• Activities:

    Chillin, Photography, Swimming, Hiking

  • Skill Level:


  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:


  • RT Distance:

    5.5 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    1100 Feet

Swimming Hole

Head north on Homestead Trail and don't stop. The hidden swimming hole awaits!

The Georgia summer is no joke. Fortunately, Red Top Mountain's Homestead Trail hosts enough shade and swimming for all adventurers.

The 5.5 mile loop is located on a large peninsula stretching out into Lake Allatoona. Hikers enter a lush forest of wildlife and will encounter moderate elevation changes. Red Top Mountain gets it's name from the high concentration on iron ore in the soil. The natural rusting provides beautiful color contrast to photographers and enthusiasts.

The more daring can venture off trail at the northern most point of the loop and find a large swimming hole. Its a great place for a refreshing dip or picnic before completing the loop.

Park Map and Brochure

Pack List

  • Hiking shoes
  • Snacks
  • Water
  • Swim Gear
  • Compass
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Community Photos

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Overall rating: 

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Completed today - I would not call it intermediate, but it isn't easy either. Good mix between up, down, and flat. Disappointed in the views of the lake and overall scenery - not as I had hoped, mostly just trail and trees with little else. For the distance, still had gas left in the tank so this one is good for those who want to walk/jog without exhausting themselves. Easy to find but get there early as parking is limited and it packs in pretty bad starting mid-morning. Great trail for dogs and kids - many people were out with their dogs and kids due to the shaded path and ease of pace.

6 months ago
6 months ago

Red Top Mountain offers well-maintained trails that are only moderately difficult and family friendly. The swimming area is great for small kids and big kids alike. In the summer just arrive early, between 9 and 11 for nice temps and low crowds. The sun stays behind the trees until after 1.

7 months ago
7 months ago

This is a great trail that is pretty close to Atlanta and has multiple beautiful views of Lake Allatoona. I recommend camping at the park and getting an early start to catch some epic sunrise views over the water. There is nothing like the calmness of the water in the morning with the sun intensely reflecting on it. The difficulty of this hike is fairly easy because there is not much elevation gain. If you do not hike too often, the distance could definitely still wear you out. Plenty of cool spots to take a break, so definitely doable by most.

10 months ago
10 months ago

Red top is beautiful. Being around lake Allatoona there is plenty of places to fish. There are four different trails ranging from .75 to 5.5 miles. The longest one, the homestead trail takes you to the top. I love hiking here.

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

One of the best hikes I've done in GA! It provided a decent workout and the lake was picturesque. Plenty of inlets to the lake as well. I went at 10am on a Sunday and it was fairly crowded. By the time I finished it was really packed in the parking lot. Do it!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago


Great hike, wonderful swimming in warm water

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

It could just be because I'm a local, however Red Top is my go-to spot when I want to spend some time outdoors. There's plenty of walking/hiking trails, beach areas, marinas that allow you to rent boats/kayaks. There are also some great camping grounds and places to fish. It's a wonderful get away just minutes from I-75 that's perfect for the family, or just solo. Tips from a local: 1. Go on a weekday if you want less crowds. 2. If you don't want to go swimming, kayaking, or to rent a boat, try to find a parking area that doesn't require a fee. There's plenty of parking in the area! 3. Glade Marina is a great place to rent kayaks if you don't have any of your own. **Check Groupon to see if they have any deals before you go!**

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

I've never swam here but I do enjoy the hike. It's not too far from Kennesaw, where I live. So that's a plus. There are also great camping opportunities in this park.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Me and my cross country team stopped by here on our way to a summer camp. It had very nice hills with wonderful elevation change for running. After we worked up a sweat we took a swim which was equally enjoyable. All around a very nice place.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Jeremy Cournyea

I am an Atlanta based cinematographer/photographer working in film and television production. As an Eagle Scout, I grew to love the outdoors and now have begun merging my two passions into one. Always down for an adventure and looking forward to collaborating.

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