“Hike the West Loop and East Loop to Archer Overlook and continue on to the Allatoona Dam and Cooper's Furnace.”
— M Hck
Birding · Fall Colors · Views
Kids enjoy the hike up to Archer Overlook.
Mountain bikes were allowed on Pine Mt East Loop
on Wednesdays only. I am not sure if that still applies. If you are a mountain biker, don't bother! Head over to Blanket's Creek or Olde Rope Mill.
Cooper's Furnace is part of an old iron works facility owned by Mark Antony Cooper in the 1800's. The southern portion of this hike takes you along the Etowah River and to Cooper's Furnace. The southeast corner of the hike is accessible by a fire road. The fire road terminates at the visitor center and observation area for the Allatoona Dam. If the hike is too much, visitors can arrive at the visitor center by car where there is ample parking.
See Pine Mountain Trail - West Loop
and East Loop
for an in depth description of Pine Mt.
A short (0.1 mi) connector trail joins the southeast portion of the Pine Mt. East Loop
with the Cooper Furnace Trail
. There is a small parking lot located here. Beyond the parking lot, the trail extends for about 3/4 mi until it reaches a T. To the east is another small parking area and kiosk.
To the west, the trail splits. One path takes you up a small mountain heading towards the visitor center. This trail is more difficult than the surrounding trails (intermediate/difficult). It does include a nice observation deck that is perched over a small gorge. There is also a well constructed wood bridge. This portion of the trail terminates at a kiosk and joins the fire road that runs between Cooper's Furnace and the visitor center. The join is closer to the visitor center, which is located up the hill.
The other trail continues along the top of a small ravine along a wooden fence. It eventually crosses a small stream and begins to look more like a doubletrack path. It eventually meets up with the fire road mentioned above that connects Cooper's Furnace to the visitor center. The join is closer to Cooper's Furnace, which is located downhill along the stream.
At one end of the fire road is Cooper's Furnace and the Cooper's Furnace Day Use Area. The furnace is large and features signs discussing its history. The trail does continue past the furnace in a loop that runs along the entrance road and the Etowah River. This loop trail is blazed and appears to be used less frequently.
Flora & Fauna
Typical Georgia pine, hickory, poplar, and other hardwoods..
History & Background
Mark Antony Cooper was a strong supporter of railroads in Georgia during the mid 1800's. He was involved with the Western And Atlantic Railroad (WARR) during this time. Cooper ran for governor of Georgia in 1843 and lost. His familiarity with the railroad gave him knowledge of the Stroup Iron Works located on Stamp Creek. Cooper purchased the iron works and subsequently in 1847 moved it to the Etowah River. A year later he added a railroad connector between the iron works and the Etowah train station. He also began building the city of Etowah, GA. The iron works eventually became obsolete due to more modern metal production methods. The remains of the iron works are now known as Cooper's Furnace. Most of Etowah City was covered by Lake Allatoona in the 1950's when the Allatoona Dam was constructed to bring power to the area.