Sunday, May 22, 2011

Lookout Mountain Hiking

Wow, my first post of 2011. I tend to do small posts on Facebook more now, so feel free to look me up there.

I was working in Chattanooga last week and staying at the Marriott. I've been doing a lot of walking for the last two months, and I've gotten my daily average up to about 6 miles, and have hit 7.5 miles on several days during recent weeks.

Since it doesn't get dark in Chattanooga until about 9pm this time of year, I have a lot of time right after work to go walking. Earlier last week I did a lot of walking all over downtown, but eventually I got tired of avoid panhandlers in certain parts of town, so I drove over to Lookout Mountain and parked just below Cravens House.

This home was built before the Civil War and by the end of it was mostly demolished, but the owner rebuilt it afterwards and it sits on a big ledge a few hundred feet below the summit. Several trails branch off from it and I chose to go down the Rifle Pits trail until it intersected with the Upper Truck trail. My legs were feeling pretty rubbery from the walking earlier in the week, so I avoided some of the other trails that had a lot of elevation change.

The Rifle Pits trail was a bit rough, and mostly downhill from the Cravens House, but was not too difficult. The Upper Truck trail is basically a dirt road, but is maintained as a bike path so it doesn't have too many ruts and is fairly level. It was really pretty, but unfortunately you can still hear the traffic from I24, at least on the section I was on. I went down to the trail that goes up to Sunset Rock, but turned back there since I was trying to avoid going up the mountain at that point.

On the way back I kept going past the Rifle Pits trail head, and the trail ran into a road that led right back to my car. I ended up going about 3 miles total and still had plenty of daylight. I'll be back in Chattanooga next week so I'll probably try to go a little further next time since I know the basic layout of the area now.