“A fast downhill tour of Lookout Mountain from Covenant College to Lula Lake Road, and back again.
— Nate Oster
No parking is available at the Lula Lake Rd. trailhead—violators will be towed. The adjoining Lula Lake Land Trust is also mostly closed to further riding, except on the first and last weekends of each month.
The Chattanooga Connector Trail (CCT)
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. Additional trails branch off from the CCT to form the Moonshine Trails.
These trails offer fast descents, rock bridges, boulders and even a few man-made features that incorporate the use of the natural formations of the land. It's named for the Prohibition-era moonshiners who used the area to hide stills.
Need to Know
There are several areas where riders should watch for broken glass bottles—the power lines crossing, and two crossings at a private road.
The trailhead begins near the Covenant College practice fields, just south of the main campus off of Scenic Highway—on South Campus Rd. Head to the parking area beyond the fields to pick up the trail on the right at the power lines. Unfortunately, there's no parking on Lula Lake Rd., which means what goes downhill must come back up to finish.
You begin the journey on the college's old cross-country trails, which are doubletrack. After about a mile, riders reach the CCT, which is a more than three-mile descent to Lula Lake Rd. Partway down this trail, White Lightning
trail (1.5 miles) forks to the left and it lives up to its name—it's a fast, smooth descent with some tight switchbacks and rock features incorporated into the trail. White Lightning
reconnects with the CCT for a smooth jaunt to Lula Lake Rd.
Riding the CCT back toward the start, riders encounter Firewater
(2 miles), which provides creek crossings over natural wood bridges. There are some very tight (too tight?) switchbacks on Firewater
, so watch your speed. Bathtub Gin
(0.5 miles) is an alternate trail off of Firewater
that offers a short, intense experience with rock gardens and boulders.
At the end of Firewater
, riders rejoin the CCT for the steady climb (at some points fairly steep) back to the top.
History & Background
Prohibition-era moonshiners used the area to hide stills, hence the trail names.