In a milestone achievement for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers, the River to Clouds Route (RCR), a 34-mile multi-use trail system, has officially opened, linking Chattanooga to Walker County and Cloudland Canyon State Park.
The journey begins at Cloudland Canyon State Park near Rising Fawn, Georgia, and winds its way north along Lookout Mountain, concluding at the base of Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where it seamlessly integrates with the city’s Greenway System. This expansive multi-use trail accommodates both hikers and mountain bikers, featuring a combination of single and double-track trails.
The realization of the River to Clouds Route was a collaborative effort spanning several years, involving numerous organizations dedicated to enhancing outdoor recreation in the region. The project’s completion stands as a testament to the commitment and passion of these groups.
Adventure seekers taking on the RCR can expect a challenging yet rewarding experience, encountering a diverse range of terrains. From rocky technical sections to scenic overlooks, tumbling mountain streams, waterfalls, hidden hollers, unique rock formations, and abandoned mines, the route offers a captivating journey through the region’s natural beauty. Historical sites dot the landscape, providing a glimpse into the area’s rich heritage.
The River to Clouds Route seamlessly links together various public lands managed by organizations such as Lookout Mountain Conservancy, National Park Service, Lula Lake Land Trust, Georgia-Alabama Land Trust, Covenant College, and Georgia State Parks. For those planning an overnight stay, the importance of consulting the map and adhering to the rules and guidelines set by each land manager cannot be overstated.
To facilitate navigation and enhance the overall experience, a detailed map of the route is available for download. This resource serves as a valuable guide, offering insights into parking locations and camping areas along the trail.
Beyond its recreational significance, the River to Clouds Route crosses the historical lands of the Cherokee Nation and other indigenous peoples. In light of this, the community is encouraged to uphold a sense of stewardship and respect for the historical and cultural significance of these lands.
The River to Clouds Route marks a significant addition to the region’s outdoor offerings, providing a unique blend of adventure, natural beauty, and cultural awareness. As the community embraces this new trail system, its positive impact on both locals and visitors alike is anticipated to be profound.