A hiking/biking trail that connects Lula Lake Land Trust’s core property with Covenant College on Lookout Mountain is now open.

The Chattanooga Connector Trail is a 4.1-mile trail that links multiple trail systems, including Cloudland Canyon State Park, the Cloudland Connector Trail, Five Points, Lula Lake, National Park Service trails and the Tennessee Riverwalk.

“If you wanted to hike from downtown today to Lula Lake to Cloudland, you could do that now,” said Kat Volzer, director of development and communication for Lula Lake Land Trust. “The connector trail goes right through the middle of them.”

The trail system spans over 120 miles and will eventually become part of the Great Eastern Trail, stretching from Alabama to New York.

“Over the 10-year time span, Lula Lake has had several land managers who took the reins in each section,” said Mike Pollock, executive director of Lula Lake Land Trust. “It’s hard work . but we’re results-driven organizations. Our staff has given their all. They deserve all the credit.”

The Moonshine Trails. (Map: Contributed)

Originally, the Chattanooga Connector Trail was slated to be a 2.9-mile trail, but it ended up being longer once work started on the project.

In addition to the 4.1-mile connector trail, officials also announced the addition of 4 miles of trails at Lula Lake.

The Moonshine Trails will offer users “fast descents, rock bridges, boulders and even a few man-made features that incorporate the use of the natural formations of the land,” according to a news release.

Named after the Prohibition-era moonshiners who used the area to hide stills, the new trails offer something for every type of hiker. White Lightning (1.5 miles) is “fast and flowy with rock bridges and features”; Firewater (2 miles) provides “creek crossings over natural wood bridges”; the difficult but manageable Bathtub Gin (0.5 miles) offers a “short, intense” experience with rock gardens and boulders.

Open gate days are the first and last weekends of each month. More information is available here.

The grand opening celebration for the new trails will be Sept. 16 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the property. Decade in the Dirt: Celebrating 10 Years of Trail Building will feature the “moonshine shuffle” scavenger hunt.

Registration is required, and a suggested donation of $20 is encouraged.

Click here for more information.

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.