Lula Lake to open on select Sundays

Lula Lake to open on select Sundays

May 8th, 2016 by David Cobb in Local Regional News

Staff Photo by Dan Henry/Chattanooga Times Free Press - May 04, 2012. A group of ultra runners gather near Lula Lake falls atop Lookout Mountain on Friday.

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

Gallery: Lula Lake open on select Sundays

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If you go

What: Lula Lake Land Trust open gate days

When: Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m.

Where: 5000 Lula Lake Rd, Lookout Mountain, Ga. 30750

Coming soon

What: The River City Sessions monthly concert series is coming to the Lula Lake Land Trust next month. The night will feature Brian Haynes of the Chattanooga Folk School. Local playwright Peggy Douglas will also be featuring an excerpt from her newest play based on the life of Maybelle Carter.

When: June 10, 7-9 p.m.

Where: 5000 Lula Lake Rd, Lookout Mountain, Ga. 30750

Admission: There is a suggested donation of $10

The popular Lula Lake Land Trust is opening its gates more often to accommodate the growing crowds that flock to the scenic Lookout Mountain, Ga., oasis.

Lula Lake, which typically holds "open-gate days" on the first and last Saturdays of each month, is also welcoming visitors on the first and last Sundays of each month this year.

"Over the past year or year and a half, Lula Lake has really just exploded in popularity," said Kathryn Volzer, Lula Lake Land Trust director of development and communications. "We were just wondering how we can open up the property and get more people out there, and expand our access. One of the ideas was to have open-gate Sundays."

There have been more than 1,000 visitors to Lula Lake on two occasions this year, with an average of 717 on open-gate days.

This weekend counts as the first weekend of May, so Lula Lake will be open today from noon to 5 p.m.

Last week was the first open-gate Sunday, and Volzer said there was a steady stream of traffic despite a questionable weather forecast.

"We're still in the trial run period of it," she said. "We think it'll work. It seems to be a good fit. It seems natural and like something we already do. So really we're just seeing how it goes."

The plan is for the open-gate Sunday experiment to continue through November, and the Land Trust is raising money to help with the costs of opening for 10 additional hours each month.

Supporters can purchase Lula Lake shirts online, with the profits going toward maintenance and another iPad to check visitors in with, speeding up the wait on crowded days.

Visitors often assume Lula Lake is a state park, Volzer said. But its primary purpose as a land trust is conservation.

Patrons are encouraged to donate $2 at the gate to support the preservation mission of the land trust, which is part of a 1,000-plus-acre network of conservation properties born out of the will of local philanthropist Robert M. Davenport, who died in 1994.

The Lula Lake Land Trust is part of the Rock Creek watershed and features hiking trails and a pair of stunning waterfalls that make it "one of the most impressive destinations in the Southeast in terms of beauty," according to Roots Rated, a locally based website that highlights outdoor recreation destinations around the country.

Contact staff writer David Cobb at dcobb@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6249.