Hiking and Biking Trails
There are six trails in Red Top Mountain State Park. They collectively cover more than 15 miles and provide opportunities for hiking and mountain biking. The trails are a popular feature of the park. If you visit during the weekend when the weather is nice you are likely to see a fair number of people enjoying Red Top Mountain's trails. There is a wide variety of trails found throughout the park, which means everyone can find a trail or hike that fits their needs. The short, paved Lakeside trail is a short interpretive walkway that is great for walkers, wheelchairs, and strollers. It also takes you by the lake and some interesting buildings. There are also other shorter trails (Visitor Center Loop, White Tail, and portions of other trails) that are a great way to take a more ca usual or shorter duration hike. If a hearty hike or a jaunt on your mountain bike is what you are after, there are also longer trails where you can get a nice workout and see some nice scenery.
This trail begins at the Visitor Center and is of moderate difficulty. The first section of the trail is a 1 mile section that crosses Lodge Road. Once across the road the trail forms a 3 ½ mile loop that follows along the shores of Lake Allatoona for about half of its length. Overall this trail will take you through forest, across fields, and along the shores of the lake. You will also pass by the chimney of an old homestead home. This hike offers the widest diversity and nicest scenery of all the trails in Red Top. The full trip, leaving from and returning to the Visitors center, puts the total walking distance of this hike at 5 ½ miles. Make sure you bring plenty of water if you plan to tackle this route during the heat of a summer's day!
This trail is a paved ¾ mile loop designed to accommodate those who cannot traverse the unimproved trails. The trail begins at the Lodge, reaches the edge of the lake, and passes by the historic Vaughn Cabin. The latter is a restored 1800's log home that was moved into the park in 1996. It now serves as a focal point for a number of park events, including the popular summer music in the park series. Near the cabin there is also a reconstructed casting shed that is used to demonstrate how iron ore was smelted from iron ore rock.
Sweet Gum Nature Trail
This trail has three distinctive branches. The most southerly portion runs from the campground to the Visitors Center, The middle section runs north from the visitors center, and the most northerly part of the trail is a loop that traverses through some wooded hills . The latter is joined with the Homestead Trail for part of the way. It passes by the lodge and a small portion brings you close to the shores of Lake Allatoona.
Visitor Center Loop Trail
This is a moderate difficulty short hike that begins near the Visitors Center. This trail takes you through some heavily wooded forest and also has a few platforms where you can relax in a peaceful setting.
Iron Hill biking and hiking trail
This shared used trail is a ~ 4 mile loop. It passes along the shore of the lake and passes what was once an iron ore mining community. There is a small parking lot, just north of the southeastern entrance to the park on Red Top Mountain Road, that provides ready access to the trailhead.
White Tail Trail
This hike begins at the lodge and initially is joined with the Sweet Gum Trail. It will take you to the end of a small point that looks out over Lake Allatoona.