Incline Railway offers steep ride to Lookout Mountain

Incline Railway offers steep ride to Lookout Mountain

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Back in the 1800s, the fastest way to get up to the Lookout Mountain was by railcar. It's not the fastest today, but the Incline Railway is perhaps the most scenic.

Thousands of people from around north Georgia head to Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain each year. And if you are looking to stay close to home this spring break, it might be the perfect trip for your family -- if you're not afraid of heights!

The Incline Railway may be a train, cable car, and rollercoaster all wrapped up into one machine!

"I think the top looks really steep, and I'm kind of glad I'm going up first because when I come back down, I'm pretty sure I'm going to be terrified," said Pat Klever of California

They call it "America's Most Amazing Mile." It's a passenger railway straight to the top of Lookout Mountain, 1500 feet above sea level with a close-to-vertical finish.

"You're looking at roughly a 72.7% grade at the steepest point on the track," said Incline manager Matthew Higgins.

The machine room has enormous drums that wind the cable which pulls the cars up the mountain.

"The cable is spinning on this drum here, it's wrapped around this drum two-and-a-half turns. Both cables combined have a total strength of 142 tons," Higgins said.

The engineer with the controls watches every meter.

Looking down from the train as it makes its way up to the top may look a little intimidating, but it doesn't stop one spring breaker from riding to the top.

"Yeah, you're hoping nothing slips," said Miranda Robinson.

The trek up and down is a smooth and scenic one, especially when you find someone to enjoy it with.

One ticket takes you up and down Lookout Mountain. You can start in either direction, depending on where you park. The top-end station provides incredible views for more than 100 miles, and the bottom-end station drops off passengers in the little town of St. Elmo. For more information, click here!

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