Thursday, February 28, 2013

Incline Railway and Ruby Falls

We decided to take a day trip to Chattanooga to see Ruby Falls and ride the Incline Railway. This was at the request of A, who has been collecting brochures from every place that has them. Since it was her 8th birthday we decided to go.

Before I talk about our trip, why are parts of Tennessee Central time, like where we live, and some parts are Eastern time?? We have taken two trips in the state only to find out we are already an hour late due to the time change!! Why wouldn't the time zone lines follow state lines? Weirdest thing ever!!!

We were driving and Rob said he thought we were pretty close to Georgia and maybe we should drive into the state to say we've been there too. Turns out we didn't even have to do that! We ended up driving about five miles (each way) in Georgia because of the way the freeway goes. It took us a minute to figure it out, we were driving and saw a sign about Georgia and thought "that's weird" about five minutes later we saw a sign welcoming us to Tennessee. Why were we being welcomed to Tennessee? We've been here the whole time! Then we realized we had been in Georgia for a few minutes. So, now let's add that state our list (it counts, right?)!!

I am terrified of heights. I used to hyperventilate driving home to our house on the mountain. I couldn't look down over the deck at one of our houses without hyperventilating. I can barely handle standing on a tall rock. I hyperventilate on roller coasters too, but I love them anyway. The Incline Railway claims to be one of the steepest railways in the WORLD!! I was afraid before we even got there. It was a foggy day so I couldn't really see the top of the train station. I did the train ride for A, she was so excited. I was panicking the whole time! If it weren't cloudy that day, they claim you can see six states from the top, I couldn't see much due to the fog.

I felt like the incline ride wasn't really worth it, it was over $50 for all six of us to ride and all you really do is go up and down a mountain. There weren't many shops or places for lunch or anything around there. It was kind of a waste of money but we did it for A, and she loved it!!
view of the incline track
She's so happy to be doing this!
riding the incline railway
L is terrified!!
view of the incline railway track
Looking down the track
enjoying the incline ride
C is loving it!
incline railway track

train into the fog
into the fog
top of incline railway
We made it to the top
riding the incline railway

the switch
the train runs on a pulley system, in the center we have to switch sides with the opposite train

Once we got to the top, we looked around for something to do. There's really not much around, other than the train station. There are some gorgeous houses at the top, I didn't take any photos of them because I didn't want to invade anyone's privacy. The houses were massive and I'm sure if I tried some security guard would run out and smash my camera into the ground (which might not be such a bad things since I hate my camera). A short walk from the train station is a battlefield site called Point Park. We walked around and Rob read all of the plaques and monuments, I didn't because I was chasing around the kids. So, I don't know much about the place. I wish I would have had time to read everything, too.

Point Park entrance

Point Park sign

exploring the cannon
climbing on the monument
top of monument
top of the monument (hard to see with the fog)
monument at Point Park
cannon at point park


We walked back to the train station and took it back down the mountain. It is a short drive from the Incline Railway to Ruby Falls. When we got to Ruby Falls the parking lot was crazy busy. We went in to buy our tickets and wait in line. To get in the cave everyone is sandwiched into an elevator that takes you over 200 feet under ground! It was not fun, I was afraid that the elevator would break and we'd be stuck in the rocks and die!! We made it down alive. The tour guide leads everyone over to a photographer for a picture in the cave. I didn't understand why we would take a photo at the beginning and not at the waterfall but who am I to say this is lame (it's lame)?! Once everyone has had a photo taken we watch a short video about the history of the cave. The man that discovered the cave named the falls Ruby after his wife. That's about all I remember. Oh, and he had to crawl for a very long time before he reached a spot where he could stand, and he spent something like 13 hours in the cave the first time he crawled in.

The cave tour is about an hour long. It is a half-mile walk to the falls and a half-mile back. C fell asleep in Rob's arms at the beginning of the cave tour and didn't wake up until near the end. She missed seeing the waterfall. The roof of the cave is super low and I was worried we were going to hit our heads. I've never been in cave before and I'm not claustrophobic but at some times I felt like it was hard to breathe. It was definitely worth the long, slow walk to the waterfall, though.

When you walk in the room with the falls it is dark but you can still see the waterfall. After a few seconds the lights come on and the waterfall is lit up with all sorts of different colors. It was something awesome to see. After spending about 10 minutes in the waterfall room the tour guide leads you out of the cave and back to the elevator. The trail back to the cave is basically the same route as to get to the cave so there's not much to see on the way back. Once back to the elevator we sardine ourselves into it for the ride up, which is equally as scary as the ride down! There's a small playground and a lookout tower from the elevator exit. You also have to pass through two gift shops to leave, the first gift shop tries to sell you the photo that was taken at the beginning of the tour. I would have been more likely to buy it if it were a photo with the actual waterfall in it! After exiting the elevator we sat at the playground only a few minutes because it was wet from recent rains. We loaded in the car, stopped at Sonic for lunch and headed back home!
cave tour at Ruby Falls
inside the cave
donkey formation
looks like a donkey's behind
stalactites and stalagmites
Stalactites and stalagmites
Ruby Falls cave formations
cave formations
cave tour at Ruby Falls
Ruby Falls cave tour
walking through cave
potato chip formation
potato chip formation
cave tour
visit to Ruby Falls
visiting Ruby Falls
that's C asleep in Rob's arms
red waterfall
my dumb camera kept focusing on the water drops not the falls
Ruby Falls waterfall
Ruby Falls
waterfall in cave
waterfall in Ruby Falls cave
cave waterfall
Sadly, the best photo of the waterfall was taken with my iphone
Ruby Falls
view from Ruby Falls
View from Ruby Falls lookout point

It was a fun day and I'm glad A has collected so many brochures to find us fun little adventures! We wanted to visit Rock City also, because it's in the area and looked pretty cool but we ran out of time.


  1. and what an adventure! wow...and your pictures are great! fun memories for everyone!
    I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.
    looks sooo steep!

    1. Thanks for following! I am heading over to your blog now.

  2. I'm your newest follower. and I liked this post esp b/c of the Georgia on my Mind pic. B/c I'm a 100% GA gal all the way to the ga bulldog pride. :D hope you'll follow me back.

    found you thru the blog hop on the pink momma's blog

    1. Awesome! I have a friend that lives in Georgia, she loves it there and from what I see in her Facebook photos it looks like a beautiful state! :) Glad you are following.

  3. That looks like a lot of fun. I love Georgia & TN.

  4. Looks like a great day! Thanks for sharing


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...