What makes Lookout Mountain home

Lookout Mountain will soon welcome the fireworks of fall color. That also means LMS Carnival, the Great Pumpkin, soccer at the Commons and camping at beautiful spots like Lula Lake

Speaking of "boo"tiful, Trick or Treating on Cinderella will be held on the actual day - Monday, October 31. Who will you be?

Summer Camps on Lookout Mountain

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Source: Camp Lookout

It's not too late to sign your campers up for a summer of fun! See below for five local options.

Commons Camp at the Town Commons
June 5 – July 21 (closed July 4th and any day the weather is bad)
Ages 6 – 12: 9 am until 3 pm
Ages 4 & 5: 9 am until 12 pm (Tuesdays and Thursdays only)

Activities include team sports, tennis, ping pong, arts and crafts, storytelling, water games and much more.

$175 for the summer or $50 per week, $15 per day (ages 6-12)
$90 for the summer, $10 per day (ages 4-5)

To register:
Call 423-821-6212 for more information or look in the May issue of Lookout Mountain Mirror for the form to mail in.

Chattanooga Football Club’s Soccer Camp
Carter Field (McFarland Road)
June 5-8 (Monday – Thursday)
Soccer Camp, Ages 5 – 12; Goalkeeper Camp, Ages 8 – 16

Administered by CFC players and staff, all CFC camps focus on the technical skills needed to succeed in the game of soccer. The goal of each camp is to give all players the opportunity to experience soccer at the next level while maintaining a fun atmosphere.

$135 ($150 for Advanced Camps)

To register:
Register online. For further information about team camps and team camp rates, email camps@chattanoogafc.com.

Camp Invention at Lookout Mountain School
July 17-21, 9 am until 3:30 pm
Grades K – 6 (rising)

Mr. Mann brings Camp Invention back to LMS, where next-gen inventors have the opportunity to create, innovate and problem solve in a fun environment. Real world challenges include creating business pitches and soliciting feedback from fellow inventors. A new curriculum is introduced each year, inspired by the Inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame.


To Register:
Register online

Camp Lookout
3130 Highway 57, Rising Fawn, GA
Dates vary by age group
Grades 1 – 12 (rising)

Camp Lookout has been “A Place Set Apart” since 1959, situated on 200 acres on the back of Lookout Mountain. As a ministry of The United Methodist Church’s Holston Conference, Camp Lookout offers traditional camp activities in a spiritual centered environment. Younger campers can expect anything from crafts, hiking, swimming to a low ropes course, while older kids will learn archery, caving and mountain biking (just to name a few).

Day Camp (Grades 1-2): $215
One-Week Camps (Grades 3-12): ranges from $365 - $475

To Register:
Call the office at 423-929-9037 (M-F, 9am – 5pm) or register online

Camp Hidden Hollow
June 5-9 or June 12-16, 9:30 am until 3:30 pm
Ages 6-14

A nature-oriented Christian day camp for boys and girls, where campers can “grow in Mind, Body and Christian Principles.” Activities includes horseback riding, swimming, canoeing, arts and crafts, sports, archery, nature skills and more. You can sign up for one or both sessions.


To Register:
Visit their website to print out the application form

Top 5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Miss Community Movie Night May 12

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Yes, the best things in life ARE free. Usually that doesn’t apply to entertainment, so take advantage while you can. The movie selection is always a recent family favorite so everyone from toddlers to teenagers will enjoy.


Even though you’re not watching from your car, an open-air movie allows younger generations to connect with a bit of American nostalgia. Plus, without the confines of a car little ones can run around if they get antsy.


Love Lookout actually invites you to bring your own dinner and drinks! If you don’t want to bother with a picnic, food trucks will be on hand for delicious treats like Monkey Town Doughnuts, Tikiz Shaved Ice and Two Sons Kitchen and Market. (Just be sure to bring cash.)


