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Exploring Chickamauga & Chattanooga Nationwide Army Park

In 1863, Union and Accomplice troops clashed on a battlefield at Cravens Home on the northern slope of Lookout Mountain. The encounter would turn out to be often called the “Battle Above the Clouds.” The location of the battle is preserved by the Nationwide Park Service, but it surely’s just one small portion to discover of the ten,000-acre Chickamauga & Chattanooga Nationwide Army Park.

Unfold throughout six areas all through Chattanooga and Fort Oglethorpe, the nationwide army park is an intriguing stroll by means of Civil Conflict historical past in a pure setting surrounded by wildlife and towering timber. It’s straightforward to discover the park with auto touring routes and loads of parking.

However typically, you’ll wish to go for just a little stroll. Sundown Rock is without doubt one of the most spectacular sundown overlooks in Tennessee. And the view of the Tennessee River and downtown Chattanooga from the Ochs Memorial Museum is unmatched.

Be taught what you are able to do with a go to to Chickamauga & Chattanooga Nationwide Army Park – the nation’s first nationwide army park.

3370 LaFayette Street, Fort Oglethorpe, GA | 706-866-9241 |


The NPS App is the official app of the Nationwide Park Service. The app takes all the data obtainable on-line – park info, interactive maps, movies, journey alerts, and issues to do – and places it at your fingertips on a smartphone.

Obtain the free app for iOS or Android.

Temporary Historical past of Chickamauga & Chattanooga Nationwide Army Park

In 1889, twenty-six years after the Battle of Chickamauga, ten thousand Union and Accomplice veterans returned to the battlefield in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. Through the “Blue and Grey BBQ” occasion, the concept was fashioned to protect the battlefield for future generations to discover.

In 1890, President Benjamin Harrison signed a regulation authorizing the nation’s first nationwide army park. Predating the Nationwide Park Service by 26 years, the historic website was administered by a park fee below the Conflict Division. In 1933, President Dwight D. Eisenhower transferred Chickamauga & Chattanooga Nationwide Army Park management to the Nationwide Park Service.

Did You Know? Gettysburg, the nation’s hottest nationwide army park, wasn’t established till 1895. Nevertheless, the primary efforts to protect the historic website started with the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Affiliation in 1864, only one 12 months after the pivotal battle.

A stunning autumn sundown from Sundown Rock on Lookout Mountain.

Prime 10 Issues to Do at Chickamauga & Chattanooga Nationwide Army Park

Unfold throughout six places surrounding Chattanooga, Tennessee and Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, the Chickamauga & Chattanooga Nationwide Army Park is an enormous place to discover. It’s straightforward to overlook one thing and typically tough to get the place you need.

Listed here are the issues to do and locations to go in the event you’re quick on time and wish to be sure to get one of the best expertise:

  1. Go to the Chickamauga Battlefield Customer Middle and discover the Fuller Gun Assortment
  2. Drive the 7-mile Chickamauga Battlefield Auto Touring Route
  3. Climb the steps contained in the 85-foot-tall Wilder Brigade Monument
  4. Go for a drive to Sign Level
  5. Discover Orchard Knob
  6. Go for a stroll by means of Level Park on Lookout Mountain
  7. Go to Sundown Rock on Lookout Mountain
  8. Go to the Cravens Home on the northern slope of Lookout Mountain
  9. Drive the 7.4-mile Missionary Ridge Auto Touring Route
  10. Go for a Hike at Moccasin Bend Nationwide Archeological District

Professional Journey Tip How lengthy will it take to discover Chickamauga & Chattanooga Nationwide Army Park? Plan to spend 3-4 hours every on the Chickamauga Battlefield and Lookout Mountain Battlefield. It can take about 2 hours to discover Missionary Ridge. If you wish to see and do every little thing, plan to spend two days.

Chickamauga Battlefield

In mid-1863, the Union Military of the Cumberland, below the command of Basic William Rosecrans, moved south from center Tennessee to seize Chattanooga. Rosecrans encountered the Accomplice Military of Tennessee below the command of Basic Braxton Bragg close to LaFayette, Georgia, about ten miles southeast of Chattanooga.

