Hiking and Geocacheing
Stretch Your Legs With An Overnight in Cartersville
We invite you to discover the magnificent recreational trails found here in Northwest Georgia's Appalachian Gateway. Convenient to I-75, these area trails offer scenic, historic and natural escapes. Area trails range from 850 feet above sea level to 1500 feet above sea level and their diversity welcomes individuals of all fitness levels. Combine your adventure with a visit to the area's attractions for a memorable weekend getaway. The Etowah Valley Trails & Events Guide is your FREE pocket guide to 20 of the finest nature trails within an hours drive of Atlanta. Ask for your copy today and enjoy your journey.
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Pine Log Creek Trail 770-387-5167
4.5 miles total for East and West Loops; 3 hours steady pace; compacted soil surface; moderate to difficult.
The Pine Log Creek Trail opened in November 2007 on 275 acres of protected Bartow County Greenspace. The trail features a 4.5 mile compacted soil path crossing seven rustic footbridges over Pine Log Creek. From two overlooks, hikers can view Pine Log Mountain - one of the highest elevations in Bartow County's Appalachian foothills - and the site of the Pine Log Cherokee Indian Village. The trail system includes two loops east and west and is rated moderate to difficult with rugged terrain. The eastern loop takes hikers by an early CCC quarry pond for picturesque views. Pine Log Creek Trail is open daylight to dusk to hikers only - no motorized vehicles, horses or bicycles. Hunting and fishing is strictly prohibited. As with any trail system, please do not disturb, cut or remove the natural habitat and do not litter. Trail Map
Directions: I-75 Exit 293, US 411 north approximately 8 miles. Turn right onto GA 140 east toward Waleska. Continue approximately three miles to Pine Log Creek Trail System parking area on left. For more information call Keep Bartow Beautiful, 770-387-5167.
Pine Mountain Recreation Area 770-387-5626
Total 4.38 miles: East Loop 2.34 miles, West Loop 1.57 miles; 4 hours steady pace; compacted soil surface; moderate to difficult.
Pine Mountain is the newest recreation area in the City of Cartersville. The East Loop Trailhead connects the city to Lake Allatoona's shoreline and reaches 1,562 feet above sea level. The rugged and challenging trail development crosses Pine Mountain and Hurricane Hollow, so named by early miners. The land is part of the 13,000 acres that were originally the site of Mark Cooper's Iron Empire. The new West Loop Trailhead is now open at I-75 Exit 288, at the entrance to Komatsu. The West Loop connector will be completed in Spring 2009 that will tie the Pine Mountain Trails to Cooper's Furnace Nature Trail at the Etowah River. Pine Mountain Trails are open daily for hiking. Mountain biking is allowed only on Wednesday and Saturday. Bikers must follow color-blazed directional signs for those days, no exceptions. Mountain bikers must wear helmets. The trail is maintained by the City of Cartersville Parks & Recreation Department. Note: The Trail Map does not show the West Loop Trailhead at I-75 Exit 288.
Directions: I-75 Exit 290, east on GA 20. Right at traffic light onto Spur 20. Continue approximately four miles. The East Loop Trailhead access and parking area is on the right, just past the turn to Bartow Beach and Gatewood Park. Or, at I-75 Exit 288, go east, then right at Komatsu sign. Parking area for the West Loop Trailhead is on the left before entering Komatsu.
Lake Allatoona and Etowah River Trails
Trail maps for the following trails are available at Allatoona Lake Project Management Office/Visitor's Center & Overlook - 8 AM-6 PM (summer), otherwise 8 AM-4 PM.
Vineyard Mountain Trail at Riverside Park
6.5 miles of hiking trails, compacted soil surface, rated moderate-difficult
Three interconnecting trails with blue, yellow and red blazes take hikers along steep slopes overlooking the Etowah River, Allatoona Dam, and Allatoona Lake. Hikers may encounter hawk, fox, or deer and see wild grapevines, poplar trees and azalea bushes. Vineyard Mountain Trail was developed as an Eagle Scout service project and is expanded periodically. Directions: I-75 Exit 288, GA 113 south to US 41 South. See Riverside Park sign then left onto Allatoona Dam Road. A second trailhead is accessible from I-75 Exit 285, east on Red Top Mountain Road to parking area on left at Bethany Bridge crossing Allatoona Lake.