Unlike a traditional movie theater, you won’t be given the stink eye for bringing a baby or for not making your toddler sit still. The festivities begin at 6:30, with the movie starting at 8:30. So if bedtimes are a problem you can still enjoy an evening out and not worry about the early departure (remember, the movie is FREE).


When’s the last time you got to watch a movie with 500 of your friends and neighbors? And the film is just half the fun. Love Lookout encourages anyone to bring games such as corn hole or Kan Jam for pre-show entertainment. The real experience is connecting with your community in a laid back setting. In other words…the perfect kick off for summer.


Community Movie Night
Friday, May 12
Town Commons
6:30 - Activities/Dinner
8:30 - Movie Begins

Battle Below the Clouds Returns Saturday to Ruby Falls

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Despite a clear forecast this Saturday, Ruby Falls is expecting cloud cover. The haze isn’t a strange weather phenomenon. The third annual “Battle Below the Clouds” barbecue competition will bring about a dozen large smokers to the attraction’s upper parking lot.

But some of the details behind local team, R&R Flavor Train remain shrouded in mystery – like what’s the secret ingredient in Rink Murray’s spice rub? What does R&R really stand for? And what really happened to the trophy last year?

The secret ingredient obviously has to remain secret, but I’ll just say I can guarantee no one is using the spice rub we’re using,” says Ross Ballenger, who has won “Best Ribs” the past two years.

As for the trophy, Tommy Thatcher remains a top suspect but the matter was dropped when it was returned a few days later.

Luckily Ross is a man of faith and felt confident it would turn back up,” laughs Murray.

When asked about the name, he insists R&R doesn’t stand for Rink and Ross but declined to offer further details, only saying that the backstory isn’t fit for a family publication.

Obviously, this amateur barbecue competition is intended to be fun – for both the competitors and spectators. Ruby Falls visitors and Lookout Mountain locals are invited to peruse the cooking grounds free of charge. There will be live music from bluegrass inspired rock bands, The Von Wamps and Mountain Creek House Fire, and drawings for a Big Green Egg and Yeti Cooler. Many teams will also offer complimentary tastes (but donations to Lana’s Love are welcome).

This competition is for the guy who’s a great backyard cooker and wants to see how his barbecue stacks up to competition,” says Ballenger.

Registration is $400 with every penny going toward Lana’s Love, says Ballenger. Registered teams also receive two tickets to Ruby Falls and ZIPStream Aerial Adventure valued at $130, two t-shirts, two aprons, a spatula set and discounts on food and merchandise. All of this is possible through generous sponsors including Ruby Falls, Coca-Cola, Food City, The Barn Nursery and Lana’s Love Foundation.

The event was the brainchild of Ruby Falls President Hugh Morrow, who is an accomplished backyard chef in his own rite. In fact, Ballenger helped him win “Best Ribs” the first year as his teammate on a team sponsored by Ward Petty at Benjamin Edwards.

“Hugh’s more of a chef; I’m more of a cook,” he laughs.

Participants will be competing for three titles: Best Pulled Pork, Best Ribs and Best Overall. The meat is provided on Friday night for seasoning, but no cooking can take place until 6 a.m. on Saturday. Independent judging starts at 5 p.m. with awards to follow.

Besides bragging rights, the real purpose of this event is to support families living with pediatric cancer – not only through raising funds but also providing them fun family outings.

Lana’s Love mission has always been to provide fun to children and their families battling cancer in the Chattanooga and surrounding areas,” says director Holly Shull. “Through the support of our community sponsors and donors, Lana’s Love has grown to be so much more. It has become a true support system between families, volunteers and hospital staff. These families look forward to the monthly events where they can relax and forget about life for a while. The Webster family had a great vision and Lana Beth is proud.

61st Annual Fairyland Festival Thursday

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61st Annual Fairyland Festival
Thursday, April 27 (rain date May 2)
3:00 to 7:00 pm

New this year.....
Fabulous Furnishings Booth, Dynamic Jumpy Castles, food from brand new 2 Sons Restaurant and Cooling Station

Old favorites.....
Confetti eggs, Face Painting/Magic Manes, Kissing the Pig from Fairyland Faculty, MASH Tent, Emporium, and more!