On September 18, 1863, the Accomplice military tried to cross a number of small bridges and creeks however confronted opposition from Union cavalry. What began out as a number of minor skirmishes developed right into a full-scale battle. The Military of Northern Virginia, below the command of Basic James Longstreet, strengthened the Accomplice military because the battle ebbed and flowed throughout the hills.

On the night of September 20, 1863, the Union military withdrew from the Chickamauga Battlefield towards Chattanooga. The military suffered 35,000 killed, wounded, lacking, or captured troopers. The Accomplice military was victorious, they usually shortly marched towards Chattanooga to encompass the remaining Union troops.

READ MORE: 10 Issues to Do on the North Shore of Chattanooga

Chickamauga Battlefield Customer Middle

Start exploring the nationwide army park with a go to to the Chickamauga Battlefield Customer Middle. It’s conveniently situated on Lafayette Street, simply past the commercialization of Fort Oglethorpe on the boundary the place the park’s nature begins.

The unique customer heart is a colonial-style home going through the street. Connecting to the rear of the home, a contemporary customer heart with a glass atrium guides guests in the present day. Inside, a round desk is often manned by just a few folks keen that can assist you uncover the nationwide army park.

Begin with the 26-minute orientation movie, The Marketing campaign for Chattanooga. Then, browse the displays contained in the museum that interprets the Battle of Chickamauga. Lastly, cease on the present store for clothes, collectibles, and books.

Fuller Gun Assortment

When Claud Fuller was a toddler, he purchased a small pistol at a ironmongery store in Kansas. He grew to become fascinated with the mechanics of the firearm – and that grew right into a lifelong obsession.

All through his engineering profession, Fuller collected each kind of firearm he might discover. Revolutionary Conflict-era muskets, Smith & Wesson “wild west” pistols, and fashionable firearms of the occasions. Even his spouse, Zenada, would brose the public sale websites searching for new firearms for the gathering.

In 1933, the Fullers retired and acquired a 50-acre ranch close to Chattanooga. Their gun assortment grew to become a neighborhood attraction. 5,000 folks per 12 months would go to their house to admire the gathering.

In 1949, the Fullers approached Chickamauga & Chattanooga Nationwide Army Park officers about donating a big portion of their assortment. A brand new wing to the museum was constructed, and Claud designed the show circumstances. After 5 years of meticulously putting every bit of the gathering, the Fuller Gun Assortment opened to the general public.

The firearms are displayed behind strong panes of glass and lit on all sides by hidden lighting. The gathering wraps round three sides of quick hallways with almost a dozen all through the museum. The firearms are displayed chronologically, creating an interesting stroll by means of the historical past of weapons.

Reenactor Jonathon Shields speaks with the passengers at Wilder Tower. Park rangers ceaselessly roam by means of the battlefield close to the auto touring route.

Chickamauga Battlefield Auto Touring Route

One of the simplest ways to discover this historical past is to drive alongside the Chickamauga Battlefield Auto Touring Route. From the customer heart, the 7-mile route winds alongside the hills on two-lane roads and occasional one-way detours. Canons, monuments, and memorials spring out of pockets within the forest a lot the identical method because the troopers did in the course of the battle. Parking areas are plentiful, however you’ll be able to take pleasure in an important view from the consolation of the automobile.

READ MORE: Exploring the Civil Conflict Battlefield on the Auto Tour Route at Gettysburg Nationwide Army Park

Wilder Brigade Monument

Virtually hidden away in a small nook of the Chickamauga Battlefield, the Wilder Brigade Monument is an 85-foot-tall stone tower open for guests to climb seasonally. From the highest, friends are handled to a spectacular view of the battlefield above the treetops.

Climbing Trails

In case you desire to stretch your legs, 5 mountain climbing trails discover the Chickamauga Battlefield. All trails are straightforward to hike with little elevation change and loads of shading from timber. The 5-mile Basic Bragg Path is the shortest within the nationwide army park and begins on the customer heart. The 11-mile Historic Path is the longest, looping all through all the Chickamauga Battlefield.

