This popular park on 12,000-acre Lake Allatoona is ideal for swimming, boating and fishing. Visitors can bring their own boats or rent from Park Marine. Twelve miles of hiking trails wind through the park, providing opportunities for exercise and to explore a reconstructed 1860s log cabin (open and staffed on Saturdays). The park?s lodge, restaurant and meeting facilities make Red Top a great getaway for family reunions and business groups. A 3/4-mile paved trail behind the restaurant is suitable for wheelchairs and strollers. Named for the soil?s rich red color caused by high iron-ore content, Red Top Mountain was once an important mining area for iron.
The parking lot for this trail is located off Red Top Mountain Road, on the right a half mile past the campground. It is a graveled trail that is accessible to both hikers and bicycles. From the parking lot, follow the directional signs to the trailhead. This scenic trail is a loop that winds along the banks of the lake through a historic area that was once home to an active iron mining community in the mid 1800?s. Along the way you will have the opportunity to observe both native wildlife and a profusion of native plants.
WHITE TAIL TRAIL
0.5 mile, one way. Rated moderate.
This trail begins at the Lodge parking area and shares a trailhead with the Sweet Gum Trail Loop. The Whitetail Trail then turns off the Sweet Gum Trail Loop and runs north to the end of a scenic point at the edge of Lake Allatoona.
5.5 mile loop. Rated moderate.
This trail begins at the front porch of the park Visitor Center, turns north for one mile, crosses Lodge Road and then makes a 3.5 mile loop through some of the most beautiful areas of the park. The loop portion follows the lakeshore for approximately half its length. Completion of the loop brings the hiker back to the same one mile route to the front porch. This trail is named after one of several homesteads which were once located in the loop portion. Trail is blazed yellow and is not accessible to bicycles.
VISITOR CENTER LOOP TRAIL
0.75 mile loop. Rated moderate.
This beautiful trail begins one hundred yards down the beginning of the Sweet Gum Trail from the Visitor Center parking area. The Sweet Gum Trail will bear sharp left and the Visitor Center Loop will bear sharp right. Shaded hardwood forest, a small spring fed stream, and two viewing/relaxation platforms can be enjoyed. Trail is blazed red and is not accessible to bicycles.
0.75 mile loop. Rated easy.
This short paved trail starts at the Lodge parking lot and makes a loop behind the lodge on the shore of Lake Allatoona. It is ADA Accessible for the entire length. A focal point is the 1869 Vaughn cabin located right along the trail. Visitors enjoy special programs held at the cabin as well as relaxing on the benches along the trail and shoreline. Trail is not blazed and no bicycles are allowed.
SWEETGUM LODGE LOOP TRAIL
3.5 mile loop. Rated moderate.
This trail begins at the Visitor Center parking area and also follows a route north. After 0.5 mile the trail then makes a loop through the Lodge area of the park and then back to the 0.5 mile section for a return to the Visitor Center. The Sweet Gum Trail also travels south from the Visitor Center to the campground, allowing campers to access the park trail without driving. There are sections of the trail where Homestead and Sweet Gum share the same pathway. These sections are marked with yellow and red blazes. Trail is not accessible to bicycles.