Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
1,000.00 ft (304.80 m)
Trail type
6.00 mi (9.66 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Red Top Mountain State Park is positioned in the middle of Lake Allatoona at the northwestern edge of the Atlanta metro area. The park is a popular destination for swimming, boating, picnics, and hiking. The trails cover the tops of hills and swing down to the lake shore with terrain that is suited for hikers of all skill levels.

The Sweet Gum, Lakeshore, Whitetail, and Homestead trails can all be connected for a large loop hike around the northern part of the park. Starting at the visitor center, the red-blazed Sweet Gum Trail drops down the hillside to follow a small creek and other runoff out to the water's edge. Stay to the right at all intersections here to emerge at a ranger station and lodge with telephone and restroom facilities. 

The Lakeshore Trail is a short, flat, and paved walkway with several picnic benches and a children's playground. It runs along a lake inlet behind the ranger station. At the far end is a small boat dock.

The Sweet Gum Trail picks up across the ranger station lot. As it enters the woods, the out-and-back Whitetail Trail diverges right (blazed white). This leads to a rocky peninsula with a wide view over the main body of the lake. During fall and winter season, the low water level reveals sandbars extending off the peninsula.

The Sweet Gum Trail continues in the woods following the direction of the lodge road. It intersects in a quarter of a mile with the with yellow-blazed Homestead Trail. To the right, the Homestead Trail travels in a 3.5-mile loop. This part of the trail has a few easily-graded hills and side trails down to coves and the shore. Upon returning to this point, the remaining yellow blazes lead back to the visitor center. Deer are popular along this section of the trail in the fall.

Logistics + Planning



Parking Pass

General Day Use Fee

Open Year-round



Beautiful fall foliage. Wildlife. Water access.



Trailhead Elevation

960.00 ft (292.61 m)

Highest point

1,025.00 ft (312.42 m)


Family friendly
Flushing toilets
Near lake or river

Typically multi-day


Permit required




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