Sign Level

When the Union Military of the Cumberland retreated into Chattanooga, they misplaced the excessive floor. Accomplice troops took place on Missionary Ridge to the east and Lookout Mountain to the south, every with important vantage factors overlooking the town. The one excessive floor the Union troops secured was Sign Level.

The Tennessee River cuts by means of the Cumberland Plateau in Chattanooga. On the north facet of the river is Sign Mountain, and on the south facet is Racoon Mountain – the placement of the town’s reservoir.

When Union troops secured Sign Level on the south fringe of the mountain, they created a posh system of indicators to speak with the besieged metropolis beneath. The communications had been then relayed to Birmingham, Alabama.

A stroll alongside a paved path and throughout just a few stairs leads from the car parking zone to a surprising overlook excessive above the Tennessee River. The general public park is open throughout daytime.

Orchard Knob

Chattanooga was besieged. The Union Military of the Cumberland was trapped. However not all hope was misplaced. After receiving reinforcements – 20,000 Union troops landed at Brown’s Ferry in late October – Basic George Thomas was prepared to interrupt the siege.

On November 23, 1863, Thomas ordered Basic Thomas Wooden to maneuver east with 14,000 troops and safe Orchard Hill – a muddy elevated level midway between Chattanooga and Missionary Ridge. Solely 634 Accomplice troopers had been stationed on the ridge.

The battle lasted lower than two hours earlier than the Confederates retreated to the bottom of Missionary Ridge. Wooden rode his horse to the hill’s summit and signaled his victory. It foreshadowed the approaching Battle of Missionary Ridge within the subsequent two days.

Two-hour streetside parking is permitted on Ivy Avenue and East 4th Avenue surrounding Orchard Knob. The reservation is open throughout daytime – search for small cast-iron gates on the park’s corners for entry.

Some of the spectacular scenic overlooks in Tennessee. A canon emplacement overlooks downtown Chattanooga.

Lookout Mountain Battlefield

After their victory on the Battle of Chickamauga, Accomplice Basic Bragg’s Military of Tennessee marched towards Chattanooga and besieged the town. Union Main Basic William Rosecrans’ Military of the Cumberland was surrounded and minimize off.

Bragg despatched forces to Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountain, each wonderful viewpoints of the town. Lookout Mountain’s 380-foot prominence offered a spectacular view of the town, Tennessee River, and Union provide traces from the west. For 2 months, artillery on Lookout Mountain shelled the town and provide traces.

In late October, the Union military in Chattanooga was strengthened with 20,000 troops touring on the Tennessee River. However it will take one other month for Basic Grant to lastly be able to push again in opposition to Bragg’s siege.

On November 24, 1863, Grant ordered Main Basic Joseph Hooker to assault the Accomplice forces on Lookout Mountain. The battle grew to become often called the “Battle Above the Clouds” and was a simple victory for the Union troops. With Lookout Mountain safe, it was time to maneuver towards Missionary Ridge.

Professional Journey Tip Parking is restricted on Lookout Mountain, notably on the north finish close to Level Park. One of the simplest ways to go to Level Park and the customer heart is to experience on the historic Lookout Mountain Incline Railway. Inbuilt 1895, the usual gauge railroad has a 72.7% most incline, making it one of many steepest railroads on the planet. The underside station at St. Elmo has a big car parking zone with a price of only a few {dollars}. From the highest station, it’s a quarter-mile stroll with sidewalks to Level Park.

Lookout Mountain Battlefield Customer Middle

The one-story customer on the nook of intersecting streets is an attention-grabbing constructing – it was initially a retail store. The steeply sloped roof and enormous multi-pane home windows are a novel search for a nationwide park unit customer heart.

The Lookout Mountain Battlefield Customer Middle is a good place for details about the historic website. The customer heart has a small museum with displays in regards to the Battle for Chattanooga, together with the battles on Lookout Mountain. Browse the present store for clothes, collectibles, and a big ebook assortment.

The museum can also be house to the unique portray, The Battle Above the Clouds. Artist James Walker created the portray shortly after witnessing the pivotal 1863 battle on Lookout Mountain.

