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Southern Experiences

See Rock City

Rock City Gardens is a world-famous marvel of nature located atop Lookout Mountain outside Chattanooga, Tennessee. Rock City features massive ancient rock formations, gardens with over 400 native plant species, and the famous “See 7 States” panoramic view.

The area known as “Rock City” has been known to civilization since the 1820s but opened as a public attraction on May 21, 1932. As you enter the gardens, you will start your stroll through the 4,100-foot trail, where you’ll encounter incredible rock formations, caves, and beautiful flowers, along with a few other surprises.

One of the surprises you’ll encounter in the Gardens is a 180-foot suspension bridge, provides a great panoramic view of the Chattanooga Valley.

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Also, did you know there are few places in America where you can see multiple states at one time? Lookout Mountain is one such place. It is actually the only place where you can view the most states from one location. “See Seven States” is located at the top of Lover’s Leap.

Lover’s Leap is one of the most iconic rock formations on Lookout Mountain. This formation is named for the Cherokee legend of two lovers.

My favorite part of Rock City is Rainbow Hall, which is along the under-cliff passage to the observation platform of Lover’s Leap and beautiful High Falls.

There are also two major rock formations you squeeze through while you are on the trail and those are Needle’s Eye and Fat Man’s Squeeze.

The final thing you pass through on the enchanted trail is the Fairyland Caverns and Mother Goose Village. These two exhibits include your favorite nursery rhymes and were moved to this exhibit in 1947.

Mother Goose Village | Rock City | Lookout Mountain, GA

The final thing you should look out for during your visit is the gnomes located all along the trails. The concept came from Frieda Carter, wife of the founder, who brought in German statues of gnomes. Can you guess how many gnomes are in Rock City?

Finally, one of the famous aspects of Rock City is not actually in the Garden itself. It’s the barn roofs that were used as advertising in the 1930s. The founder of Rock City, Garnet Carter, is the brainchild of the famous See Rock City barns. Today, you can still see some of these historic advertisements along roadways in the Southeast and beyond. Here’s a map of all the barns to keep a lookout for during your next southern road trip.