A proposed trail would be the final piece needed to create a continuous trail from Chattanooga to Cloudland Canyon State Park.
The Chattanooga Connector Trail is a 2.9-mile trail from Lula Lake to Covenant College and the Chickamauga National Military Park. The proposal also includes an additional 3.1-mile loop trail atop Lookout Mountain.
Once completed, adventurous hikers will be able to enjoy all that downtown Chattanooga has to offer and either bike or hike along the Tennessee Riverwalk, up Lookout Mountain and on to Cloudland Canyon State Park.
"This project has been in the works for the past two or three years," said Kat Volzer, director of development and communications for Lula Lake Land Trust. "The big thing is providing a link between Lookout Mountain, the Five Points area, Lula Lake and Chattanooga. All of the trails exist, but when you go up to Guild-Hardy, you can't get to them."
The completion of the trail is on schedule for midsummer following a $40,000 private foundation donation. Officials estimate the total cost of the trail will be between $50,000 and $60,000.
To help with additional costs, a Crowdrise fundraiser has been ongoing since Nov. 29. The campaign has raised about $4,200 toward the trail so far. But Volzer said an additional $10,000–$15,000 will be needed along the way.
Weather will also be a factor as construction begins.
Construction includes new parking areas, trailhead kiosks and signage, general trail maintenance, rental equipment and a bridge.
The Lula Lake Land Trust, established in 1994, "seeks to protect and preserve the natural beauty and abundant resources within the Rock Creek watershed for the benefit of present and future generations by fostering education, research and conservation stewardship of the land."
Click here for an overview of a day hiking and biking at Lula Lake.