Red Top Mountain State Park camping reservations are not site-specific which means first come gets the best sites and those that arrive late, well, get the leftovers. Check-in begins at 1 pm and the sites fill up quickly. I suggest getting there early if you want a prime spot on the weekends.
If you are a tent camper, there are 5 tent sites on the tip aka “tent peninsula” that are right on the water. Those look nice. However, there wasn’t much shade to them, and they are right on top of each other. If camping with friends or family, this is nice, but if you are the quiet sort, you may be slap dab up against obnoxious hell raisers. We found several other sites that were more secluded have ample shade and were also right on the water. (see map below) If you are tent camping, look to see if those are open.
The prime spot in the non-electric/water sites is 46. And in the electric/water section site, 21 is incredible. Site 30 is pretty nice, but there is a camper spot right beside it, which means you may hear their RV running.
While we weren’t able to snatch one of the prime waterfront sites, our lot, surrounded by massive granite boulders, overlooked a deep wooded ravine. There wasn’t much left when we arrived at 4:30 PM. We saw site 56 that we liked and circled to go back to it, but someone beat us to it. We then went to site 58 which turned out to be nicer. There wasn’t anyone to our right but the road curved at our site which caused headlights to blind us while sitting by the fire at night. We solved this by moving our chairs to face the ravine instead.
During the 1800’s Red Top Mountain was a vital iron mining area. As the iron was hewn from the ground, the soil was burnt red. From a distance, it appeared that the top of the mountain was red, thus the name. The park resides on a peninsula surrounded by Lake Allatoona; Red Top Mountain is in the Northwestern section of the park to the Southwest is Allatoona Pass Battlefield where 1,505 Americans (Union: 706, Confederates 799) lost their lives during the civil war. The marina lies on the Northern tip of the peninsula, where you can rent a boat or Waverunner. If you want to rent a kayak visit, Little Marina or Glade Marina.
Redtop Mountain has a 12,000-acre lake, an outdoor classroom for children to investigate and a beach where you can take a dip to cool off. With 15 miles of trails for you to traverse there is plenty of wildlife to see. One of the paths takes you to the relocated Vaughn cabin, 1860’s homestead. I can’t find much information about the Vaughn cabin or if it was own by the Chief (of the Cherokee Nation) Vaughn’s family but Jill at Red Top Mountain State Park visitor center told me that the farmhouse was located about 12 miles away from the state park. The house had modern siding, and when they removed the siding, they found that the wood beneath it was quite old. To be specific, it dated back to 1860. The state of Georgia removed the wooden structure piece by piece, marked it and moved it to the location within the park and placed it back together. It is worth seeing.
Shane and I give this campground a 7 on our wanderluster scale. Plenty of hiking with beautiful scenery. We loved giant boulders along the shore and in the campground. The bathrooms facilities are clean and the campsites are large. There is plenty of waterfront shore to walk along, and several choice spots for camping. The campground gets pretty packed on the weekends. The sites are very close to each other, and there isn’t much seclusion. We like a bit of room, so we don’t hear every word our fellow campers speak. This one should be a definite on your camping to-do list.
Keep the Lust for Wandering, Y’all!
Shane & Fran