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