One of Georgia’s greatest assets is the various parks that this beautiful state has to offer. Visiting these landmarks is a wonderful family activity, and they also are enjoyable for solo hikers looking for their next adventure. It is an extremely fun and healthy way to stay active.
I used to work as a park ranger at Red Top Mountain. My main job responsibilities included maintaining the trails, removing fallen trees, opening/closing/running the park, overseeing safety and keeping it an enjoyable place for everyone. Every day was a new adventure, with new ground to cover.
For those of you who are new to the area or are not familiar with it, Red Top Mountain is a Georgia state park in Bartow County that is connected to Lake Allatoona. This is a popular park for children and families and is ideal for fishing, water skiing and swimming. You can find several overlooks on the trails that connect to the lake, where you can dive into the water and enjoy nature’s beauty. There also is a sandy swimming beach nestled into a cove surrounded by trees, providing a great area to cool off during the summertime.
With fall having arrived, you should set aside some time to visit. The ever-changing colors of the leaves, from green to brown, yellow and red, make this park a hiker’s haven. There are more than 15 miles of different trails to venture on throughout the park, so there is plenty of opportunity for exercise and capturing those picture-perfect moments. My personal favorite is the Iron Hill Trail. It begins as a gravel-topped trail but leads to stunning views of the Lake Allatoona shoreline. Hikers and bikers both are welcome on this trail, so remember always to be mindful of your surroundings.
Know before you go that there is a park pass requirement for all vehicles for the duration of their stay at Red Top. The cost for one to 12 passengers is $5 per day, and it can be paid in cash on-site or by card via the Red Top Mountain website. Most Georgia state parks now require a small fee; however, it is a great way to give back to your community and to keep our parks safe, clean and family-friendly. So, what are you waiting for? Go get your hiking shoes on!
– Rep. Jordan Ridley represents Georgia House District 22. If you have any feedback, call 404-656-0254 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.