Today I did something that I've been promising myself that I'd do for years. Today I hiked through parts of the Tennessee River Gorge to the base of the cliffs overlooking the Tennessee River. Me, my son-in-law Jeff, grandsons Blake and Braxton, their cousin Austin, and their friend Tyler all hiked to the cliff faces. We were guided by my son-in-laws brother-in-law Tom Ritchie. Tom grew up the Tennessee River Gorge and took us to some pretty interesting rock formations, cliff faces, as well as some very small old coal mines that used to be in operation at the base of the cliffs. We're going to try to hike to a different interesting place within the River Gorge, Prentice Copper State Forest, or along the Cumberland Trail every weekend (weather permitting). Click here to see a few more pictures that I posted on my Flickr page.
The Tennessee River flows northeast to southwest through East Tennessee. Near the southern border of the state, the river abruptly turns west, carving its way through the Walden Ridge portion of the Cumberland Plateau and creating the Tennessee River Gorge, one of the deepest canyons in the eastern United States. Where the river cuts through the plateau, two mountain remain on each side: Signal Mountain on the north and Lookout Mountain on the south. The latter mountain is a prominent peak overlooking the river and forming a backdrop for Chattanooga, which grew up at this passageway west.