Cooper's Furnace Trail
Hiking trail of less than one mile, one way; compacted soil surface; rate easy
Trail follows the route of a 19th century mining railroad bed through a mixed pine and hardwood forest. Hikers will see a vast variety of trees, shrubs and wildflowers along the way. Wildlife is abundant here. A natural feature of interest is a bond inhabited by beaver and muskrat. Directions: I-75 Exit 290, GA 20 east, right on Spur 20, approximately 4 miles to parking across from Cooper's Branch #2 Picnic Area. Trail ends at Cooper's Furnace Day Use Area along the Etowah River.
Laurel Ridge Trail
One mile, one way; compacted soil surface; rated easy with two short steep grades
The hiking trail crosses the slopes of a mixed pine and hardwood ridge overlooking the Etowah River Valley. Along the way see an abundance of mountain laurel and 32 varieties of identified trees. Directions: I-75 Exit 290, GA 20 east then right onto Spur 20. Continue 4.5 miles to Project Management Office/Visitor's Center Parking Area.
Cooper Branch Trail
One mile; compacted soil surface; rated easy-moderate
This hiking trail is a short connector that offers scenic views of Allatoona Lake. Bluebird boxes and a natural forest floor make an excellent habitat for wildlife. The trail features a few moderate hills within a forest of mixed pine and hardwoods. Directions: I-75 Exit 290, GA 20 east, right on GA Spur 20, approximately 4 miles. Trails accessible from Cooper's Branch #1 and Cooper's Branch #2 Day Use Areas.
Red Top Mountain State Park Trails
Trail maps and information available at the Park Visitor Center, open daily, hours vary seasonally. All vehicles within Red Top Mountain State Park must display a $3 ParkPass, available at the Visitor Center and at boxes throughout the park. Georgia ParkPass increases to $5 daily on May 20, 2009. Directions: I-75 Exit 285, east on Red Top Mountain Road, cross Allatoona Lake and enter Red Top Mountain State Park. Visitor Center is ahead on the left.
Loop is 5.5 miles; compacted soil; yellow blaze; rated moderate
Hiking trail begins and ends at the Visitor Center front porch. After the first mile, the trail crosses Lodge Road and takes visitors to some of the most beautiful areas of the park. The 3.5 mile loop from this point follows the Allatoona shoreline for much of the way and is named for several homesteads once located here.
Iron Hill Trail
Loop is 3.9 miles; crushed stone on double track; blue blaze; rated moderate
This scenic trail is open to hiking and biking and winds along the Allatoona Lake shoreline through an area once used for iron ore mining in the mid-1800s. Native wildlife and plants may be viewed along the way. Continue past the Visitor Center, to parking area on right 1/2 mile past campground.
3.5 mile loop; compacted soil; red blaze; rated moderate
Hiking trail begins and ends at the Visitor Center parking area and takes visitors to the park's lodge area through a forest of pine and hardwoods. White tail deer and an abundance of wildlife may be viewed along this trail. A portion of the trail shares its path with the Homestead trail and is marked by both red and yellow blazes.
White Tail Trail
One-half mile trail one way; compacted soil surface; white blaze; rated moderate
Trailhead begins at the Lodge parking area. Visitors may hike to a scenic point at the edge of Allatoona Lake. A portion of this trail shares a path with the Sweetgum Trail.
3/4 mile loop; paved surface; not blazed; rated easy, wheelchair accessible
This ADA Accessible trail begins at the Lodge parking area and loops along the shoreline for much of its length. A focal point is the 1869 Vaughn log cabin, where visitors can enjoy special programs seasonally. Along the way, there are benches and swings where visitors might stop and enjoy nature.
Visitor Center Loop
3/4 mile loop; compacted soil; red/green blaze; rated moderate
Trailhead begins at the Visitor Center parking area and follows Sweetgum Trail red blaze, then turns right following a green blaze through a shaded hardwood forest. Additional features of interest include a small spring-fed stream and two viewing/relaxation platforms.
Allatoona Pass Trail
2.5 miles, 2-3 hours; compacted soil and gravel; rated easy-moderate; maintained by Red Top Mountain State Park
The Allatoona Pass consists of the Western & Atlantic Railroad bed, two earth forts, trenches and outworks dug by Union troops during the Civil War, and the old Tennessee Wagon Road. The level railroad pass is 360 feet long and 180 feet deep through solid rock, and if you look closely you can see where dynamite blasted through the mountain. Interpretive signs guide your way as you journey back through the battlefield, much of which remains as it was during the Battle of Allatoona Pass on October 5,1864. Directions: I-75 Exit 283, east on Old Allatoona Road, cross railroad and continue one mile to parking area on left.
