by Paige Watts | Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions are my own.
Red Top Mountain State Park Hiking Trail

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. 

Take this beautiful hike through a serene Georgia forest and along the banks of Lake Allatoona. The Iron Hill Loop Trail is the perfect hike for getting outside and exploring nature. You may even meet a deer or two on the trail!

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 hike 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.

Iron Hill Loop Trail

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.

Iron Hill Loop Trail

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.

Iron Hill 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.

Deer on Iron Hill Loop Trail, Red Top Mountain State Park, Cartersville, Acworth, Georgia

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.

Iron Hill Loop Trail

Wooden bridges span streams and flood zone areas on the last half of the hike, making for a pretty autumn picture.

Iron Hill Loop Trail

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.

Iron Hill Loop Trail

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.

Hiking Essentials

Come prepared for your hike by making sure you pack the essentials. Check out this must-have hiking gear before you set off on the trails:

Nearby Attractions

After your hike, check out these other great things to do near Red Top Mountain State Park.

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Georgia Hikes: Iron Hill Loop Trail

What’s is your favorite fall hike? Let me know in the comments! 

About the Author

Paige Watts is a travel expert and author of What's With Atlanta?, a guide to the quirks and charm of the ATL. A life-long traveler, Paige is dedicated to helping you discover the best things to do in the Southern USA and around the world. Her work has been featured in The Culture Trip, Matador, Newsbreak, MSN, NPR, and countless other interviews and podcasts.

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