train and is affectionately known as “America’s Most Amazing Mile”.
The Incline Railway opened on November 16, 1895. It offers a funicular railway system that is over 100 years old that utilizes a Trolley Car combined with a cable system built by the Otis Elevator Company. It’s on a single track system except for a short two track area for passing of multiple Trolleys. In 1991 the Incline Railway was recognized as a Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark.
At the St. Elmo’s Station at the base, passengers may purchase their train tickets for the 1 mile Incline up Lookout Mountain in Trolleys that offer many windows for picturesque views. Once you arrive at the mountain’s summit you will be at the Point Park Station where there is an observation deck for your viewing that overlooks both Chattanooga and the Tennessee River.
Once you are at the Point Park Station you may visit the “Battles of Chattanooga Museum” which include the mountain’s historic artifacts from the Civil War, “Battle of Lookout Mountain” in 1863. You may also visit Ruby Falls which is a 145’ high waterfall underground within Lookout Mountain. You will also find the “Rock City” attraction most recognizable by its’ large painted barn advertisements along scenic highways in the Southeastern United States. It has an extravagant rock garden and at its’ cliff’s edge it is known as “Lover’s Leap”. It has been declared that you can see “seven states” from Rock City’s observation deck.
Once you return to St. Elmo’s Station at the base of Lookout Mountain by Trolley there are many local shops. You may visit restaurants, a microbrewery, a flower, a coffee and an ice cream shop and many other amenities that will allow you to relax from your big adventure that began with the historic Incline Railway.