Red Top Mountain - Homestead Loop
Red Top Mountain State Park, Georgia
Difficulty
hike difficulty
8.1
Length
hike difficulty
5.3
Duration 2 - 3 hours
Elevation Gain 930 ft.
State Georgia
Park/Forest Red Top Mountain State Park
Parking Fee $5, $50 annual pass
Blaze Yellow
Nearby City Cartersville, GA
Trailhead Coord. 34.148106, -84.707433

Just 25 miles north of Atlanta, the popular Red Top Mountain State Park may not offer the unbridled beauty of more scenic and remote hiking, but does offer lake views and a good workout over its 15 miles of trails. The 5.3 mile Homestead loop makes for a good introduction trail for beginning hikers or for those looking for something a little less strenuous yet local. Don’t stop at hiking, go mountain biking, swimming or rent a boat and enjoy the 12,000 acre Lake Allatoona.



The Homestead trail begins directly in front of the visitor’s center. There is a $5 parking fee. From the trailhead, the path heads downhill immediately, following the yellow blazes. For the first 1.1 miles, the Homestead trail heads north. This section crosses paths with the red blazed Sweet Gum trail twice. Just make sure to follow the yellow blazes, all which are easily seen. Several signs also help with navigation. This section is the “stick” in this lollipop-loop hike, thus you will be returning to the visitor’s center by this section of trail.



After connecting with the Sweet Gum trail for the second time, the paths cross a road, with the Sweet Gum trail branching off to the right and the Homestead trail splitting to begin its 3.1 mile loop. This description takes the path going to the left around the loop clockwise. Alternatively, choosing to go right instead, the path quickly heads down to the shore of Lake Allatoona, a direction preferable to those seeking the water. Hiking clockwise, the trail quickly gains 100 feet in elevation bringing you to the highest point along the hike. From here, the trail makes several short rises and falls through a series of switchbacks. Throughout this section, the lack of foliage makes for good winter views of the lake.



The trail eventually meets the lake, following the meandering shoreline for the next 2 miles. Most of this is high enough from the lake to make exploring along the water less desirable; however, there are a few great spots that open up to small beaches ripe for exploring. The trail then turns away from the lake, making its way back to the beginning of the loop, all the while following a small steam. To the left along this section is a not so serene water treatment facility, reminding the traveler of their proximity to civilization.

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TERRAIN MAP
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ELEVATION PROFILE
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GETTING THERE
Trailhead Coordinates
34.148106, -84.707433 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 34°8.89, W 84°42.45 (Degree Minutes, MinDec)
N 34°8'53'', W 84°42'27'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)

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ADDITIONAL INFO

Ranger District Information
Red Top Mountain State Park
50 Lodge Rd SE, Cartersville, GA 30121
770-975-4226



Other Information
The beginning of the trail is shared with the Sweet Gum Trail, which is red blazed. Follow the yellow blazes to stay on the Homestead Trail.