Red Top Mountain State Park is located on
Lake Allatoona a little over a half hour Northwest of Atlanta near
Acworth and Cartersville. There is a beach (sub par) and playgrounds.
The campground is nice but has limited water access. Activities and
events at the park make it an exceptional value. The Tribe has attended
several events there, and we highly recommend all of them.
A rocky outcrop, located near the Beach at Red Top
Mountain, provides a great place to relax.
We really enjoy the events and programs they host at Red Top
Mountain State Park. They are always educational and fun for
the kids. This visit was for the "Harvest
at the Homestead" event.
We have stayed at nearby
Campground the last few
times we visited Red Top Mountain. Not because we don't like red Top's
campground, it's just that we prefer McKinney campground which is
accessible by boat. This trip was no exception. we had a prime campsite
right on the lake.
We arrived at the dock at Red Top after
Lunch on Saturday. At first glance, it didn't look like much was
happening, but looks were deceiving. We visited the displays of Civil
war era tents, weapons, and musical instruments. Then we made our way over to
the craft tent where a candle making activity was set-up for the kids (and
grown-ups too). The kids made some very interesting candles and played
with the old-fashion toys, games, and puzzles (none of which said made in China).
Just up the hill at the log cabin was an
acoustic band playing old-fashioned music on old-fashioned instruments.
It was very enjoyable. A couple of ladies were demonstrating how to make yarn
by spinning, and another was making jewelry. The Blacksmith had the
furnace fired-up and was pounding-out some implements. Volunteers and
staff were dressed appropriately for the era which made it all that much
more fun and believable.
Apparently the visit left a
good impression on everyone because we went back on Sunday to make more
candles (and buy some vintage earrings). Red top Mountain is a really
great place, mostly because of events like this and the
The Richardson Tribe
To see more pictures and read
about additional visits to Red Top Mountain State Park, scroll down.
We have driven through Red Top Mountain State Park a couple
of times just to check it out. There are many things that
are appealing about the park. It's on Lake Allatoona, which
means fishing and water sports. It is easily accessible,
just a few minutes off Interstate 75 about 30 minutes North
of Atlanta. It's convenient to a good number of restaurants,
an exceptional movie theater, and two wonderful museums, the
Tellus Science Museum, and the Booth Western Art Museum.
The attraction for making this the weekend to camp at Red
Top? Archaeology Day. Saturday was filled with great
activities. We started at 10am with a park archaeologist
explaining how to recognize sites where artifacts might be
found. Then we toured the old iron mine on Red Top via a hay
ride wagon pulled by a tractor. The path we took was along
an old narrow gauge railroad bed that was used to transport
the iron ore. We had a nice view of the lake for some of the
After lunch we got to dig for artifacts. Everyone got to
keep an arrowhead, and yes, we know they are not real, but
it was still fun to learn how it's done. Each of the kids
also got a mold frame ($7 ea.) for carving things to cast in
iron (which happened later in the day). That evening after
Supper, we headed back over to the lodge to enjoy some
Bluegrass music and watch them pour melted iron into our
molds. It was a lot to do in a day, so we were tired when we
got back to the camper (around 11pm).
Note: Georgia State parks are wonderful. They are a
tremendous value (the entire weekend's activities and
campsite were less than $80 for a family of 6, and that
included the iron casting mold and supplies).
There are a couple of negatives unfortunately. The most
obvious is the fact that some parts of the park are in need
of attention (maintenance wise). The beach needs to be raked
and cleaned-up. Mixed in with the pine needles, sticks, and
bark are cigarette and cigar butts, and an empty beer bottle
or two. We didn't let the kids wade in without shoes for
fear of broken glass. The beach area is surrounded by a
chain-link fence, the building that houses the stairs is old
and in need of repair, and everything needs to be mowed and
trimmed. Now, keep in mind that most areas of the park are
pristine, but this seems to be the most "public" part of the
park, and is the most neglected.
The campground is mostly setup for tent camping, but there
are a decent number of RV sites with electric and water.
Some of the sites are in need of maintenance, but for the
most part, we really enjoyed the campground.
