15 Things You Cannot Do at Ruby Falls Tourist Attraction

Tourist entrance at Ruby Falls

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Looking back . . .

The story of Ruby Falls begins with the original Lookout Mountain Cave whose natural entrance is located at the foot of Lookout Mountain on the banks of the Tennessee River. Stories of this cave’s huge chambers have long been told to one generation to the next, and the cave’s whereabouts have been known by Chattanooga residents for eons. The rich history of this cave includes Native Americans, cave explorers, outlaws, civil war soldiers, and even a president of the United States. There were many tales of explorers traveling deep into this cave, as far as 12 miles without reaching the end.

In 1905, due to geographical limitations, the Southern Railroad Company was forced to build a tunnel along the face of Lookout Mountain and through some portions of the mountain for one of its lines. This tunnel intersected and sealed off the natural entrance to the Lookout Mountain Cave. In doing this, the Lookout Mountain Cave was completely shut off to the public.

Leo Lambert, a local cave enthusiast knew of Lookout Mountain Cave and its rich history and had even explored the cave prior to it being sealed off. He longed to reopen it to the public and devised a plan from which to do so. In 1923, Mr. Lambert along with a group of investors decided to enact his plan. His idea was to drill an elevator shaft from another point on the mountain to access the cave from the surface above.

Since that time, thousands of people, American and other ethnic backgrounds have visited this beautiful natural formation at the end of the Ruby Falls tour. And even today in 2014, there is no letting-up of the interest shown by those of new generations of fans of Ruby Falls, Chattanooga, TN.

Visitors enjoy the gorgeous view

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Early entrance to Ruby Falls

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Cascading waterfall near Ruby Falls

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The Lookout Tower

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The tour guides at Ruby Falls are very knowledgeable

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The Overlook

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Be mindful

But with all of this natural beauty, there are rules on how to act and not to act while taking the breath-taking tour of Ruby Falls. I know. I have been on this tour, but I was excited about being at this iconic locale to cause anyone any trouble.

So if you have never taken your family to Ruby Falls, read this piece first, and follow the
15 Things That You Do Not Do At Ruby Falls

  • Do not try to take-over your tour and be a loud-mouth. The tour guides are simply terrific, but they will turn on you if you insist on breaking their rules and soon, you will be behind the wheel of your car and headed home.
  • If you are at the back of the tour group, please resist the temptation to do wild animal impressions. These tour guides have met your type before and it will not hurt their feelings to ask you to leave.
  • If you are on vacation, drinking and having a ball, either sober-up before taking this great tour or just continue to party. There is no room for intoxicated-idiots on these tours. NOTE: I have seen this happen and it was sad to see this 20-something escorted out because he was drunk.
  • Do not hide behind the huge rocks and think you will jump-out and scare people. There are security measures at Ruby Falls that will blow your mind. If you are tempted to pull this or any prank, stay home or visit another tourist attraction.
  • I ask you for this one favor: Please keep your “golden voice,” to yourself and do not sing while on this tour. Either the tour group or tour guide, or both, will stop your performance before you get your first standing-ovation.
  • Coming on to the pretty tour guide is not acceptable behavior. Ever had your face slapped?
  • Water pistols, water balloons and other children’s toys for you to use to annoy other guests will get you thrown-out so quick that it will take your breath.
  • At tour’s end, you will see a huge waterfall (see photo at right), enjoy this beautiful work of nature, but do not try to jump into the waterfall and yell, “Yeaaahhh!,” as you look the part of an imbecile.
  • Wearing believable rubber masks of animals or people are strictly-forbidden.
  • Do not be so stupid as to try and bring any firearm onto the property of Ruby Falls. That is unless you are craving to be arrested and charged with a felony.
  • Do not do anything to distract either the tour group or tour guide. The tour group is there to enjoy a marvelous tourist attraction and the tour guide is depending on this job to support themselves. Be a good visitor and obey the rules.

If you follow these 15 rules, I promise that you will have a memorable time.

