Vinyard Mountain Eagle Scout Trails Allatoona Lake, GA
miles
LENGTH 5.7 MILES
DIFFICULTY 15.9 Medium
Hard
DURATION 2-4 hours
ELEVATION GAIN
1910
feet
TRAIL TYPE
Lollipop
Loop
Vinyard Mountain Eagle Scout Trails

A challenging hike of ups and downs with a few winter views of Allatoona Lake and Allatoona Dam, Vinyard Mountain Trail is a quick getaway hike when the north Georgia mountains feel a little too far away. Wedged tightly between the lake a neighborhood, you may not feel like your miles from civilization, but you should at least enjoy some solitude.

There are two trailheads to this trail system. This page begins at the Bethany Bridge pull off on Red Top Mountain Road next to the fishing jetty. The other is at the northern end in the Riverside Day Use Area. This hike begins at the former, hiking up the Yellow Trail along Allatoona Lake toward Vinyard Mountain. If you want a shorter hike that skips the stick part of this lollipop loop, check out Vinyard Mountain Double Loop.

This hike is great in winter as views of the lake would all but disappear with leaves on the trees. Along the way there are a few side trails to the lake shore if you do want to explore it a bit. The Yellow Trail follows the water before making a large C shape, passing by several houses, before returning to views of the lake.

Throughout most of the Yellow Trail, you'll either be heading uphill or down with a few steep sections but none that last for too long. At 1.9 miles the trail enters a wider path with large cables in the ground before leaving it to the left. At 2.1 miles, the trail passes a small communication tower. Just before the tower, look for a short side trail directly in front of it for a view of Allatoona Dam. I missed it on the first pass.

At the comm tower, the Yellow Trail continues through a trench to the right. A wider unmarked path heads to the left. At the very beginning of this path, the Red Trail heads steeply uphill. You'll miss it if you don't know it's there as the blazes are faded and don't stand out. I made the loop counter-clockwise, so just continue on the Yellow Trail to do the same.

At 2.4 miles you'll arrive at the other end of the Red Trail to the left and just past that the Blue Trail splits to the right at the bench. Take the Blue Trail to head down to the trailhead at the Riverside Day Use Area. Here you'll meet the other end of the Yellow Trail, taking it back uphill to the intersection with the Blue.

Now for the Red Trail. This is by far the most difficult section, heading straight up Vinyard Mountain with only slight switchbacks. And what do you get for your trouble? Slight views through the trees and a larger communication tower. Yay. Oh, and the satisfaction of ascending a quarter-mile hill at 1500 ft/mile.

Follow the red blaze along the chain link fence at the tower. The trail splits to the left at the other end of the fence, heading just as steeply downhill. At the smaller comm tower, follow the Yellow Trail to the right and retrace your steps back to the trailhead.

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Elevation Map Length (miles) by Elevation (feet)
Slope Breakdown
Elevation Gain
Elevation Range
Grade Range
Length
Elevation Gain
0 - 250 ft/mi
~ 0 - 5 %
0.7 mi
75 ft
250 - 500 ft/mi
~ 5 - 10 %
0.5 mi
191 ft
500 - 750 ft/mi
~ 10 - 15 %
0.6 mi
350 ft
750 - 1000 ft/mi
~ 15 - 20 %
0.4 mi
383 ft
1000+ ft/mi
~ 20+ %
0.7 mi
1015 ft
Elevation Loss
Elevation Range
Grade Range
Length
Elevation Loss
0 - 250 ft/mi
~ 0 - 5 %
0.5 mi
71 ft
250 - 500 ft/mi
~ 5 - 10 %
0.7 mi
252 ft
500 - 750 ft/mi
~ 10 - 15 %
0.5 mi
312 ft
750 - 1000 ft/mi
~ 15 - 20 %
0.3 mi
286 ft
1000+ ft/mi
~ 20+ %
0.8 mi
1096 ft
Terrain Map Click to control map
Details
length5.7 miles
difficulty15.9 Medium-Hard
duration2 - 4 hours
features Dog Friendly  Lake  Summit  Views 
trail typeLollipop Loop
blazeYellow, Blue, Red
elevation gain1910 ft.
state Georgia 
park/forestAllatoona Lake
parking feeNone (Red Top Mountain Rd/Bethany Bridge), $5/vehicle (Riverside Day Use Area)
trailhead coordinates 34.145654, -84.724852 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 34°8.74, W 84°43.49 (Degree Minutes, MinDec)
N 34°8'44'', N 34°8'44'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Trailhead Directions
34.145654, -84.724852 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 34°8.74, W 84°43.49 most GPS units use this one
N 34°8'44'', N 34°8'44'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Google Map It
Parking Capacity
10 parking spots along Red Top Mountain Road/Bethany Bridge, 15 parking spots at the trailhead in Riverside Day Use Area with several large parking lots nearby.
Notes
Laminated maps are available at the trailhead information board.
Rocky and rooty in places with a couple minor creek crossings.
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Reviews / Comments
Average Review Rating
4 (1)
hikethesouth-3 weeks ago
Good Workout and Close to Atlanta
There's a few views of the lake and Allatoona Dam, but nothing really spectacular. This is just a good solid moderately difficult hike not too far from Atlanta. Especially in the winter it's not very crowded so you do get some solitude if you ignore the backyards of a few houses you'll pass by.
Medium-Hard | Hiked Winter 2019
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