Complimentary passes to Rock City were provided. All thoughts and opinions are my own, as always.
If you have done any traveling in the United States, I’m going to guess that you have come across one of these:
During the 1930s-1950s, over 900 barns across the United States were pained with “See Rock City.” It generated quite a lot of interest in the amazing trail of geological formations found just 6 miles from downtown Chattanooga on top of Lookout Mountain.
Rock City opened to the public in 1932 and has been delighting its visitors ever since. After living in Chattanooga for 3 1/2 years, we finally got to “See Rock City” for ourselves last week. After seeing it, we really wish we had gone sooner!
We spent about two hours walking through beautiful paths and navigating a few tight squeezes (but not too tight!) through rocks that are said to be over 2 million years old. Wow!! The rocks are absolutely awe-inspiring, but perhaps the most breathtaking formation at the park is Lover’s Leap and the waterfall.
Notice how they have a walkway that just sort of juts out over the cliff. I’m not afraid of heights at all, but I got a little nervous walking out on that particular balcony! Our girls had never seen a waterfall of this size before, so it was a really special treat to get to see them admiring it. We stayed in this area just enjoying the view for quite some time.
Rock City has two separate trails, and it is easy to follow both of them without having to do any back tracking, as they both lead up to Lover’s Leap, which is an area where you can see 7 states on a clear day. We took one trail up to the large outcropping (which also has a place to eat and some cool rock climbing), and we took the other trail back down.
We also vied for the rights to the crown in the small village in that area. They had a sword in the stone, and invited us to see if we might be the heirs to the throne.
It wasn’t a lucky day for anyone in my family. But Darah was absolutely thrilled to have had the chance! We also spotted some deer while we were on the trails, as well as some fun references to beloved fairy tale creatures. It really made the trip feel a bit more magical, especially to a child.
Perhaps the most delightful surprise for us, though, was discovering Fairyland Caverns and Mother Goose Village, near the end of our trek. A plethora of scenes from beloved fairy tales and rhymes are on display, all with figures that were imported from Germany in the 1930s. They have all been painted to put off fun special effects under black light, as well. As a MAJOR nursery rhyme fan, myself, I was absolutely tickled to see all these beautiful scenes.
Each year, more than half a million people visit Rock City. If you are thinking of visiting, I would tell you to definitely do it. Tickets for adults are $19.95 and children are $11.95. If you live close enough to visit more than once a year, annual passes are a very reasonable $35 for adults and $19 for children, or you can get a family of 4 pass for $89. Tim and I have already talked about getting an annual pass for our family next year. Rock City offers a wide range of seasonal events which make it really fun to come back more than once a year, too.
A word of advice for travelers with young children: if you have a child who needs to be in a stroller, please note that strollers are not allowed on the property (and after walking through it, myself, I can tell you that it is not navigable by stroller, so there’s no need to ask for permission to bring yours in). Just something to keep in mind. Either wear your baby or be prepared to carry her for a really long time. Or just wait until all of your children can walk on their own. Our youngest is almost 2, and this seemed to be a good first age for her to go.
So, have you seen Rock City, yet? If you are ever in the Chattanooga area, make the time to see it. There’s a reason that it has been a really popular attraction for almost 80 years!