Local Company Partners with Dove Skincare

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Shampoo and tree houses don’t seem to have much in common. But national skincare company Dove has always seen things a little differently.

When planning the launch of their new Men+Care Elements Grooming line, they did a nationwide search for brands inspired by nature. Treetop Hideaways – located at the foot of Lookout Mountain – stood out as one of the clear examples.

The experiences our guests have are what they wanted to create with their new product,” says co-founder Andrew Alms. “They approached us about partnering to build a second treehouse to highlight their new ‘nature-inspired’ line.

According to Dove, their new products are aimed at providing "a transformative feeling of freshness" and feature a combination of premium ingredients including Minerals + Sage, Charcoal + Clay, and Mineral Powder+ Sandalwood.

From the charred wood paneling to the living sage wall, every element of the treehouse was designed with the new line in mind. The bathroom will feature an open-air skylight over the shower and incorporate natural materials such as charcoal and clay. The new treehouse was designed by master builder Pete Nelson of “Treehouse Masters.”

It's been a great experience to work with their team in developing a treehouse that highlights these various Elements and we can't wait to show it off!” says Alms.

The Elements Treehouse will be officially announced in a special ceremony this Saturday, April 22 at the property. From 5:30 until 10 pm there will be property tours, construction tours, build demonstrations, an herb planting station, food, a bonfire and s’mores.

Gift bags will also be available, featuring samples of the line’s 11 new products including shampoo, body wash, body bars and deodorants.

Alms founded Treetop Hideaways with business partner Enoch Elwell, opening their first treehouse lodge in 2015. The “part camping, part glamping” hotel in the trees has enjoyed tremendous success through Airbnb.

Treetop Hideaways will remain sole owners of both treehouses. As part of the partnership, Dove will invite guests to visit the new Elements treehouse as a way to highlight their products in a natural environment.

More information

Visit the events page here

Product details available here

Ted and Kelly Alling Help Open Groundbreaking New School for Boys

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When Chattanooga Prep opens its doors next year, it will boast state-of-the-art classrooms and STEM learning through things like robotics and computer coding. Each student will be paired with a mentor from the business community, and there will be a weekly speaker series featuring national names.

While it might sound like the brainchild of a seasoned educator, Chattanooga Prep has something much more valuable backing it – Ted and Kelly Alling.

Sitting at the Lamp Post offices, Kelly pulls out an aerial map to show where the medical clinic, food pantry and cafetorium (cafeteria/auditorium) will be. Never ones to waste time, the Allings hired an architect long before their charter status was confirmed.

Ted and I are very action-oriented,” laughs Kelly. “Everybody’s got their gift…this is our gift. We’re going to make it happen.

Known for the string of successful businesses Ted has helped launch over the years, the dynamic couple has an equally strong reputation of giving back. Chattanooga Prep provides the perfect opportunity for the Allings to “go deep” and get involved in a project together, says Ted.

We are not educators, but part of my success in the business world came from putting people in place that are better than me,” he adds humbly.

Known for bringing talent to our city, the Allings are committed to finding the best principal in the country. Teachers will be recruited from a nationwide search from top schools. Just as Ted helped build the Tomorrow Building in Chattanooga’s innovation district, he envisions providing subsidized living for teachers in the downtown area.

Derwin Sisnett, founder of Maslow Development Inc., has also been brought on as a consultant. The 32-year-old has successfully started 6 high-performing charter schools in the Memphis area, and founded a nonprofit dedicated to helping other cities build community around strong schools.

CGLA’s Executive Director Elaine Swafford has been heavily involved as well, walking the new school through the intense charter application process. Once Chattanooga Prep opens, Swafford will serve as “CEO of both schools,” says Ted.

The concept for an all-boys school was born out of the Highland Park community. After seeing the success of CGLA the past 7 years, parents have been asking for an option for their sons. From the beginning the Allings have been dialed into local needs, knocking on doors and holding neighborhood meetings.

