Lookout Valley, one of the larger unincorporated communities in Hamilton County, stretches from the Tennessee River on the county’s west side to the Georgia state line between Marion County to the west and Chattanooga’s Broad Street to the east.
* Location: The valley is situated among Lookout Mountain and Raccoon, Elder and Aetna mountains to the west.
* History: According to a 2004 community history by Richard Alexander McKeel, the first Europeans entered the valley in the mid-1540s, led by Spanish conquistador Hernando De Soto. The next Europeans would not appear in the valley until 1783 when the Continental Army, led by Tennessee’s future first governor Col. John Sevier, passed through during the American Revolutionary War.
* Points of interest: In 1978, the Chattanooga Nature Center, now the Tennessee Wildlife Center, was established at the end of Garden Road. The center focuses awareness on native flora and fauna and houses one of the few red wolf habitats in the country.
The north end of the valley is home to Raccoon Mountain Caverns, a collection of 5.5 miles of explored and mapped passageways, open year-round except for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
* Best-kept secret: TVA’s Raccoon Mountain Pumped-Storage Plant, a mountaintop reservoir used to produce electrical power with gravity-fed turbines, is located on top of Raccoon Mountain in the west side of the Lookout Valley community.
* Notable people: Judge William Cummings was one of the valley’s early prominent citizens. It’s also home to professional baseball players Harley Woody, who played for the Boston Red Sox; Larry Knight, who played for the Philadelphia Phillies and Boston Red Sox; and Jeremy Reed, who was drafted by the San Diego Padres in 1998. Former Congressman Zach Wamp lives in the valley.
* Schools: Lookout Valley Elementary School, Lookout Valley Middle School and Lookout Valley High School.