The collaboration unites two longtime neighbors on the Guild/Hardy Trail system and reflects conservation goals of former Ruby Falls’ leaders Carl Gibson and Jack Steiner Sr., their company and the LMC.
A section of the trail that crosses Ruby Falls’ auxiliary parking areas has been permanently set aside for recreation access with a mutual agreement to maintain the section especially for walking and biking.
Hugh Morrow, president of Ruby Falls, said, “For over a hundred years the Guild/Hardy Trail system has provided access to the top of Lookout Mountain. The prospect that this will connect the mountain with all the hard work that has gone into the Riverpark and Riverwalk is tremendously exciting. We hope Ruby Falls will be a stop along the way, whether hiking or biking, for a rest, a cold drink, a cavern tour or an aerial adventure.”
Corinne Henderson, chairperson of Ruby Falls said, “It is important to permanently allow a continuous recreational path through our property so that hikers and bikers can enjoy the scenic beauty of the trail.”
Ruby Falls is a Lookout Mountain landmark. Over the years, the attraction has maintained its location on the side of the mountain with respect for the natural beauty that surrounds it. Recent investments in solar panels and LED lighting are but two ways Ruby Falls remains committed to the stewardship of Lookout Mountain. By embracing renewable energy and sustainability, Ruby Falls strives to give back to the local community. The partnership with Lookout Mountain Conservancy is an example of that commitment.
The mission of the Lookout Mountain Conservancy is to protect Lookout Mountain’s resources of scenic, historic and ecological value through conservation, advocacy, recreation and education for current and future generations. Perhaps the most visible way LMC fulfills its mission is by promoting greenway development and conservation planning across the full 93 miles of Lookout Mountain. Recently, plans were announced for the park to connect not only to the extensive trail system along the slopes of Lookout Mountain, but also to the Tennessee Riverpark as it expands southward.
To find out more about the Lookout Mountain Conservancy and its projects and partnerships, visit www.lookoutmountainconservancy.org, or call 423-424-3882.
For more information about Ruby Falls, visit www.RubyFalls.com, or call 423-821-2544.