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Lookout Mountain Unit
of the Chickamauga and
Chattanooga National Military Park
(including Cravens House)

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Neotropical Surveys Fall 1999-2005Neotropical Surveys Spring 1999-2005

Directions/Bird Finding

Lookout Mountain looking south.

Photo by Kevin Calhoon

Looking south towards Lookout Mountain from Moccasin Bend in the Tennessee River (Nickajack Lake). Cravens House can be seen half-way up the mountain and Point Park is at the top.

Location: The Lookout Mountain Unit of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park on the north side of Lookout Mountain at Cummings Highway (about 685'), up the north face of the mountain to Point Park (about 2,024'), including Cravens House, south of Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Tennessee.
Physiographic Province:  PIF 13 (Southern Ridge and Valley); BCR 28 (Appalachian Mountains)
Tennessee IBA Site Map - Cravens House.bmp (80006 bytes)
Geographical Coordinates: 
    Cravens House--Lat. 350051N  Long. 0852032W
    Hardy Trail--Lat. 350017N  Long. 0852026W
    Point Park--Lat. 350044N  Long. 0852037W
Elevation Range: 685' - 2,024'
    1,555' Craven's House
    1,617' Hardy Trail
    2,024' Point Park
Size: 2,800 acres

USGS 7.5’ quad: Chattanooga

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.

IBA Criteria: 4f, 5

Ornithological Importance:  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.
    Note 1. In the spring and fall periods 1999-2005, the area around Cravens House was censused for neotropical migrants. (See Note 2 for details of the Migration Monitoring Program.) In the spring period 1999-2005, a total of 8,035 neotropical individuals were detected for a 7-year average of 1,148 neotropical individuals per year. Warbler individuals totaled 2,362 birds for a 7-year average of 337 birds.The number of surveys per year ranged from 11-21. In the fall period 1999-2005, a total of 6,045 neotropical individuals were counted for a 7-year average of 864 neotropical individuals per year. Warbler individuals totaled 2,088 birds for a 7-year average of 298 birds. The number of surveys per year ranged from 13-26. For a summary of neotropicals by year and date, see Neotropical Surveys Fall 1999-2005 and  Neotropical Surveys Spring 1999-2005.
    Note 2. The Migration Monitoring Program, sponsored by the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory, has been conducted around the Cravens House compound from 1999-2005. The purpose of the survey is to document the movement of neotropical species through the area. Spring surveys are March 20-May 31. Fall surveys are July 15-October 31. The route covers about a mile of the Hardy Trail (1300'-1500'), formerly a railroad bed, of scrubby growth bordering a deciduous hillside and loops back through hardwood forest with Virginia pines, secondary growth around the house, and parts of other trails nearby. See Note 1 above for results.

Site Criteria



Avg. No Season

Max. No. Season

Years of Data



Landbirds: Migratory (See Note 1 above.


1,148 spring;
864 fall

1,376 spring;
1,745 fall



5Monitoring: Migration Monitoring Program (See Note 2 above.)SM, FM  1999-20056
Season1   B = Breeding, W = Wintering, SM = Spring Migration, FM = Fall Migration
Source 2  1-Atlas Breeding Birds of Tennessee 2-Breeding Bird Surveys 3-Christmas Bird Counts
4-Point Counts 5-Refuge Counts 6-Personal observations (Kevin Calhoon) 7-Other (specify)

Ownership:  Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Battlefield Park 
    Contact:  Jim Szyjkosski, Natural Resources Manager, 706-886-9241, ext 121.

Conservation Concerns:  Potential concerns are recreational development/overuse and introduced plants/animals.

Management Program:  None.

Submitted by: Kevin Calhoon, kac@tennis.org

Additional Contributors:

Approved as an IBA site:  December 2005--Yes 5  No 2

This page was last updated on 02/19/06.