The Incline railway from Chattanooga to Lookout Mountain is the steepest incline in the world. First built in the late 19th century, the incline replaced small gauge railway that ran around the mountain and took almost an hour to travel. The original was run by steam engine, then converted to electric. 2 cables allow one car to go down as one goes up. They pass at the midpoint. New cars were introduced in the 1940's and then again in the 1980's. We started with a round trip ticket from the Chattanooga Station. The 10 min. ride in cars with great windows on the sides and roof give a birds eye view of Chattanooga as we rise to Lookout Mountain, where the Confederacy camped to lay siege to Federal Troops in Chattanooga. The seats on the Incline Railway are slanted down giving great views on all sides and great for photography of the incline railway chiseled out of the mountain by hand. Once at the top the view would have made the trip well worth it.
We bought tickets to the Battle of Chattanooga Museum which using a lit diorama and pictures explained the battle of Chattanooga.
We then walked along Lookout Point with great views and historical markers showing where the Confederate troops were stationed.
Hikers should prepare for a chance to walk all the way around the mountain and follow the battle for Lookout Mountain. We were not prepared to make such a walk so we walked around the grounds and visited a museum explaining what happened here.
Our ride down was as beautiful as the ride up. I would love to make the ride in summer and fall and winter seeing the season change the view.
Chattanooga is obviously a renaissance city. This trip tied the new with the history. Well worth the trip. Do this one if you are in Chattanooga! I always check off for couples because this is how my wife and I travel. But I think friends, family with teens and even solo tourist would enjoy the history.
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