• Activities:

    Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:


  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:


  • RT Distance:

    4.5 Miles

Dog Friendly

Get a great workout and taken in stunning views of Allatoona Lake from the summit of Pine Mountain.

The Pine Mountain Trail winds and climbs its way to awesome summit views, along massive granite outcrops and serene forest. Hike over wooden bridges, across sparkling streams, past misty waterfalls & rock outcroppings, varied forest, scenic overlooks, & leaping deer. This local gem is tucked away near Cartersville (under 40 miles from midtown Atlanta). 

Take the West Spur Trail out of the Pine Mountain Trail west trailhead, then turn right onto West Loop Trail at 0.2 mile. You will climb up a series of switchbacks before turning right onto East Pass Trail at one mile, followed by another right onto Summit Overlook Trail.

Enjoy views of Allatoona Lake and Atlanta from the summit. Pack a lunch and have a picnic or find some trees to sling a hammock – this trail is rated as one of the top place sin GA to enjoy from the sweet saddle of a hammock.

When you're ready to descend, stay on Summit Overlook Trail, then turn right onto East Pass Trail, which will lead you to another lookout point along the way. At 1.45 miles, turn right onto East Loop Trail, taking you across Cooper Branch Creek. You will gain some elevation again, providing more views of the lake, then intersect with East Pass Trail. Turn right here, and continue on to West Loop Trail, where you take another right. Finally, at 4.35 miles you will turn right onto West Spur Trail to return to the trailhead.

Many locals use this area for trail running, family outings and dog-walking. 

Pack List

  • Hiking boots or trail shoes
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Sun protection
  • Hat or sunglasses
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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

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Overall rating: 

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Great view of Kennesaw mountain and on a clear day, Stone Mountain

about 2 months ago
about 2 months ago

This trail is all about the view. It's a winding uphill hike and you earn every bit of the view by the time you reach the top.

7 months ago
7 months ago

If you are looking for a great trail with some elevation gain that is not too far from Atlanta, this is it. This trail is a good distance and has enough climb to make it a good workout, but is still short enough that you can pretty much do it on a whim in 1-2hrs. However, my GPS measured the hike at 2.85 miles and the map at the trailhead has the trail at about 2.5 miles. I calculated these distances only from the trailhead to the David Archer Summit Overlook, along the West Loop. With that said, I am not sure what the exact distance is, but it might be shorter than suggested here. The forest leading up to the overlook is very scenic. My only drawback from this part of the hike is that you can still hear the traffic noise from 75 until you get pretty deep into the trail. I am sure that is dependent on wind direction though. There are a good number of switchbacks that comprise a good climb up the forest. The trail is fairly well marked, but just follow the teal blazes on the way up to the overlook, and then the red blazes on the way down.

10 months ago
10 months ago

Definitely pace yourself because this hike can see pretty steep for beginner hikers, but otherwise it can be a quick hike with a wonderful view!

10 months ago
10 months ago

The hike from the parking lot was a steady uphill climb that wasn't too strenuous with good places to pause for a picture. The path was wide enough for 2-3 people. The view at the top was amazing and well worth the climb! It's a nice loop and perfect for an afternoon workout

10 months ago
10 months ago

Currently walking down from the overlook and man what a sight to see! We chose to hike the west loop trail with a good amount of switch backs! Worth it though

12 months ago
12 months ago

This was a definite success in my book. Great work out as well as a great moment in nature. Def should check this place out!

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

This is a great hike! The trail is well marked and maintained and the view from the top in unbeatable. Not too challenging and the rocks at the top are the perfect place to rest and snack before you head back down.

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

Easy to slightly challenging hike with beautiful views.

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

I hiked the entire east and west loop which I guess comes out to about 4.5 miles. The Lookout wasn't as unobstructed as I'd hoped, but still nice. There are plenty of paint markings to mark the trail, each color designates one of the "halves" of each loop. Red/ green on the west loop and white/yellow on the East. So if you start on the west side and walk up using Green markings, and down using red markings, you will have completed the entire loop. Thought that was worth mentioning because it confused me at first.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

A really nice day hike that you can make as long or short as you choose. Not too difficult but still challenging at points. An excellent Atlanta area alternative to the much more crowded Kennesaw Mountain.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

This was a very fun weekend hike me and a buddy of mine did the spring of 2015. The hike had many switchbacks that made great views, and the elevation change let you experience both mountain tops and the lakes underneath. I highly recommend an overnight stay on the fairly decent campgrounds.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

I love nearby Kennesaw Mountain but Pine Mountain in Cartersville has a beautifully nuanced feel to it that I can't fully describe. The hike up to David Archer Overlook isn't the easiest but it isn't incredibly difficult either. The overlook is well worth the miles tread. Especially if you go to catch the sun rising or setting. There are also a lot of large rocks and boulders at the summit which makes it a great place to sit and take in the panoramic view of nearby cities, far off mountains, colorful horizons, Lake Allatoona, and more.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Nick Tort Explorer

I love to share what I find along the way so that others may experience the same joys. Sometimes my words fall short, but a photo can tell the story for me.

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