Nature at work

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Comments 14 comments

bethperry profile image

bethperry 2 years ago from Tennesee

Oh, this was so funny and truth, too! Gosh, I still remember years back when every other big barn on our little ole country roads were painted with promos like "SEE TENNESSEE NATURAL WONDER - VISIT RUBY FALLS". Your article was a real pleasure to read (and I'd love to return to Ruby Falls for a visit!).


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 2 years ago from Baltimore, MD

When I read the title for this one, I thought, "Oh no, I know this is going to go in a weird direction." Thank you for not disappointing me. :-)


sheilamyers 2 years ago

It's been years since I've been to Ruby Falls and it's one of those places I'd really like to revisit.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

bethperry,

Thanks for your nice comment and that makes two of us. Where I live there was, and is, a natural wonder called Rock Bridge Canyon, but there are no bridges, just caves and rocks shaped like men's faces. No, not Mount Rushmore.

Anyway. This place in the 50;s was huge by way of people coming in to see the rock formations and take the tours.

Me? It was a great place to take my dates to make-out for when I was daing in 1973, there was no one there but the elderly woman owner and just me and this girl who loved to be with me in a spooky canyon.

Ahhh, good times.

Come back again.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, sheilamyers,

Again, such as what I confessed to Beth, that makes two of us--visting Ruby Falls again. Wow, I wonder if it has changed much.

Wonder if I need to go a HubPages "Man in The Field" Hub Report?

Naah. I wouldn't get noticed. LOL.

Thanks for your sweet friendship, Sheila.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Jeanneinabottle,

Thank you for your complex comment. Did you "really" want weird, or dull travelog of the 60's style of text? LOL.

I tried as hard as I could, but I could not find a place for a mysterious elephant to appear out of somewhere and terrorize the visitors.

Maybe in a hub in my future about The Lost Lake which is near Ruby Falls.

Deal?


Stacie L profile image

Stacie L 2 years ago

I've been to many falls and parks in Tennessee but this one is new to me. I will venture down to Lookout Mountains to see and photograph this beautiful place. I enjoyed your photos and descriptions about Ruby Falls.


Kenneth Avery 2 years ago

Hi, Stacie,

Thank you kindly for your warm comment. I loved Ruby Falls, the Incline in Chattanooga--the train ride almost straight down and down the road to the east, is Lost Lake, I think. You can walk down a gravel opening to the visitor area where you can enjoy a glass bottom boat tour and see fish that are blind due to never coming to the light.

It is a fantastic place along with Ruby Falls.

And come again soon.


Phillip Evans 2 years ago

"Do not be so stupid as to try to bring any firearm onto the property of Ruby Falls. That is unless you are craving to be arrested and charged with a felony."

Really? Ruby Falls is private property, and last time I was there it was not posted as off-limits, so firearm carry is legal there if you are licensed. Even if it was posted as off-limits, you'd only be charged with a misdemeanor, and not a felony. I carried my pistol there each of the three times I've been there.

Before one makes a statement of fact, it's helpful to know the facts.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Phillip Evans,

Thank you for your enlightening comment. When my family and I were there, we were told by the tour guide if we had any firearms legal or not, and if caught, it would be a serious offense.

Honest.

I am not disputing what you said. I just used tongue-in-cheek some to get my point across.


Phillip Evans 2 years ago

Thanks Kenneth, then it sounds like they've got a no-firearms policy, unless the tour guide was not speaking for the owner(s). So one could be charged with trespass for carrying there if they are asked to leave and don't. Additionally, one could be charged with the crime of carrying in an unauthorized location if it is properly posted.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Phillip,

There is a great possibility of being arrested and charged for carrying a firearm onto the Ruby Falls property and this old man is not going to "tilt that windmill." Thanks for the comment.


Brock 16 months ago

Its not a felony to carry a firearm at Ruby Falls. Get your facts straight before posting.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 16 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Brock,

You might be brave and bold enough to stare Uncle Sam and the ATF in the eye and carry a gun, but brother, I am not.

I do not trust them as far as I can throw them, so I am not giving them the opportunity to arrest me.

Thank you for the input.

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