See Rock City: KidsOutAndAbout reviews Rock City Gardens, Lookout Mountain, GA
by Sarah Lephart
Rock City Gardens is a 4100-foot walking trail that takes your family through gardens, into caves, and around amazing rock formations. Located just along the border of Tennessee and Georgia outside of Chattanooga, TN, on top of Lookout Mountain, this quaint garden is a great place to visit with children of all ages!
We detoured to Rock City Gardens as part of our family's first long road trip with our three little ones (ages 2, 5, and 8) from Michigan to Florida. We wanted to make it a memorable trip, giving them the opportunity to see the beautiful scenery as we traveled through the rolling mountains of Kentucky and Tennessee. I had heard about Rock City Gardens and thought it would be an ideal place both to stretch our legs and take in one of the Southeast's most spectacular natural wonders.
Unfortunately, as we drove closer to Rock City, the rain began to fall harder and harder. We called ahead to make sure the gardens were still open, and they assured us that they were open and had free ponchos for visitors to help them keep dry. When we arrived the parking lot was mostly empty, but we ventured on and got our tickets at the ticket booth. We are so glad we stayed and explored, even with the rain.
In fact, the rain gave the gardens an almost ethereal feeling as we ventured through tiny crevices, past massive rock formations, over swinging bridges, and into the fairyland caverns. My children loved it, and they even wanted to go through it again despite the fact that we were wet and cold. That's a vote of kid confidence!
Keep in mind when visiting that there is a lot of walking, and strollers will not work on the paths, so it works best with little ones who can walk on their own. Our littlest one went between walking and being carried. It takes about an hour and a half or two hours to walk along all of the paths, but you could definitely take more time if you wanted to; we would have if it hadn’t been pouring!
Rock City Gardens also has special events throughout the year that offer extra activities. We went the weekend of Spring Blooms, but with all of the rain and how late we arrived, we missed the added activities. My children would have enjoyed the extra fun, but they had a great time even without them.
If you are driving near Chattanooga, be sure to "See Rock City." We are looking forward to stopping again, ideally on a less rainy day, but even if it is raining, we will be back!
Rock City Gardens
1400 Patten Rd Lookout Mountain, GA 30750
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Sarah Lephart is editor of KidsOutAndAbout.com's Ann Arbor - Detroit site.