High Falls (Rock City)

Lookout Mountain, Georgia, USA

About High Falls (Rock City)

Hiking Distance: 1-2 mile tour
Suggested Time: 60-90 minutes

Date first visited: 2012-10-26
Date last visited: 2012-10-26

Waterfall Latitude: 34.97429
Waterfall Longitude: -85.34941

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High Falls (which also goes by the name Lover’s Leap) is an artificial waterfall and is arguably the signature attraction of the Rock City Lookout and Gardens on the Georgia side of Lookout Mountain.

Because it’s not a natural waterfall, I struggled with whether or not it should be included on this website, especially when considering the contrived factor that permeated this complex. But I guess given that it can easily be coupled with a visit to Ruby Falls and that it has a backdrop that’s hard to ignore, I gave this one the benefit of the doubt and added this page.

We were able to view the falls from its top over a stone bridge as well as from further below towards a lookout platform precariously protruding from a cliff with a more frontal view like you see in the photo at the top of this page.

We happened to show up in the late morning and apparently that was probably the worst time to see it as it was totally against the sun. However, there were enough clouds in the area to allow us to wait for them to cover the sun so we could get decent photos.

Rock_City_031_20121026 - Looking down from the top of High Falls
Looking down from the top of High Falls

High Falls or Lover’s Leap is just one of the displays or attractions on the so-called Enchanted Trail which mazes its way through an extensive complex that starts off as a quiet botannical garden complete with artificial bird sounds and artificial waterfall. Then, it weaves in between tunnels and slot-like mini canyons (including a “fat man’s squeeze”) while also passing by overlooks, food stands, activity areas (e.g. a climbing wall), and displays with gnomes.

About half-way through the walk past either a stone bridge or a swinging bridge, the path takes you to the top of the waterfall where there’s also a large lookout area where it’s claimed that you can see seven states from this very spot. We find that to be a bit of a stretch, but then again if the weather was totally clear and free of pollution haze and/or water vapor, then perhaps it might be true. Who knows?

The frontal view of the waterfall is towards the end of the walk after a deer park and some stained-glass windows casting some colored natural light on a tunnel hugging a cliff.

The walk ends after going through the so-called Fairyland Caverns, which is perhaps the most Disney-like part that was very reminiscent of a cross between the Pirates of the Caribbean and a cave that pretends to be natural. It’s here that we saw most of the gnomes, which seemed like a rather consistent theme throughout the walk.

All in all, it took us about 90 minutes to do the whole thing at a very leisurely pace. The experience felt more like a theme park than that of a garden or self-tour.

Depending on how much fun you’re having though, I suppose you could spend a whole day here. But if you’re not into the wannabe Disneyland style, then you might do as we did and hastily make our way out of here after seeing the High Falls.

Rock_City_004_20121026 - Fake waterfall at the start of the Enchanted Trail
Rock_City_019_20121026 - On the Enchanted Trail
Rock_City_022_20121026 - Traversing arched bridges on the Enchanted Trail
Rock_City_025_20121026 - View past the alcove containing High Falls
Rock_City_027_20121026 - Swinging Bridge
Rock_City_035_20121026 - Looking over the top of the falls towards the stone arch bridge
Rock_City_040_20121026 - You can see seven states from here?!?
Rock_City_046_20121026 - Descending towards the lower parts of the walk
Rock_City_052_20121026 - Deer park
Rock_City_054_20121026 - Approaching the frontal view of High Falls
Rock_City_099_20121026 - The ridiculously kitschy and Disney-like Fairyland Caverns


I’m sure there are many ways of getting here (especially from Chattanooga, Tennessee, which is the closest big city here), but since we came here from Ruby Falls, that’s how we’ll describe it.

For the most part, we followed the signs to get to Rock City so I’d imagine it’s not hard to find.

From Ruby Falls, we continued south on Scenic Hwy for about 2 miles then turned left onto South Forest Ave and after 0.1 mile we turned right onto Fleetwood Dr. We followed Fleetwood Dr for about 0.6 miles then turned left onto Lula Lake Rd and followed it for another 0.7 miles before making another left onto Red Ridinghood Trail. The car park for Rock City is on this street.

For context, Chattanooga, TN was 112 miles (under 2 hours drive) southwest from Knoxville, TN, 135 miles (about 2 hours drive) southeast from Nashville, TN, and 118 miles (2 hours drive) north from Atlanta.

Backwards C top down sweep following the falling water of High Falls before panning across the bridge and down into the fall colors below

Left to right sweep from the lookout platform starting with fall foliage and ending with a bottom up panning of the front of High Falls

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Tagged with: rock city, georgia, lookout mountain, waterfall, chattanooga, tennessee

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