Located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the Incline Railway to Ruby Falls offers a breathtaking journey through the picturesque Lookout Mountain. This historic railway is not only a popular tourist attraction but also a gateway to one of nature’s wonders, the stunning Ruby Falls. As you embark on this scenic adventure, you will be mesmerized by the beauty of the surrounding landscape and the fascinating history that accompanies it.
A Brief History
The Incline Railway has been in operation since 1895, making it one of the oldest and steepest passenger railways in the world. Originally built to transport coal and limestone from the mountain, it soon became a popular mode of transportation for tourists. Over the years, the railway has undergone several renovations and enhancements to ensure a safe and comfortable journey for visitors.
Boarding the Incline Railway
As you make your way to the boarding area, you will be greeted by friendly staff who will guide you through the ticketing process. The railway operates year-round, allowing visitors to experience the beauty of Lookout Mountain in every season. Once aboard the vintage railcars, you can choose to sit back and relax or stand near the windows to capture the stunning views that await you.
The Incline Railway ascends at an impressive angle of 72.7 degrees, providing passengers with a unique and thrilling experience. As you climb towards the summit, you will be treated to panoramic views of the cityscape, the Tennessee River, and the lush greenery that surrounds Lookout Mountain. The railway’s slow and steady pace allows you to fully immerse yourself in the natural beauty that unfolds before your eyes.
Arriving at Ruby Falls
After a scenic journey that lasts approximately 10 minutes, the Incline Railway reaches its final destination – Ruby Falls. This magnificent underground waterfall is located over 1,120 feet below the surface and is considered one of the tallest and most spectacular waterfalls in the United States. Led by knowledgeable guides, you will embark on a guided tour that takes you through awe-inspiring rock formations and culminates in the breathtaking view of Ruby Falls itself.
Exploring Ruby Falls
Once inside the cavern, you will be amazed by the colorful stalactites and stalagmites that adorn the walls and ceilings. The guided tour provides fascinating insights into the geological formations and the history of Ruby Falls. The cavern’s ambient lighting creates a magical atmosphere, enhancing the beauty of the waterfall and making it a truly unforgettable experience.
Tips for Visitors
Here are a few tips to make the most of your visit to the Incline Railway and Ruby Falls:
1. Dress Comfortably:
Wear comfortable shoes and clothing as you will be walking through the cavern and may encounter some uneven surfaces.
2. Bring a Camera:
Capture the beauty of the railway journey and Ruby Falls by bringing your camera or smartphone along.
3. Check Opening Hours:
Make sure to check the opening hours of the Incline Railway and Ruby Falls before you plan your visit.
4. Plan for Crowds:
During peak tourist seasons, the Incline Railway and Ruby Falls can get crowded, so plan your visit accordingly.
The Incline Railway to Ruby Falls offers a remarkable journey through natural beauty and history. From the thrilling ascent on the railway to the awe-inspiring view of Ruby Falls, this experience is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories. Whether you are a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or simply looking for a unique adventure, the Incline Railway to Ruby Falls is a must-visit destination in Chattanooga.