PINE MOUNTAIN RECREATION AREA – CARTERSVILLE, GA
Trailhead Coordinates: 34.177045 N, -84.737294 W
Distance Hiked: 3.04 miles (East Loop and Summit Overlook)
Time to Hike: 1:50:21
No GPX file for this one due to technical difficulties.
It’s been a few weeks since I got a hike in and I was ready to go this weekend. Weather, work, holidays… ’tis the season, I guess. I made sure to get some time this weekend and was excited to check out a trail close to my house, even though it’s not in my 60 Hikes book, although I’m told that it will be in the next edition. This is the toughest hike I’ve personally done (remember, I’m a newb trying to lose weight) not counting Brasstown Bald. Although Brasstown Bald was a more strenuous climb it was only 1/2 mile each way and on a paved trail.
The Pine Mountain Recreation Area is situated on Lake Allatoona and not far from Red Top Mountain. It’s divided into a few trails as well as the summit overlook. I hiked the East Loop and Summit, the West Loop connects to the East Loop for those that would like a longer hike. For the East Loop and Summit my roundtrip was 3.04 miles, if you add in the West Loop the total hike is around 4.50 miles. There are several picnic areas and lake access close to the area, however for some reason most of them were closed this weekend.
It’s important to note that a Georgia mountain is a bit less… mountainous than some of those beasts out West. The trail started at an elevation of just over 900 feet and at the summit it’s about 1,500. A good climb for me and the largest elevation gain of the trail I’ve hiked around here. It got my heart rate going pretty good and I burnt enough calories to have a few beers with friends after the hike and not even worry about it. The terrain also offers a bit of a challenge with rocks and roots along the winding trail. The view from the top was awesome and gave an almost 360 degree view of the area including Lake Allatoona and North Georgia. To make it even more picturesque there were a few hawks (I’m gonna call them hawks, could have been buzzards – I was pretty tired once I got up there) circling around over the lake.
I’ll definitely hike this trail again, next time I’ll have to check out the West Loop as well. Pine Mountain Recreation Area is less well known than Kennesaw Mountain just a bit south, if you’re looking for a hike it’s a less crowded area and much more geared to the hiking than the history.
- Homestead Trail at Red Top Mountain State Park – #18 in 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Atlanta (timgetsfit.wordpress.com)
- Brasstown Bald – Highest Point in the State of Georgia (timgetsfit.wordpress.com)
- 1000 year old Georgia mountain town contains sophisticated irrigation system (examiner.com)
- Spiritual roots on the Appalachian Trail (cnn.com)