The 3.9 mile Iron Hill Loop Trail at Red Top Mountain State Park is the perfect hike for taking in North Georgia’s fall colors. This is a great November hike when the weather begins getting cooler.
Red Top Mountain State Park
Red Top Mountain State Park is located on beautiful Lake Allatoona. Visitors can boat, swim, camp, bike, hike, and more in the 1,776 acre Georgia State Park. Red Top Mountain has 15 miles of hiking trails through the forest and along the lake’s beaches.
Hiking the Iron Hill Loop Trail
Red Top Mountain was once an iron mining area in the mid 1800’s, and that’s the area that the Iron Hill Loop Trail takes you through. The nearly 4-mile Iron Hill Loop Trail is a gravel-surfaced trail, though you can’t tell that in the fall with all the leaves covering the trail.
Iron Hill Loop Trail trailhead begins at a parking lot a little ways past the state park’s Visitors Center on the right. Since the trail is a loop, you can start either left or right. We started by turning left, following the trail clockwise.
As the trail moves through the forest, you can see the leaves changing color.
At about half a mile, the trail crosses a service road. This is where we began to notice that not all of their trail signs are completely clear, with their arrow signs pointing directly up the middle of two trails.
Stick to the trail with the blue trail markings on the trees (here, the left fork), and you’ll be fine.
It’s not long before the trail comes to the lake. The trail doesn’t directly connect to the beach, so you’ll have to find a cut through if you want to walk along the beach. If you choose to walk along the sandy shore, don’t go too far as you’ll have to backtrack to actually get back on to the Iron Loop Trail.
After about a mile and a half into our hike, we came across three deer directly in our path. Apparently Red Top Mountain State Park has a huge deer population. These deer didn’t even bat an eye at us, just calmly crossed the trail and stayed not too far off on the hilltop.
The trail has plenty of benches and picnic tables dispersed throughout so you can take a break and take in the picturesque views. As you hike, you’ll be able to get glimpses of the shimmering lake waters through the autumn trees.
Wooden bridges span streams and flood zone areas on the last half of the hike, making for a pretty autumn picture.
The second bridge is another area with a confusingly-placed arrow sign. As before, keep to the left to follow the trail, so that you can cross over the cute bridge.
You’ll pass by an obstacle course wall and cross over a couple more bridges before the loop trail connects back together for a 3.9 mile hike.
What’s is your favorite fall hike? Let me know in the comments!