Hike, run or bike the Iron Hill Loop Trail at Red Top Mountain State Park, exploring a scenic lake peninsula and quiet cove on Allatoona Lake, just north of Atlanta.

georgia hiking trails: 2-4 miles 3.8 miles
(round trip)
? Your mileage may vary! Accuracy of your GPS device, weather conditions, and stops along your route will affect your own recorded distance.
georgia hiking trails: moderaterelatively
moderate
?Our difficulty estimate, based on distance, terrain, elevation change, & ease of wayfinding. May vary daily due to weather, trail reroutes, downed trees, etc.
georgia hiking trails: dog-friendly Dog-
friendly
?Leashed dogs are allowed on this trail. We’ve loved hiking this route with our trail-loving Labrador Retrievers! Check out more of our favorite dog-friendly trails in Georgia for a great hike with your pup.

LOCATION:on Lake Allatoona north of Atlanta, Georgia

RATED: 4.7/5 (6 reviews)

This scenic adventure explores the meandering shoreline of Lake Allatoona on the southern end of Red Top Mountain State Park in North Georgia. And though it’s around half of the distance compared to the popular Homestead Loop at Red Top Mountain, the Iron Hill Loop packs easily double the scenic lakeside beauty in a fraction of the length. It’s a view-packed trail, catching view after stunning lake view throughout the hike.

The trail’s wide, graveled path and wooden bridges are well-loved by hikers, trail runners and mountain bikers. If you’re on foot (especially with younger hikers, or four-legged hiking buddies on a leash), keep an eye out for bikes, and give them plenty of room to pass.

Iron Hill Trail: hike Georgia's Red Top Mountain State Park to beautiful, reflective views of Lake Allatoona

A bit of caution is well worth the effort: the shoreline views are stunning on this popular hike. The Iron Hill Trail grabs nearly continual lakeside views, exploring the lake’s shoreline, inlets and a small peninsula. And across the water, the hike catches beautiful, reflective views of rolling peaks of Red Top Mountain and its surrounding summits.

Iron Hill Loop Trail: hike, run or bike this scenic trail at Red Top Mountain State Park, exploring a quiet cove on Allatoona Lake, just north of Atlanta #hiking #running #trailrunning #biking #atlanta #georgia #travel #outdoors #adventure

Red Top Mountain Iron Hill Trail: the hike

A wide, gravel trail departs westbound from the trailhead (view maps and driving directions), following a short spur to the Iron Hill Loop and veering right to hike the loop counterclockwise. The hike follows blue trail blazes, winding through a young hardwood forest and steadily descending elevation to the shore of Lake Allatoona.

Reaching the lake’s shore, the trail follows the scenic shoreline and catches view after view. Throughout much of the trail’s length, wooden bridges span the deep-cut ravines on the lake’s shore, making the route fairly level and moderate. And picnic tables with campfire rings dot the sides of the trail, a great venue for a mid-hike picnic.

Iron Hill Loop at Red Top Mountain State Park: hike, run or bike to scenic views of Allatoona Lake

The trail winds and meanders through a series of curves, following the lake’s winding shore, before reaching the end of the peninsula at 1.9 miles.

Lake Allatoona’s shoreline is especially beautiful in the evening as the sun begins to dip towards the horizon. The golden cast of the afternoon sun filters through the tree leaves on the trail and reflects a colorful cast on the lake’s calm surface.

Red Top Mountain State Park: hike, run or bike the Iron Hill Loop Trail to beautiful views of Lake Allatoona

If you stay for sunset, remember that the park locks the trailhead gate at dark; be sure to give plenty of time to return to the trailhead before twilight ends. Departing the peninsula, the hike continues to follow the loop counter-clockwise, exploring the shore of a second cove. The hike’s final stretch to return to the trailhead is nearly all uphill. After climbing steadily, the trail reaches the parking area at 3.8 miles, completing the adventure.



More Red Top Mountain and Lake Allatoona hiking adventures

In the park with daylight (and energy) left to burn? Explore more stunning views of Allatoona’s shores on the Red Top Mountain Homestead Trail. Or visit a historic cabin and quiet cove on the lake’s shore on the Red Top Lakeside Trail, a kid-friendly, paved, ADA-accessible path.

Climb to stunning views of the lake, and on a clear day, sight the Atlanta skyline from the nearby summit of Pine Mountain, hiking a figure-eight loop on the Pine Mountain Trail. Or check out more of our favorite nearby trails on our Lake Allatoona running and hiking trail guide.


 
Leave No Trace: Atlanta Trails, Asheville Trails and Trailful are official Leave No Trace partners

Please Remember

Always leave no trace, pack out everything you pack in, and if you see trash, pick it up and pack it out.

Stay on the marked trail, tell someone where you're going, pack safety and wayfinding essentials, and don't rely on a mobile phone to find your way. Please always practice good trail etiquette. And before you go, always check the trailhead kiosk, official maps, and the park or ranger office for notices of changed routes, trail closures, safety information, and restrictions.

Red Top Mountain Iron Hill Loop Trail Map, Directions & Details

This map shows our approximate route while exploring this trail, but does not replace an official trail map. Please refer to the official trail map for the most current and accurate route.

Love the trail?

This trail is maintained thanks to the hard work of countless volunteers and donations from supporters of the Friends of Georgia State Parks. Please support them by making a donation or joining a volunteer day. Let's work together to keep these fantastic trails maintained and open for use!

Trail Rating

RATED: 4.7/5 (6 reviews)

Updates

Did you have trouble accessing the trail, or notice some recent trail updates or storm damage? We'd love to know! Contact us here, and thanks for helping us keep this site updated!

Driving Directions



Parking

$5, or included with a Friends of Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites membership.


GPS Coordinates

34.139550, -84.700383     //     N34 08.373 W84 42.023

Elevation Profile

Red Top Mountain State Park Iron Hill Loop Trail Elevation Profile
 
Eric Champlin
Author

Eric Champlin is a writer and photographer who loves to hike, run, backpack, kayak and cycle the southeast. He’s the editor and founder of Atlanta Trails, Asheville Trails, and Trailful, digital magazines that highlight the South’s best outdoor adventures and top Southern-worthy outdoor gear. His mission? To inspire others to get fit outdoors and explore the South’s incredible scenic beauty.