SITTON’S GULCH

 

 

Lookout Mountain is about 90 miles from its northern end at Chattanooga to its southern extremity about Gadsden, Alabama. Near its northern limit in Georgia is McCallie Gulch made by Rock Creek which is tumbling over precipices from the well known Lula Falls and Lula Lake, has down the centuries gnawed out a gap in the sides of the mountain.

 

Up to half century ago, Lula Lake was known as Lake Seclusion and the falls as Seclusion Falls.

 

On Black Creek at the southern extremity of Lookout in Alabama is another lovely nature spot known as Noccalula Falls.

 

Lookout Mountain owns at least seven waterfalls. They are Lula Falls, DeSota Falls, near Mentone, Ala., Little River Falls, near Blanche, Ala., Yellow Creek Falls, near Blue Pond, Noccalula Falls, near Gadsden, Ala., and two falls in Sitton’s Gulch, better known to Georgia geologists as Trenton Gulch.

 

There are various opinions as to which part of Lookout Mountain is the most wonderful natural creation. The mountain not only owns waterfalls of superb beauty, but supports a river on its top. This is a rare possession for a mountain of any kind in the United States. But with all these creations, people with impartial judgement pass the prize to Trenton, or Sitton’s Gulch, for being the most marvelous display of the handiwork of the Creator in carving out a rugged gap in a mountainside.

 

As Bear Creek gurgles over sandstone, moving westward, it eats away the ledges, dropping lower and lower, finally leaving on its sides stupendous walls of rock, and when down in the gulch it is joined by another stream that has carved out also a second gulch, and then both streams unite their forces and pass through a bed with perpendicular walls that make rugged cliffs 300 or more feet high.

 

Sitton’s or Trenton Gulch offers attractions from above and below. In the month of May, automobiles bring visitors from a distance of more than a hundred miles, and who, after viewing the grandeur from the top of the mountain, go away fully satisfied with the long journeys.

 

In early May, rhododendron, mountain laurel and flame azaleas give one of the most elaborate and delicate touches of natural beauty to the rugged cliffs that the visitors who come from the low flat country will breathe the air and while under the magic spell of beauty’s wand, may feel that he has attained celestial altitudes.

 

Besides the wild flowering shrubs, the top of the mountain is carpeted with dwarf irises, rose acacias, bluets and other wild flowers. As a person stands overlooking the chasm,he may utter a scream, course or refined, and in the Y-shaped gap he will hear the echo of his own voice as he once heard when he was a boy on the farm, but instead of a single answer to his scream he will hear a second and a third answer, thus giving him the rare phenomenon of a triple echo. First the wall directly in front mocks him, then the wall to his left near the waterfall replies, and finally far to his right as his voice strikes the high perpendicular cliff, a weakened answer reaches the ears. So much for the wonders that may be observed from the top of Sitton’s Gulch.

 

Down in the bottom, one’s mind passes from the imaginary to realities, and some of them are stern.

 

To reach Sitton’s Gulch and become an inhabitant of its lower depths for a few hours, a person must make up his mind to enter with all the alertness of the wild beast. There will be many loose sandstones to walk over. This part of the Gulch is reached by driving east from Trenton and leaving the automobile among the loose sandstones almost in sight of the old rock fences.

 

There are many kind of animals peculiar to such situations that dwell in this near-to-nature place, but the kind that will ever claim seclusion in it is the banded rattlesnake. There are also scorpions.

 

As Bear Creek gurgles its way over loose stones, threading thickets at many places, it brings with it the sum of all the beauty that it has collected in its wanderings from the top of Lookout Mountain to the level land below. Along its side gather hosts of wild flowers of Indian turnips, saxifrages, green dragons, wild hydrangeas, lion’s foot, May apples, rue anemones, wild geraniums, wild phlox, foam flowers, wild gooseberry and scores of plant creations that make the heart beat and a wild flower lover quicken their pace. By Robert Sparks Walker, Dade County Times 1938. (Used by permission HISTORY OF DADE COUNTY GEORGIA, Retired Senior Volunteer Program, 1981.)


  1. 1 The Urban Baboon: Cloudland Canyon

    […] park grow in size from 1924 acres to its present 3485. Prior to state ownership, it was known as Sitton‘s Gulch , and the prominent feature of the park is the Gulch or Canyon that serves as the centerpiece of […]




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