The Pettit Preserve
This 70-acre preserve for environmental studies exists to provide a safe haven for endangered species and serves as an outdoor teaching laboratory. Here students have the opportunity to experience the joy of land in its natural state. All activities within its boundaries seek to limit the impact of humankind while preserving a natural balance. Facilities include a lakeside study center with restrooms, a 1.5 mile hiking trail (compacted soil); a 950-foot hiking trail (compacted soil) featuring a 36-foot swinging bridge, a lakeside amphitheater, and a seating area/fire pit. Additionally, 25 trees are identified along the trails. Thirty more tree ID posts will be added by October 2008. Pettit Preserve is open to groups for educational study, corporate groups and civic clubs by appointment. The Pettit Preserve is located off GA 61, turn left on Douthit Bridge Road about 3 miles south of the Cartersville Airport. See signs at Vineyard Road. For more information visit online at www.PettitPreserve.com.
Cartersville Parks & Recreation Walking Trails
Vita course consists of a 2-mile outer loop and 1.3 mile inner loop, with exercise stations offering calisthenics instructions. Cinder surface; rated easy; emergency call boxes available; lighted course. Directions: located at 100 Pine Grove Road, Cartersville. Take I-75 Exit 288, GA 113 south 2.5 miles to downtown Cartersville. Cross railroad and follow signs 2.5 miles to Dellinger Park.
Sam Smith Park
The Etowah Riverwalk at Sam Smith Park features a 2.6 mile paved path open for multi-purpose use. Trail is rated easy and emergency call boxes are available. Directions: Located at 1155 Douthit Ferry Road, Cartersville. Take I-75 Exit 288, GA 113 south 5 miles through downtown Cartersville. Turn left onto Douthit Ferry Road (see McDonald's on corner). Go straight through traffic light, and 4-way stop. Park is ahead on right past Cartersville Middle School.
Cartersville Baseball Complex
Park features a one-mile, 18-station vita course along a lighted cinder pathway, rated easy. Directions: Located at 11 Sugar Valley Road, Cartersville. From Main Street/GA 113 in downtown Cartersville, turn right onto Bartow Street, left at 4-way stop onto Cherokee Avenue. At next stop turn right on Cassville Road (GA 293). Cross railroad, turn left at 2nd traffic light onto Sugar Valley Road. Complex is ahead on the left.
Pettit Creek Trail
This 1/2 mile paved walking trail is located at 168 Cassville Road, Cartersville. Follow directions noted above for Cartersville Baseball Complex. Trail is on the left just past the first traffic light on Cassville Road.
Bartow County Parks & Recreation
Hamilton Crossing Park
Two-mile fitness trail runs along the outer perimeter of the park; paved surface; rated easy; lighted. Directions: Located on Hamilton Crossing Road, Cassville. From Cartersville, take US 41 north to traffic light at Firetower Road. Turn left, then left again on Hamilton Crossing Road.
Manning Mill Park
The 1.5 mile trail runs alongside the park's boundary and around Manning Mill Lake. The lighted trail has a gravel surface and is rated easy. Directions: Located 163 Manning Mill Road, Adairsville. Take I-75 Exit 306, GA 140 west one mile, then left on US 41 south. Continue approximately 2 miles to Manning Mill Road on left. Park is ahead on the right.
Embark on a modern-day treasure hunt with your friends and family. Use your hand-held GPS to locate caches placed throughout Cartersville and Adairsville. You'll discover a variety of historic places, popular attractions and scenic vistas. See Geocaching.com to learn more about Geocaching. Let your GPS be your tour guide - Find these Cartersville Cache for a scenic tour:
Regional Bike Routes in Bartow County
Five bike routes that are part of a Regional Bicycle Network developed by Bike! Walk! Northwest Georgia are now fully marked throughout Bartow County. Bicyclists can enjoy less traveled roads and scenic byways.
Red Top Cycling Club
Northwest Georgia's newest and fastest growing club for both recreational and competitive cyclists. The club welcomes cyclists of all abilities, from those who just bought their first bike up to the competitive racer looking for a fun, energetic team to join. Rides held weekly, visit online for details.
For information on guided hikes, bike rides, walks and runs see Events.
More hiking from Georgia Trails
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