Raccoon Mountain is near Chattanooga Tennessee, and in the 1970’s TVA built a power storage system on the mountain – they pump water out of the Tennessee River during periods of low electricity usage, storing it in a reservoir at the top of the mountain, then use that water to turn turbines to generate electricity during period of high demand. But TVA has developed it, as with many of their properties, for some recreational uses, including hiking and mountain biking. But it’s also a really nice drive, with great view of the area. Much to my embarrasment, I’ve only been up on the top once or twice. Today was beautiful, and my wife and I spent a GREAT day driving, walking, and photographing the fall colors around Raccoon Mountain today. Here are a dozen photos.
First, a view from the reservoir dam looking across the gorge that many refer to as “The Grand Canyon of the Tennessee River.” As usual, click on the photo to go to Flickr where you can view a larger version.
Another view of “The Grand Canyon of the Tennessee River.”
We were hoping for some beautiful colors, and we were not disappointed.
We were seeing some purple asters (Symphyotricum ssp.) as we drove along the road, but a slightly different shape/color caught my eye. This was a surprise for November.
We stopped at the Visitor Center, and were treated to this view of the Grand Canyon of the Tennessee River. I wish I had a wider lens.
But the colors around the parking area at the Visitor Center were fabulous as well.
While I complain about power lines all the time, they provide some opportunity for some beautiful plants.
The TVA access road off the mountain to US 41 runs along the river for a while. It passes the tunnels that hold the generators, but it also passes some nice views.
McNabb Cemetery is on a side road along that TVA access road.
And in closing…