The Point And The Park

Trip Start Mar 07, 1997
Trip End Dec 25, 1998

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Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Friday, June 20, 1997

Go with me? School is out and summer is here, at least that's what the calendar says. It may be raining like heck, but that won't slow us down. Visitors are already flocking to town for anniversary celebrations, Riverbend festivities, and just plain sightseeing.

So if you're a visitor or stuck at home with restless kids and a house full of guests, grab an umbrella and follow me. Let's go to the top of the mountain for history, hiking, and a taste of what's unique to Chattanooga. Our destination is Point Park, a part of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, the first of its kind in the United States.

It's perched on the north end of Lookout Mountain, visible from almost anywhere in the city. Of course, that makes it the best place for great views of downtown and around town.

I like to stop in at the Visitor Center first to browse the Civil War books and pick up some trail maps. James Walker's incredible painting, The Battle Above the Clouds, is here too.

Park Rangers conduct daily walking tours, and give living history rifle demonstrations. Gun batteries mark the siege lines that encircled Chattanooga during the Civil War - Parrott Rifles with a 2-mile range; and howitzers, or Napoleons, used by both armies and able to fire a 12-pound charge. In the center of the park is the 95-foot high Peace Memorial. On top Union and Confederate soldiers shake hands under one flag.

But for the best part of all, we'll descend 500 feet down several tiers of steps to the Ochs Overlook. Be careful here, it's rocky. Markers point to Missionary Ridge, Signal Mountain, and the winding Tennessee River. Did you know this is the only place in the world you can see a river flowing both north and south? Amazing! That's Moccasin Bend.

If you came to hike, metal steps to the left lead to Bluff Trail, the main hiking trail in the park. Or if you just want to sit and chat, grab a bench back at the top overlook and soak in the sights. That's where I'll be! See you there.

Point Park, Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga
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