The last section of the 14-mile Cloudland Connector Trail on Lookout Mountain has been completed, and it will officially open on June 27.
Tricia King, executive director of the Lula Lake Land Trust, said a ceremony will be held at Cloudland Canyon State Park at 11 a.m.
She said, "After over five years and 60 miles of trails, we've built the last bridge over Bear Creek and finished the Cloudland Canyon Connector Trail. Come celebrate this milestone at our ribbon cutting. Bring your boots or your bike, and be among the very first to cross the new bridge and explore the latest phase of this world-class trail system. Enjoy refreshments, music, and fun for the family."
Ms. King said, "Our story began with a family's gift of 770 acres in 1994, including the historic Lula Lake and Lula Falls. In the early years, we cleaned up decades worth of dumping and reclaimed the land for the public to enjoy. In addition to our open days, we host organized groups throughout the year, including school groups, Scout troops, historical societies, hiking clubs, and many more.
"In our 20-year history, we've created a conservation corridor of nearly 10,000 acres, protecting the unique ecological habitat and the rich history of this region. Within that landscape, the Cloudland Connector Trail vision became a reality as the 14-mile core trail and dozens of miles of spin-off trails were built with many volunteers and partners. Today, the Connector Trail receives national acclaim, as hikers and mountain bikers from across the country rank ours as among the best trail systems, anywhere. The 5-Points Trails in particular are on the must-ride list for any mountain biker."
The trail begins at Nickajack Road and goes along Long Branch to near the mountain's highest point at High Point. It crosses Lula Lake Road near the old Durham mines. The 5-Points trailhead is nearby with a maze of trails. It then proceeds to the Ascalon trailhead off Ascalon Road.
The last section goes from Ascalon Road across Bear Creek, then across the Scenic Highway and on to Cloudland Canyon.