The Running and Hiking Trails of Lake Allatoona


Those who haven’t visited Georgia before probably don’t realize how lush it is with nature. For example, the state’s northern mountains feature glorious views, well-maintained hiking trails, and various sites along the way. Unfortunately, during the busy season, getting to these locations can be time consuming. Especially when living in Atlanta.

Luckily, Lake Allatoona is less than an hour away via Interstate 575. It covers 12,000 acres and 270 miles of shoreline. Some of this dedicated to Lake Allatoona hiking and running trails. Here is some more information on what visitors can look forward to when they visit the area.

Laurel Ridge and Cooper’s Furnace Trail

At less than two miles, this is one of the Lake Allatoona running trails that works best for beginners. History and beauty are combined as runners can explore the stacked-stone Cooper’s Furnace and a Civil War-era railroad bed. Though the ascent may be tough, it’s well worth it for the scenic views of the amazing lake.

Red Top Mountain Lakeside Trail

One of the shortest Lake Allatoona hiking trails at three-quarters of a mile, this waterfront trail is ADA accessible. This means it is flat and smooth enough to handle wheelchairs, motor scooters, and walkers with disabilities. Once they complete the path, travelers get beautiful views of Lake Allatoona from the shoreline. One the way back, they can stop to admire the log cabin and blacksmith shop that date back to the 1800s.

Red Top Mountain Homestead Trail

Those looking for Lake Allatoona running trails that are more challenging need to head to Red Top Mountain Homestead Trail. The five-mile track crosses through a dense forest that is filled with wildlife. The rolling elevation is mild enough to push through without too much exhaustion. Plus, they can take time to admire meandering streams, red-hued rocks, and dark green pines.

Pine Mountain Trail

Once hikers and runners reach the summit of this trail, they not only get magnificent views of Lake Allatoona. On a clear day, they can also see the Atlanta skyline. To achieve this, visitors must make the 4.5-mile round-trip trek. This places them in an environment that features enormous outcrops made of granite, thick forests on conifers, and a rolling stream viewed through a series of wooden bridges.

Pine Log Creek Trail

Prior to settlement by American colonists, the land around Lake Allatoona was home to numerous Cherokee villages. The remnants of one of these can still be seen along the Pine Log Creek Trail. The four-and-a-half mile loop is a relatively moderate walk or run that is surrounded by mossy forest on one side and water on the other. The highlight is a clear-water pond created from the remains of a former rock quarry created by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. Those who are looking to raise their heartbeats will welcome the moderately challenging 300 ascent to the trail’s summit.

Allatoona Pass Civil War Interpretation Trail

The 1.25-mile hike combines exercise and a history lesson about the areas around Lake Allatoona affected during the Civil War. It starts at the Allatoona Pass Battlefield and moves along the former Western and Atlantic railroad bed. From there hikers can read interpretive signs about the battle and how the Confederacy tried to stop the Union Army from getting needed supplies.

Etowah Trail

At 12 miles round trip, the Etowah Trail is one of the largest in the Lake Allatoona area. This is a moderate path that is only available for hikers and joggers. No wheeled vehicles are not permitted. Maintained by the Boy Scouts of America, the Etowah Trail follows an old roadbed for the first two miles. After that, the trail starts to ascend into the mountains. Several spurs allow visitors to take another path for different scenic views.

Needless to say, there are miles of trails around Allatoona that visitors can choose from. Thus, it’s an area that takes more than one day to see. If a local, make sure you spare some time to hike or run one of these trails. If an out-of-town visitor, add one of the trails mentioned as a destination in-between the other attractions. In the end, it will be something you’ll want to return to at a later date.

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