The Lookout Mountain Conservancy, originally known as Lookout Mountain Protection Association and then Lookout Mountain Land Trust, formed in 1991 as a group concerned about protecting the front slopes of Lookout Mountain. Invasive plant species, unrestricted signage, and what was viewed as inappropriate uses had devastated the historical and scenic quality of this area.
Over the years, several tracts of land at the north end of Lookout Mountain were acquired by the Conservancy and have been transformed into the John C. Wilson Park. Additional lands were protected including the old broad gauge rail line. A spectacular biking and hiking trail, now known as the Guild-Hardy Trail, runs from St. Elmo, at the foot of Lookout, through numerous historic sites, to the top of the mountain.