It’s not what we think; we want to know what the parents want and build this school around that,” explains Kelly. “We want to come alongside them and help however we can.

According to Ted, 90 percent of problems in schools are attributed to boys. Traditional schools are geared more toward girls, with boys often getting lost in the shuffle – a trend that’s multiplied in lower income districts. As parents of two young sons, the Allings feel like Chattanooga Prep is the perfect way for them to help inspire a future generation of men.

We’re not going to fix the problems,” adds Ted. “We want to give the boys the tools and the opportunity to fix the problems themselves. We chose the Sentinel as a mascot because that’s how we see these boys – guarding their family, community, school mates, brothers. We want them to take charge of the next generation of their community.

To that end, there will be a strong emphasis on teaching leadership skills. They’re shooting for the sky with the guest list of their weekly speaker series, envisioning such prominent names as Nick Saban, Gary Vaynerchuck and even President Obama.

“Some kid is going to hear one thing in 7th grade and it’s going to stick with him for the rest of life,” says Ted.

Chattanooga Prep plans to open doors August 2018, starting with sixth grade and adding a grade each year, ultimately serving grades 6-12. As a public charter school, the county will provide $7,800 per student. The actual costs will be closer to $11,000 per student, with the difference covered by fundraising.

The Allings are in the midst of an active capital campaign for the school with a little over $8 million raised thus far of the needed $12 million, which sets the school up for success for the next 15 years.

Threat to Lookout Mountain's Hemlocks at Critical Level

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You may have seen the signs to “Save Our Hemlocks.” If that’s going to happen the time to act is now, warn officials.

“Because of the mild winter, the wooly adelgid infestation has exploded like we’ve never seen it before,” says Jimmy Stewart, a landscape professional of 45 years and volunteer for Save Georgia’s Hemlocks. “We can’t ignore it now.”

Because of the mild winter, the wooly adelgid infestation has exploded like we’ve never seen it before. We can’t ignore it now.

The hemlock wooly adelgid (HWA) is an invasive insect from Asia that has been sweeping across the Southeast, largely unchecked due to no natural predators. It first entered the United States about 30 years ago, but didn’t reach Lookout Mountain until two years ago when it was first noticed on East Brow Road. Since then it has spread fairly quickly across the mountain.

We have to treat this spring and we have to be aggressive or our hemlocks will be dead within two years,” says Stewart. “People don’t realize what a large role these trees play in our landscapes, both for practical and aesthetic reasons.

Hemlocks are a keystone species for our area, providing food and habitat for about 120 species of vertebrates and more than 90 species of birds, according to Save Georgia’s Hemlocks. They also provide shade for native plants as well as people.

“Losing our hemlocks would change everything,” says Stewart. “All of a sudden a pretty, shaded area on your property becomes baking sun.”

The bad news is that the threat is at a critical level. The good news is that we have the right products and techniques to protect trees from the infestation. If you have hemlocks on your property, you can either hire a licensed contractor to implement a treatment plan or do it yourself.

Treatments last 2 to 5 years and are very economical, according to Stewart. If you’d like to learn more he is hosting two FREE classes in April:

Saturday, April 15, 9:00 a.m., Temple Park (222 West Brow Road)
Saturday, April 29, 9:00 a.m., Fairyland Club (1201 Fleetwood Drive)

For more information or to sign up, call Stewart at 423-413-6420.

If you prefer to hire a contractor, the following are certified in our area:
Lawn Doctor of Chattanooga (Allen): 423-708-7900
ABC Tree Company (Milo): 423-344-8732
Green Tree Specialists (Jim): 423-508-5883
W.D. Scott Company (Bill): 423-622-0320
Tennessee Only
Reedy Landscaping (Galen) 423-877-5810

School Appreciation Lunches this Past Wednesday

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One of the biggest benefits of living on Lookout Mountain is having access to not one, but two award-winning elementary schools. In appreciation for the teachers and staff that make our schools great, Love Lookout decided to treat them to lunch this Wednesday, March 15.

