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Craven's House

Site Directions: From I-24 in Chattanooga, take exit 178 (Lookout Mountain exit). Turn left on Broad Street and proceed west, up the mountain where Broad Street turns into Cummings Highway. Turn left on Scenic Highway and proceed to Craven's Trail. Turn right and proceed to the park.
Lat: 35.0192°N Long: -85.33919°W
Hours: daylight hours
Seasonality: year round
Fees: none

Site Description: The site is on the north facing slope of Lookout Mountain south of Chattanooga and is the Lookout Mountain Unit of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park. The elevation difference is over 1,300'. The majority of the habitat is mixed mesic hardwoods with Virginia pines mixed with areas of various stages of scrubby secondary growth. The Cravens House is situated half-way up this slope. The house, originally built by Robert Cravens in 1838, was a major point in the "Battle Above the Clouds" during the Civil War. The house was destroyed during the war (drunken brawl by Union soldiers) and was later rebuilt by Cravens. Adolf Ochs purchased the house and 88 acres owned by Cravens's heirs and combined it with land he had purchased and donated it to the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park in 1893. The house was completely renovated in 1956. The house is on an acre of manicured lawn bordered by weeds and scrub. There is a fair amount of scrub/shrub along some of the nearby trails, roadways, and powerline cuts. The Cravens House is a trailhead for over 30 miles of trails--Bluff Trail, Gill Trail, Gum Springs Trail, Hardy Trail, and Truck Trail. These go through hardwood forests and scrub growth on the slopes of Lookout Mountain.

Wildlife to Watch:
This northward slope of Lookout Mountain, dominates the big turn of the Tennessee River at Moccasin Bend and acts as a resting and feeding stop for migrating birds using the Cumberland escarpment and Tennessee River riparian corridor as a migration pathway. Neotropical migrant songbirds pass through in April and May, wearing breeding colors and full of song. Thirty-four species of warblers have been observed here as well as Scarlet and Summer Tanagers, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and Northern Orioles. Fall migration viewing is also excellent. This is the best location in the area to find migrating Philadelphia Vireos, and a Connecticut Warbler has been seen here. Summer breeding songbirds include Ovenbird, Kentucky and Hooded Warblers, and Wood Thrush. Kettles of Broad-winged Hawks and other raptors also follow the ridges southward each fall.

For more information:

Tennessee Ornithological Society - Audubon Important Bird Area site description

Chattanooga Chapter of Tennessee Ornithological Society site description

Spring Bird Survey Data

Fall Bird Survey Data

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Battlefield Park

Submit your data to eBird and help us build a list of birds seen at this site

Be sure to check out our Safety Tips page for important information regarding viewing wildlife in these areas.