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Georgia Hikes: Pine Mountain Trail in Cartersville

Pine Mountain Trail Hike

The Pine Mountain Trail just outside of Cartersville, Georgia offers stunning summit views of Lake Allatoona and the surrounding North Georgia mountains.

An expansive nature preserve, the Pine Mountain Recreation Area offers miles of trails and a breathtaking view over the foothills.

If you’re looking for a beautiful summit hike that’s close to Atlanta, then the Pine Mountain Trail in Cartersville, Georgia is perfect for you!

Pine Mountain Trail in Cartersville

The Pine Mountain Trail in Cartersville is a 4.5 mile double loop, figure-eight trail. Located just 40 miles outside of Atlanta, the Pine Mountain Trail in Cartersville is a great summit hike that’s easily accessed from the city.

The trail is based in the Pine Mountain Recreation Area, part of the 13,000 acres that was the original site of Mark Anthony Cooper’s Iron Empire.

The trail is open daily for hiking. There are two trailheads with parking areas. The West Loop trailhead begins just off of I-75 Exit 288: east on Main Street, at the end of Main Street turn right, the parking area will be on your left. The East Loop trailhead begins off of I-75 Exit 290, east on GA Highway 20, right at the traffic light onto GA Spur 20, and after 4 miles the parking area will be on your right just past Bartow Beach Road.

You can access the mountain’s summit using a trail that branches off the center of the East and West trails. The most direct route to the summit is by taking a right on the West Loop.

Pine Mountain Trail in Cartersville

Hiking the Pine Mountain Trail in Cartersville

We started our hike on the Pine Mountain Trail West Loop. There is a 0.18 mile hike on the West Trailhead to Loop path before you begin the West Loop. We took the path to the right for the most direct route to Pine Mountain summit.

The trail climbs elevation quickly through a series of switchbacks. At about 0.9 miles, you’ll reach a junction; here, the hike turns right on the 0.10 mile West Pass to the Summit Overlook trail, which is about 0.16 miles to the actual overlook. You’ll reach the summit at a little over 1 mile, having covered a 675-foot climb.

Pine Mountain Trail Cartersville

Pine Mountain Summit

On the Summit Overlook Trail, you’ll pass through a picturesque pine forest before the trees clear to show a rocky peak. At the summit, Allatoona Lake is visible just below the ridge, nestled between the North Georgia hills.

On a clear day, you may be able to see the Atlanta skyline on the horizon, as well as Stone Mountain and Kennesaw Mountain, but as we hiked on a rainy day our view was limited but still stunning.

Pine Mountain Summit Cartersville

Hiking the Full Figure-Eight

To hike the full figure-eight, retrace the Summit Overlook Trail and then turn right onto the 0.14 mile East Past, passing a large pile of rocks on your way to the East Loop. The East Loop covers 2.34 miles of creek valley hiking. This loop continues left at the East Trailhead path and crosses over a couple bridges as it crosses the moss-covered creek valley.

The hike then ascends from the valley in a series of switchbacks before again coming to the East Pass, West Pass, and the West Loop. Continue to the right to complete the opposite side of the West Loop.

This part of the trail descend through granite outcroppings before turning right on the West Trailhead to Loop path. The full double loop hike completes back at the parking lot at a little over 4.5 miles.

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 Hiking Trails

Ready to visit Cartersville, Georgia? Plan your trip with these tips.



Georgia Hikes: Pine Mountain Trail

Have you hiked the Pine Mountain Trail in Cartersville, Georgia? Let me know in the comments!

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  1. There are so many hikes that I like that its hard to chose! One of favorites is Panther Creek Falls. The trail is a good length, about 7 miles which is on the longer side of what I usually hike. There is some elevation change, but there are also long stretches of flat. The best part is the falls. They are so pretty with a big pool at the bottom to splash around in. It is a good hike for in the summer.

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