A generous BBQ spread was delivered to Fairyland Elementary, Lookout Mountain School, and the town halls of both GA and TN. Love Lookout committee member Melanie Reynolds organized the lunches, which included home-cooked barbecue chicken, pork and sausage with sides from the Purple Daisy Picnic Café.

“Our teachers, school staff and city employees do so much for our community,” says Reynolds. “We wanted to do something to show how much we appreciate their hard work.”

Visit our Share Site for more photos

Shamrock City Returns this Weekend

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Rock City’s Shamrock City
March 11-12 and 18-19, 8:30 am to 5 pm daily

Transport yourself to Ireland for FREE this weekend at Rock City. You may not actually cross the pond but the 10th Annual Shamrock City is a close second with Celtic music, Irish food and other St. Patrick’s shenanigans. (Remember locals get in free with resident passes).

Everything is turning green for the celebration, from the waterfall to the fudge. You can also take a jig lesson, hear live music from bands such as The Molly Maguires or scale the Blarney Stone Climbing Wall.

Dublin your fun at the Suffolk Sheep Encounter, compliments of Bagby’s Critter Coral (10 am until 3 pm daily). New this year is a caricature artist and panning for gold. As with all of Rock City’s special events, kids can get a passport that includes activities, coupons and a place for collecting stamps throughout the park.

Delicious Irish bites include mulligan stew, corned beef and cabbage, fish and chips, green kettle corn and limeade – available at different food locations throughout Rock City. Afterward, stop by Starbucks and ask for colored Matcha powder to add to a variety of fun frappuccinos!

Go to Rock City's website for more info on the entertainment lineup.

Shamrock City is once again partnering with the Chattanooga district of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). Guests can purchase green shamrocks for $1 and gold shamrocks for $5 now through March 23 to help supply needed funds to local families with MD.

Make sure to ask for Chattanooga’s spring break safari guide at the ticket desk available March 10 – April 9. Enjoy a RockQuest Adventure and scavenger hunt at Rock City!

Mountain Bike Rentals Now Available at Cloudland Canyon State Park

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If you’ve ever considered mountain biking but haven’t taken the plunge…you just ran out of excuses. Cloudland Canyon State Park now offers mountain bike rentals. The Marin Bobcat Trail bikes cost $35 for half-day rentals and $55 for all day. Payments are made at the park visitor center, and mountain bikes can be picked up at the park’s interpretative center.

The 5-Points Recreation Area and it’s approximately 20 miles of rollercoaster single-track has been a mountain biking mecca since it opened in 2011. But the trails connected to it also draw regional riders for the chance to bike from Cloudland Canyon State Park to Lula Lake Land Trust.

This January, construction began for the Chattanooga Connector Trail – an almost 3-mile “missing link” between Covenant College and Lula Lake Land Trust. Once complete, riders can go from Chickamauga Dam downtown all the way to Cloudland Canyon.

You can take the new rentals on the 14-mile Cloudland Connector Trail to the Five Points Recreation Area. Experience singletrack trails ranging in difficulty from moderate to strenuous, featuring contour line trails, loops and challenging jumps.

Cloudland Canyon State Park also offers a Mountain Bike Hike every Tuesday and Sunday from March through November, where you can rent bikes (or bring your own) and explore the trails led by an interpretive ranger. While you’re at it, consider joining Georgia’s Muddy Spokes Club and tackle 68 miles of trails in 11 Georgia state parks.

Stay the night or spend the weekend in Cloudland Canyon State Park. Options range from fully-equipped and comfortable cottages to quirky yurts. There are also several camping and backpacking options, including backcountry campsites or RV camping.

From Cloudland Canyon State Park, you can access the Cloudland Connector Trail from the southeast corner of the park at the Backcountry trailhead, in the same location as the disc golf course. This section of the park has a parking lot, picnic area and bathrooms.

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