READ MORE: 5 Thrilling Issues to Do on Lookout Mountain in Tennessee & Georgia

A scenic overlook in entrance of the Ochs Museum supplies a surprising view of the Tennessee River wrapping round Moccasin Bend.

Level Park

The ten-acre Level Park preserves the northernmost tip of Lookout Mountain and a few of the greatest scenic overlooks within the state. A paved path winds by means of the park previous static shows, overlooks, and across the New York Peace Memorial.

Through the siege of Chattanooga, Accomplice troops arrange canon emplacements overlooking the town. As we speak, the canons stay and supply a wide ranging view of downtown Chattanooga.

Admission to Level Park is $10 per individual, and the price is nice for seven consecutive days.

Ochs Museum

On the northernmost level of Level Park is an attention-grabbing stone construction constructed in the course of the Nice Melancholy within the Thirties. Ochs Museum includes a small exhibit in regards to the Battle for Chattanooga and the Moccasin Bend Nationwide Archaeological District.

However outdoors the museum, guests are handled to maybe the second-best view from Level Park. The overlook faces north with a view of the bend within the Tennessee River and downtown Chattanooga. It’s one in all my favourite scenic overlooks in Tennessee.

Cravens Home

Earlier than the Civil Conflict, Robert Cravens constructed one of many first homes on Lookout Mountain. When the Conflict Between the States began, his son Jesse enlisted with the Accomplice military and left house. When the Civil Conflict got here to their doorstep in 1863, the Cravens fled their home for one more property in Georgia.

The Accomplice military used the Cravens home as a headquarters for his or her place on Lookout Mountain. When Main Basic Joseph Hooker attacked their place on November 24, a lot of the combating happened on the property. After the battle, the Union military used the home for his or her headquarters.

After the Civil Conflict, Robert Cravens returned to the destroyed home and rebuilt it. Accomplished in 1866, the home and property are actually preserved by the Nationwide Park Service. Guests can take a self-guided tour of the property, go to the memorials and monuments, and be taught in regards to the battle.

Climbing Trails

Dozens of mountain climbing trails wrap across the slopes of Lookout Mountain. A lot of the trails are open for foot site visitors solely, however there are just a few for mountain biking and one path for horseback driving.

Sundown Rock

Clinging to the western slopes of Lookout Mountain, Sundown Rock is a well-liked and spectacular scenic overlook. It’s additionally a preferred spot for rock climbers.

The small car parking zone on the trailhead has room for lower than a dozen autos, and streetside parking is prohibited on the slender street. The car parking zone is often full all through the day. One of the simplest ways to benefit from the view is to hike alongside the numerous connecting trails round Lookout Mountain.

Missionary Ridge

After their defeat on the Battle of Chickamauga, the Union Military of the Cumberland retreated into Chattanooga. The Accomplice Military of Tennessee shortly moved into place to besiege the town. Troops had been unfold alongside Missionary Ridge east of the town with a superb viewpoint of Union actions.

On November 25, 1863, over 50,000 Union troops assaulted the Accomplice positions on the ridge. It was a powerful defeat for the southern military that one unnamed soldier known as “The dying knell of the Confederacy.”

Most of Missionary Ridge is personal residential property. Nevertheless, the nationwide army park preserves eight “reservations,” or small parks, the place the Battle of Missionary Ridge is interpreted. A 7.4-mile drive alongside West Crest Street and East Crest Street connects the reservations, monuments, and memorials.

Professional Journey Tip A lot of the reservations on Missionary Ridge have parking. Nevertheless, parking or stopping on the road is prohibited if parking is unavailable.

Moccasin Bend Nationwide Archeological District

The Moccasin Bend Nationwide Archeological District is without doubt one of the most original properties within the Nationwide Park System – although there’s little to discover. The district is unfold throughout Moccasin Bend, a peninsula created by the winding Tennessee River. Artifacts on the location hint 12,000 years of human habitation within the area, going way back to nomadic tribes within the Paleo-Indian Interval.

