Megan is a Wander North Georgia Campus Rep at Truett McConnell. All words and photos are hers. Campus Rep positions are offered seasonally.
Lula Lake Land Trust is by far one of my favorite waterfalls I have ever been to. It’s a private, hidden gem (literally) tucked away on the eastern edge of Lookout Mountain. The falls rest on private property where the owners so generously open it up to the public by reservation only. Just check out their website to see more information about their reservation process.
Upon arrival, there will be a huge sign at the entrance of the property indicating if it is an open gate day (be warned: they are only open for certain hours, so make sure to get there in enough time to hike in, enjoy, and hike out). Once you turn into the property, follow the gravel road for 1.9 miles till you reach a parking lot. There, you’ll park or if handicapped, you can keep going to more parking spots available closer to the falls.
There are several different trails available on the property. The Middle Trail, at 2.1 miles to the falls, is the longest of them all. There are also many other connector trails to enjoy the beautiful surroundings or shorter trails to the falls. The Middle Trail is an easy to moderate hike. There are a few inclines here and there, but nothing too terribly hard. The majority of the hike is level ground. There are several spots to stop and take in the beauty of nature. I absolutely recommend going during the fall. However, it is beautiful regardless of the time of year you choose to go. The crowds are relatively heavy due to the falls only being open to the public a few times a month, on the weekends at that, but it is so worth it.
There are twelve trails to choose from on the land trust. That means there are tons of opportunities for exploring which is music to my ears for this wandering heart of mine. To get to the falls from the Middle Trail, you have to take a connector trail to the Lula Falls Trail. Along the Lula Falls Trail, there are several picnic tables and grills for the perfect afternoon lunch. The first beauty that you will stumble upon is a quiet waterfall rushing over a wall of rocks into a pool of crisp, blue waters.
Unfortunately, you are not able to swim in the waters, but you can wade in Rock Creek and stand under the rushing sprays of the main falls. As if that waterfall were not breathtaking enough, the one that is to come is phenomenal. Continue along the trail for a short time and there will be an overlook to your left to see Lula Falls. It is just a tease of the falls in its entirety.
Continue walking a little farther and there will be a steep trail to your left. There are tons of “natural” steps down to the falls and can be a little tricky so proceed with caution. This is the hardest part of the trail, but if you take it easy, it can definitely be accomplished by any age group. The trail is also open to pets as long as they are on a leash. It makes for a great afternoon with the family in the great outdoors.
When you make it down to the falls, you are met with a muddy and rocky surface. The rushing waters come fiercely down onto a bed of rocks spraying anyone near the falls. This a great place for the children or anyone to hang out and get an all-natural bath. This spot makes for great and one of a kind photos. The rocks are very slippery so just be careful when approaching the falls.
When planning this awesome trip, be mindful that this trust is on private property and they have so nicely opened it up to the public. Be sure to clean up after yourself and leave no trace behind. They have made it their mission to preserve the environment of these mountains. They have devoted their property to research and advanced education. This is the reason why it isn’t always open to the public. They desire for the environment surrounding them to thrive with plants and animals. There are numerous plants that are in danger of extinction in the Lookout Mountain area. The owners desire to have a preserve where they are able to survive and flourish.
For more information on this amazing land trust go to www.lulalake.org where you can learn more about their unique mission, support their work, and see full details on hours and events.