Red Top Mountain
Red Top Mountain is 1,060 ft. above sea level at its highest point. The mountain was named Red Top because the soil has a deep red color that is caused by high iron ore content. Red Top Mountain is located in the northeast corner of Red Top Mountain State Park, the most popular tourist destination in the region surrounding Lake Allatoona near Cartersville. The first city to develop near Red Top Mountain was the city of Etowah in the early 1800’s. Etowah was a significant industrial center but it was destroyed by General Sherman’s Union Army during the Civil War.
When the 12,000 acre Lake Allatoona was created in the late 1940’s by construction of the Allatoona Dam, most of the area’s historical evidence was covered by water. After World War II, Georgia’s segregation laws were still being enforced in state parks and a U.S. Air Force pilot from Tuskegee named John Atkinson was inspired to create a recreational facility for African Americans. The Georgia State Parks Division appropriated 457 acres of land, which became Red Top Mountain State Park, and 345 acres of land that became George Washington Carver State Park in 1950. John Atkinson was the first park superintendent and while he was working there, a clubhouse, a concession stand, a playground, a boat ramp, and two residence homes were constructed. In 1958, George Washington Carver State Park was integrated into Red Top Mountain State Park.
Today the 1,562-acre Red Top Mountain State Park is one of Georgia’s most popular state parks. The park contains swimming areas, fishing areas, tennis courts, 92 tent and RV campsites, 12 miles of adventurous hiking trails, boat ramps and docks. Visitors can either bring their own boats or rent boats from Park Marine. Lake Allatoona has more than 1,000 secluded tent and RV campsites along its shoreline plus numerous areas for picnicking, fishing, boating, waterskiing and swimming.
Real estate in areas near Red Top Mountain
Residential and commercial real estate near Red Top Mountain is in Cartersville where the population density is only 793 people per square mile and the cost of living is relatively low at 90.8%. Cartersville’s residential housing market is strong. During the years between 2000 and 2007, average property values increased by 67%. Families are attracted to Cartersville because the public school system is excellent and a wide variety of cultural and recreational activities are available in the Atlanta Metropolitan Area.
Because so many homebuyers prefer to have landscaping and exterior maintenance work performed by a property management service, master planned communities have become very popular in the areas near Lake Allatoona and Cartersville. Master planned communities usually consist of detached single family homes, townhouses, condominiums, or a combination of housing types. These communities also include special amenities for residents such as championship golf courses, swimming pools, tennis courts, clubhouses and restaurants.
Red Top Mountain State Park contains a Lodge with 33 rooms for rent. 29 of the rooms have two double beds, 3 rooms feature a king size bed, and one junior suite has a king size bed. The Lodge also rents 18 separate 2-bedroom cottages with fully equipped kitchens and has a restaurant, a convention center and a conference center available for business meetings.
Many of the well known national budget hotels and motels such as Best Western, Days Inn, Sleep Inn, Econo Lodge, Quality Inn, Motel 6 and Super 8 Motel have facilities in Cartersville. More rustic lodging is available for people who desire a fun vacation experience at Allatoona Landing Marina & Campground where comfortable cabins with kitchens can be rented by the week or by the month. Allatoona Landing Marina & Campground also has 116 campsites plus 10 sites for RV’s and trucks, and visitors can enjoy swimming and fishing in Allatoona Lake or swimming in the campground’s pool.
Limited food shopping is offered inside Red Top Mountain State Park but all necessities are available in Cartersville. Because Northwest Georgia has a rich Southern history and Cartersville has traditionally been a regional hub of retail activity, many antique stores, thrift shops and specialty stores are located throughout the area. Two restaurants in Cartersville received the People’s Choice Awards in 2008; D. Morgan’s and the Appalachian Grill, both of which are located in downtown Cartersville. Restaurants featuring Southern barbecue, Cajun cuisine and Italian food are also very popular in Cartersville.
The City of Cartersville has been a center for cultural entertainment since 1929 when the Grand Theatre was reopened after a fire had destroyed the original building in 1923. Over 40,000 people each year participate in a wide range of artistic events and programs presented by various local performing arts organizations at Cartersville’s Grand Theatre. The annual Entertainment Series offered by the Grand Theatre features country and bluegrass music, orchestral concerts, comedy, drama, musical theater performances.
Cartersville’s most popular public park is Dellinger Park. Dellinger Park’s 111 acres contain the Olympic sized Dellinger Park Pool, tennis courts, athletic fields, a miniature golf course, 2 miles of walking paths, a lake and a gazebo. Cartersville also acquired Miriam Farm, a 237 acre property with several miles of hiking trails including 2,800 ft. of pathway along the Etowah River, and the Pine Mountain property with another 226 acres of public land that was dedicated for public use.