The Duck Head team recently ventured out for a couple of incredible days on Lookout Mountain, a mountain ridge located at the intersection of the corners of Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee. The setting offered the idyllic, socially distanced getaway for our Social Sportsman and our Fall 2020 photoshoot. Located only a 2-hour drive from Nashville, Knoxville, Birmingham, Huntsville, and our home base of Atlanta, its scenic overlooks, breathtaking waterfalls, and countless miles of trails and rivers served as the perfect backdrop and one we hope to visit again soon.
“We can never have enough of nature.” - Henry David Thoreau
We experienced the life at McLemore, a mountaintop community which sits on the eastern side of Lookout Mountain, as our home base. With over 40,000 acres of conserved land to explore, the location provided the perfect backdrop we were in search of for our Social Sportsman retreat. There are many activities in and around McLemore depending on the intensity of adventure sought – you can enjoy a magnificent sunrise on an early morning trail hike, 18 holes of golf in a stunning setting that is carved into the beautiful natural landscape, or climbing the thousands of vertical feet offered by the steep sandstone and limestone outcroppings.
We took full advantage of McLemore’s hiking trails reaching both Inspiration Point and Perseverance Point to catch a glimpse of the breathtaking views and snap a few great shots of our Fall line. The acclaimed Rees Jones and Bill Bergin championship highlands course didn’t disappoint either. While we were only able to sink a few puts during the shoot on the signature 18th hole that features an incredible cliff edge overlooking the historic McLemore Cove, we look forward to the opportunity to come back, stay in one of the well-adorned cottages and soak in the pastoral environment.
Nearby, we visited one of the South’s most incredible hidden gems, the Lula Lake Land Trust. The land trust includes over 12,000 acres of preserved land with access to hiking and bike trails, Rock Creek, Lula Lake and Lula Falls. This spot offers the perfect escape to forget about all in the world, decompress and enjoy the preserved beauty of nature.
There are several different trails throughout the property. Be sure to capture the wonder of the spectacular 20-foot waterfall that tumbles into the emerald-hued Lula Lake before winding down to see the 120-foot free fall at Lula Falls. It’s quite the decline to get to the bottom of Lula Falls – and be careful in doing so – we ended up with a man down and a broken finger in the process! But the beauty of the landscape quickly erased the pain of the fall. There’s something about the sound of water that can make you forget about almost anything. The volume and height of Lula Falls are incredibly intense and it exudes a calming but persistent mist the closer you get to it. Watch your step.
We love that the Lula Lake Land Trust is dedicated to preserving and conserving the surrounding areas. It is a must-see destination but please note, it’s open on a limited number of days throughout the year to aid in its preservation efforts. Check before you go.
If fly fishing is your pastime, there’s plenty of opportunity and assistance on Lookout. Check out the clear tumbling water in Cloudland Canyon State Park or Desoto Falls State Park.
All in all, Lookout Mountain provides the perfect spot for a retreat this fall. Activities in the area are immense and range from hiking, fishing, and golfing to mountain biking, road cycling, horseback riding, rock climbing, bouldering, spelunking, hang gliding, and hunting. Bring your friends and family and recharge the Social Sportsman within you. It’s been quite a year, you need it.