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: -85.34828

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

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.

Rock_City_081_20121026 - High Falls or Lover's Leap in Rock City
High Falls or Lover’s Leap in Rock City

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 High Falls from its top over a stone bridge.

In addition, we got more frontal views from further below towards a lookout platform precariously protruding from a cliff (see photo above).

Nevertheless, we happened to show up in the late morning and apparently that was probably the worst time to see High Falls 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.

The Enchanted Trail

Rock_City_004_20121026 - The Enchanted Trail going through this artificial garden with man-made waterfall
The Enchanted Trail going through this artificial garden with man-made waterfall

High Falls or Lover’s Leap is just one of the displays or attractions on the so-called Enchanted Trail.

The trail 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 High Falls.

Rock_City_040_20121026 - The expansive panorama supposedly allowing you to see seven states from this very spot on Lookout Mountain
The expansive panorama supposedly allowing you to see seven states from this very spot on Lookout Mountain

That’s 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.

Beyond the High Falls, the walk ends after going through the so-called Fairyland Caverns.

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

This cave 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.

Nevertheless, the experience felt more like a theme park than that of a garden or self-tour through Nature.

Rock_City_099_20121026 - Inside the Fairyland Caverns, which was the most Disneyland-like part of the entire Rock City experience
Inside the Fairyland Caverns, which was the most Disneyland-like part of the entire Rock City experience

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 motif, then you might do as we did and hastily make our way out of here after seeing the High Falls.


High Falls in Rock City resides in Rock City Gardens in Lookout Mountain, Georgia and near Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is administered by Rock City Gardens. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Rock_City_002_20121026 - Julie entering the Rock City Gardens complex
Rock_City_007_20121026 - Following the Enchanted Trail past a mix of artificial cliffs and attractive trees shedding Autumn leaves
Rock_City_008_20121026 - The Enchanted Trail going underneath this bridge as it mazes its way through Rock City
Rock_City_011_20121026 - Julie going through a narrow corridor as part of the Enchanted Trail through Rock City
Rock_City_013_20121026 - Julie squeezing her way through the so-called Needle's Eye in Rock City
Rock_City_019_20121026 - Julie continuing her self-tour of Rock City on the Enchanted Trail
Rock_City_022_20121026 - Traversing arched bridges on the Enchanted Trail (we had passed underneath this bridge earlier)
Rock_City_024_20121026 - Julie traversing a more dramatic part of the Enchanted Trail in the Rock City Gardens
Rock_City_025_20121026 - Contextual view past the alcove containing High Falls towards Autumn foliage covering the basin below
Rock_City_027_20121026 - Contextual view towards a swinging bridge on the Enchanted Trail in Rock City
Rock_City_035_20121026 - Looking over the top of the High Falls towards the stone arch bridge spanning it
Rock_City_042_20121026 - Looking back towards the cliff-hugging part of the Enchanted Trail leading to views of the front of High Falls
Rock_City_046_20121026 - Descending towards the lower parts of the Enchanted Trail
Rock_City_052_20121026 - Looking down at a deer park in Rock City
Rock_City_054_20121026 - Approaching the frontal view of High Falls
Rock_City_067_20121026 - Checking out High Falls with some people at the top for a sense of scale
Rock_City_075_20121026 - Portrait view of the artificial High Falls in Rock City
Rock_City_078_20121026 - An even more direct view of the High Falls in Rock City Gardens

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 parking lot 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.

Find A Place To Stay

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

Slow bottom up sweep of High Falls from the bridge and looking across towards the other bridge

Right to left sweep starting with a top down panning of High Falls' front then looking across fall foliage towards other Rock City infrastructure at the end

Right to left sweep of High Falls then fall foliage before ending with the lookout platform

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

Some waterfall (fake?) inside the Disney part (i.e. Fairyland Caverns)

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

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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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