Getaway to Chattanooga: Visiting Point Park

A journey from Mississippi to Chattanooga, Tennessee is an adventure with stops along the way in Alabama to visit several spectacular waterfalls and to explore the famous town of Fort Payne. Fort Payne is the home of the recording group Alabama and is a part of the historic Trail of Tears. The approach to Lookout Mountain involves many winding and twisting turns before arriving in Lookout Mountain, at Point Park.

Lookout Mountain – Point Park

Lookout Mountain is not only at the mountain top but also straddles the two states of Georgia and Tennessee, An imposing gate echoes the appearance of a European medieval castle. The entry gate for Point Park is based on the look of the emblem for the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. The Army Corp of Engineers built Point Park in 1905 as part of the Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park managed by the National Park Service.  The park commemorates the Battle of Lookout Mountain. The NPS charges a fee for entry to the park, which provides entry to Chickamauga Battlefield as well and is good for a week.

 

I entered the castle-like gates. I see the artillery emplacements of the Confederate army. The city of Chattanooga is far below the mountainsides. These cannons were placed soon after the Confederate Army of Tennessee won the Battle of Chickamauga in northern Georgia, and occupied Lookout Mountain during the autumn of 1863. Union forces under the command of General Joseph Hooker remained in control of Chattanooga.

Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain served as the gateway for later Union campaigns that would complete the march of General Sherman through Georgia with the culmination of the capture of Savannah, Georgia.

One of the most incredible views is from the outside of the OCHS Museum where the Umbrella rock can be seen with the city of Chattanooga just below.  The rock appears to be sitting with a dangerous tilt, but up to 30 people have sat on it together. This rock has also been the site of visits by both Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt, as well as many other less famous visitors. Visitors are not currently allowed access to the rock as a safety precaution. The OCHS Museum is small but has many rare photographs that document the use of this location as a signaling site during the Civil War.

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John Goodrow
John Goodrow is a seasoned traveler, having visited every continent except Antarctica during his career in the United States Navy. Currently living and working in Mississippi, he enjoys traveling to historic and lesser-known areas throughout the world. He shares his knowledge of early American and Military history through travel writing.

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