Point Park on Lookout Mountain

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The only attraction at the upper end of the Lookout Mountain Incline (aside from the view itself at the station) is Point Park, a small portion of the Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park.

Point Park is about 1/4 mile from the incline station, at the top of Lookout Mountain.  You can also drive here–just head up Lookout Mountain and watch for the signs.

Since this is a National Park Service-operated military park, there is an entrance fee.  You’ll pay $3 unless you have your annual National Parks Pass.

Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park is divided into two units.  There’s the section atop Lookout Mountain, which straddles the Tennessee/Georgia state line (Point Park makes up a very small portion of this unit), and the Chickamauga battlefield (south of Chattanooga, and entirely in Georgia), on US Hwy. 27.  For a better understanding of both units, check out the NPS website.

The centerpiece of Point Park is the New York Peace Memorial.  At the center of the monument is a tall monolith, topped with a statue of a Confederate soldier and a Union soldier, shaking hands.

At its base is a small sheltered area surrounded by columns.

During the civil war, Chattanooga was a valuable prize, thanks to its location and railways.  The city’s importance made Lookout Mountain especially valuable.  Union and Confederate forces clashed here in the fall of 1863 for control of the mountain, in what became known as the “Battle Above the Clouds”. In reality, very little fighting actually happened atop the mountain, most occurred on the hillsides.  Civil war history buffs can read more here and here.

There are other monuments around the grounds of Point Park, as well as several cannons, aimed at downtown Chattanooga.

Even if you only have a passing interest in the historical lessons to be learned at the park, you’ll certainly be interested in the views of Chattanooga, and the Tennessee River.

A short walk down this path leads to the best viewpoint, at the far end of the park grounds.  The tiny museum building at the viewpoint was undergoing remodeling during my visit in 2006.

Note: This trip was first published in 2006.

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