Through the Battles for Chattanooga, the world performed a major position within the Union’s victory. With Chattanooga besieged by the Accomplice Military of Tennessee, the Union troops had been minimize off from provide traces and reinforcements. After almost a month, the Union troops had been lastly in a position to obtain reinforcements by means of Brown’s Ferry throughout the Tennessee River onto the Moccasin Bend. Referred to as “The Cracker Line,” the provision line was instrumental only a month later when the Union defeated all Accomplice forces.

The Gateway Website is the most important public space to discover at Moccasin Bend. The grassy discipline is immediately throughout the river from downtown Chattanooga.

Brown’s Ferry Federal Street Hint is one other spot to go to at Moccasin Bend. The 1.2-mile out-and-back path follows the historic route the place Cherokee had been pressured to stroll the Path of Tears in 1838 and Union military provide wagons traversed in 1863.

A remaining place to go to in Moccasin Bend is the Blue Blazes Path. The 2-mile loop path is a peaceable stroll by means of nature in a dense forest and throughout swampy bogs.

Professional Journey Tip Don’t drive to the top of Moccasin Bend Street. In case you attempt, you will see your self stopped at a guard shack outdoors the safe entrance to the Moccasin Bend Psychological Well being Institute, the place you’ll be promptly directed to show round. And, sure, I’m talking from private expertise.

The place to Keep

Chattanooga is a large space for lodging. The place you wish to keep totally is dependent upon the place you wish to discover and the way a lot congested site visitors you’re keen to drive by means of. I recommend staying in downtown Chattanooga – it’s in the midst of the assorted locations to discover on the nationwide army park.


The brick-clad Purple Roof Inn received’t win any design awards, however the renovated rooms are greater than comfortable for an evening or two within the metropolis. The motel includes a shockingly good indoor swimming pool, free on-site parking, and it’s subsequent to a Waffle Home. It’s additionally in a superb location for driving to Lookout Mountain and Sign Level. Select from rooms with two full beds or one king mattress.

Wingate by Wyndham is an effective budget-friendly choice, but it surely’s inconveniently situated about 20-Half-hour northwest of the Chickamauga Battlefield in a busy industrial space. The resort options free on-site parking and comfy visitor rooms. Select from rooms with two queen beds or one king mattress.

La Quinta can also be inconveniently situated, but it surely’s the greatest finances resort in Chattanooga. The resort options free on-site parking and an impressive indoor swimming pool. Contemplating rush hour site visitors and normal congestion, it takes about 20-Half-hour to get to the Chickamauga Battlefield and 40 minutes to Lookout Mountain. Select from rooms with two queen beds, one king mattress, or improve to a set that additionally includes a sleeper couch.


District 3 Resort is centrally situated downtown – it virtually has its personal interstate on and off ramps. The resort is barely 10-Quarter-hour from the Chickamauga Battlefield and Lookout Mountain. The resort options free on-site parking and an out of doors swimming pool. Select from rooms with two queen beds, one king mattress, or a set with one king mattress and a sleeper couch.

La Quinta at East Ridge is a superb, reasonably priced resort near the Chickamauga Battlefield and Missionary Ridge. The resort options free on-site parking and an out of doors swimming pool. Select from rooms with two queen beds, one king mattress, or a set with one king mattress and a sleeper couch.


Situated throughout the road from the La Quinta, the Hampton Inn is a major improve for a cushty keep in Chattanooga. The resort options free on-site parking, an out of doors swimming pool, and one of the best complimentary sizzling breakfast of any resort chain. Select from rooms with two queen beds, one king mattress, or a set with a king mattress and a sleeper couch.

The Westin Chattanooga is the top of comfy lodging in Chattanooga. The spectacular property options an out of doors swimming pool, spacious foyer, and a lounge with a few of the greatest views within the metropolis. On-site parking is offered for an extra $17 per day. Select from rooms with two queen beds or one king mattress, and for a better worth you’ll be able to decide a room with a metropolis view.

The Chattanooga Choo Choo is the greatest resort in Chattanooga. The resort is situated within the historic MacArthur Constructing and options on-site eating places, bars, leisure, and comfy visitor rooms. On-site parking is offered for an extra $7 per day. Select from rooms with two queen beds or one king mattress.



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