Now, in contrast, the lodge and surrounding area is very
well kept. The area where the casting is done, the old log
cabin where the Bluegrass was playing, all these areas are
neatly trimmed and well kept. But here's what REALLY gets my
goat-- this is a Georgia State Park, a park my taxes
support, a park that I have paid to enter and stay in, a
park that I support by purchasing a family annual pass, a
park that says my children, wife, and I cannot enjoy the
pool at the lodge, even if we pay extra. Now that ticks me
off, and I will be writing a letter.
AMENDMENT - As of June 2010, the Lodge
at Red Top Mountain is closed. It's a shame. It was a nice
place. Perhaps someone will lease and reopen it. The events
will continue as usual.
The Richardson Tribe
Amicalola Falls State Park
Beaches of South Walton.
Cataloochee Ski Area
Cedar Creek Park
Charlestown State Park
Chattahoochee Bend State Park
Cherry Hill Park
Chester Frost Park
Choccolocco Mountain Off Road Park
Cloudmont Ski and Golf
Consolidated Gold Mine
Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort
Desoto State Park
Doll Mountain Campground
Enota Mountain Retreat
Etowah Indian Mounds
Fall Creek Falls State Park
Florala State Park
Franklin D Roosevelt State Park
Fort Mountain State Park
Georgia Mountain Fairground
Georgia Veterans State Park
Gold n Gem Grubbin'
James H Floyd State park
James Island Park
Jellystone Park- Cave City, KY
John Tanner Park
Lake Sidney Lanier
Little River Canyon Center
Live Oak Landing
Lula Lake Land Trust
Mammoth Cave National Park
Moto Mountain Powersports
New Echota - Cherokee Capitol
Noccalula Falls Park details and pictures
Old Stone Fort Archaeology State Park
Pine Moutain RV
Red Top Mountain State Park
Ridge Ferry Park
Rocky Mountain Recreation Area
Rock Town - Pigeon Mountain
Salt Springs Recreation Area
Stone Mountain Park
Tannehill State Park
Tellus Science Museum
The Southern Museum
Topsail Hill Preserve
Up The Creek RV Camp - Park Details - Pictures
US Space and Rocket Center - Details and Pictures
Vogel State Park
Wild Animal Safari
World of Coke
Zoo Atlanta - Details and Pictures
Friday Night (weather permitting)!
Join park volunteers on Friday evenings to
observe the stars above us. Binoculars on hand or bring
your own equipment. We will learn about well-known
constellations and celestial events. Meet at the Visitor
Center by 8:45 p.m. and the group will carpool to the
'gazing location. Heavy cloud cover and/or rain cancels
Georgia's State Parks website is very well done. Could use
more pictures of campsites and amenities. Making
reservations is a breeze!
92 Campsites (**$25) - No full hookups.
Beautiful campground but unless you are tent camping, don't
expect to be very close to the water. If you want a good
lakefront campsite on Allatoona, you might want to try
McKinney Campground. We will also be investigating Payne
campground soon. Payne is located a little further up the
Etowah River portion of the lake (gold panning)
Red Top Mountain State Park is one of our
absolute favorite places to visit because of their programs
and events. There is the Iron Pour which is usually
accompanied by a Bluegrass concert. And then there's the
Harvest at the Homestead, a neat event that shows what life
was like in the 1800's. There is more, including some really
When we visited the first time, we
checked-out the beach and were not impressed. It needed
some maintenance. In all fairness, it may have since been
improved, but don't count on it. State budgets are tight.
There is a playground at the campground and
one near the beach.
Geocaching is available, but we didn't have a chance.
grown to love Allatoona, but it can get crowded at times.
The water seems very clean and marinas abound.
has been here for over 50 years, so the fish population has
had plenty of time to establish. Fishing is good.
Allatoona is fed by the Etowah River which flows down from
gold-bearing mountains. You can pan up river in some of the
streams feeding the river. We have also found lots of quartz of
varying shades and some unidentified rocks (will post
Etowah Indian Mounds,
New Echota Historical Site,
Tellus Northwest Georgia Science Museum,
Western Art Museum.
*Note: We rate
only the amenities we have personally reviewed.
**Accommodation pricing is based on 2010 Georgia State Parks
No financial consideration or favor has been received for
listing in PB&J Adventures' website. We are in no way
affiliated with this facility or any other facility we
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after the destination was reviewed. You can trust the
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