I finally got another hike in after much too long of an absence. Hopefully I can get my schedule back on track to do this more regularly again!
This is the first hike I’ve done where I’m referencing the 3rd Edition of the 60 Hikes Atlanta book. Previously #18 in the book was the Homestead Trail at Red Top Mountain State Park which I hiked back in November, 2012. This trail is in the same park, just a different trail.
Iron Hill Loop at Red Top Mountain State Park
Trailhead Coordinates: 34.13975, -84.70058
Distance: 3.8 miles
Red Top Mountain State Park is so named for the deep red color that makes up the soil of the mountain. The deep read indicates the presence of iron and this trail winds along two open-pit iron mines that were located here. The park occasionally has iron pour events to commemorate the mining history. The loop also winds along Lake Allatoona and you get some great long distance views, there’s also a variety of wildlife here and we saw various lizards, rabbits and squirrels as well as a pair of Red-Headed Woodpeckers that got away before we could get a picture.
The trail itself is quite easygoing with only slight elevation changes. It’s quite wide and well maintained. Although it is a mixed use trail most people out the day we went were hiking, however there were a few bikers on the trail as well. In total the hike was 3.78 miles and took 1 hour 43 minutes at a leisurely pace. The weather was perfect and this is a hike I’ll definitely hit up again. If you’re in the area this is worth checking out or any of the several others at the mountain.
If you’d rather take it a bit easier there is a swim beach at the park as well as several picnic areas with grills, boat rental and cabins. It’s an easy 30 minute ride from Atlanta and a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle.