Lookout Mountain – A Place We Can All Agree On

Lookout Mountain Alabama – A place we can all agree on

 There’s nothing I enjoy more than traveling with friends. Especially a road trip. We drive, we laugh, we sing along with the radio. And once we arrive, we talk and eat and talk some more.

Of course, it can sometimes be challenging to find things we all want to do in between all the regional cuisine. Honestly, we usually compromise or take turns picking something to do, and the rest of us just go along.

But I’m pretty sure I’ve found a solution: Lookout Mountain Alabama.

Short road trip? Check. Plenty of great places to stay? Check. Lots of things to see and do? Check, check. In fact, there are so many things to see and do, I bet I can make the whole group happy in just one weekend:

For the nature lovers, lots of wild outdoors to climb, hike, and explore. In fact, there are several stunning state parks within a five-mile-radius of Lookout Mountain, so there is definitely no shortage of unspoiled wilderness. You’ll find the Little River Canyon National Preserve on the boundary between DeKalb and Cherokee Counties, and High Falls Park has hiking and spectacular views. Nearby DeSoto State Park offers 25 miles of mountain biking and hiking trails, plus canoeing and kayaking. And if you’re looking to raise your heartrate, too, you can get a bird’s eye view of the mountains on a zip line above the tree tops.  If you prefer a more leisurely view of the mountains, rock climbing and rappelling may be for you. With experienced guides on hand, even the novice climber can enjoy the thrill of scaling a sheer rock face.

Zip-lining, rappelling and rock climbing are all available through True Adventure Sports in Ft. Payne. Call 256.997.9577 or email info@trueadventuresports.com for more details, or visit their website at www.trueadventuresports.com.  You can also check out One World Adventure for canoeing and kayaking excursions at 256.634.8370 or www.oneworldadventure.org.

The shoppers and pickers (like me) won’t be disappointed either. There are quaint, small-town businesses and antique and specialty shops all along the streets of downtown Mentone, Fort Payne, Fyffe and other DeKalb County towns. Plenty of opportunities to load my trunk with timeless treasures and all those things I didn’t even know I needed. Or you can shop for everything all under one roof at this historic Big Mill Company Artisans & Antiques mall, formerly the Davis Hosiery Mill in Fort Payne. If you prefer the kind of treasures that won’t last beyond dinner, visit the many farmers’ markets in the area to bring home farm-fresh produce (Mmmm, tomatoes!), homemade jams and jellies, baked goods and other edible gems.

Crafters and would-be artists will find plenty of learning opportunities at the many park facilities – including DeSoto and Little River Canyon. Classes and workshops cover everything from native wildlife to astronomy, while workshops and demonstrations include fascinating topics such as art, science, nature and traditional crafts. I have no doubt the artiste extraordinaire in my squad is certain to sign us all up for the Sculpt Your Own Flower class at Fort Payne’s Orbix Hot Glass.

And for the history buffs, DeKalb County is rich in history – dating back to the Cherokee Nation and before – and retains its share of historic buildings as well. The Old Union Crossing Covered Bridge, for example, was originally built by Union soldiers to span Otter Creek near Lincoln, Alabama. Today it crosses the West Fork of the Little River in Mentone. Surely our representative history aficionado will require our group walk at least a short way along the National Historic Trail that marks the historic route of the Cherokee Nation’s Trail of Tears. And if there’s time for another side trip, the Sallie Howard Memorial Chapel – “the church with a rock in it” – is absolutely worth the effort.

At the end of the day, when it’s time to get back together to share stories and a meal, I’ve already got the place picked out: Vintage 1889. Located in the historic, 125-year-old Big Mill, this local favorite offers great food, and one of the area’s largest beer selections (See? Everyone’s happy!) There’s even open-air dining available beneath the old water tower.

Looks like the perfect trip to me, all mapped out like that. Now, I just need to round up our crew to make it happen!