The Red Loop covers just over two miles through the woods in Paulding County. The park is the scene of the May 1864 battle between the Union forces and the Confederates. The path takes you past earth works used in the battle and the sight of the grist mill that was on the creek.
There is a $5.50 fee for adults. There are guided hikes if you are interested in the details of the battle.
From the parking area, you are required to go through the visitors center to pay the park entry fee. The rangers are very friendly and provide good information about the services offered. You exit the back of the visitors center to an overlook of the ravine. As you hike this loop, be aware that Red, White, and Blue trails join and diverge at multiple places; just keep following the red blazes to stay on track. You'll also notice that the blazes are only visible from one direction, so keep this in mind if you choose to hike the loop the opposite direction.
To take the Red Loop, you'll bear to the right from the visitors center and follow the red blazes. The Red Trail
(shared by the Blue Trail
in the beginning but it splits off after less than a tenth of a mile) is wide at the outset and starts with a slight descent toward the creek. In the winter, the trail is covered with leaves and pine cones; be aware that there may be hidden roots along the way. The path has several markers along the way that call your attention to the earthworks where soldiers prepared their defense of the area. The booklets provided by the rangers offer good details on these areas. You'll notice a large, open field on the left. There is some information on the field's use prior to the Civil War.
Upon arriving at the creek, you'll cross on a wood bridge. You'll notice a lack of undergrowth allowing for good sight lines in the woods. The path narrows as you climb out of the creek area, and you'll have some nice views down on the creek as you climb. The incline is not too steep nor is the hill too long, but there are no switchbacks on the trail, so your climbs are straight up the hill. As you follow the trail along the creek, you'll come to the site of the mill; information is provided at the site describing it's history. There are several benches along the path to sit and enjoy the solitude. The shoals provide a relaxing sound as you wander along the creek. You'll circle the lower edge of the field and then turn uphill and away from the creek.
You'll begin to notice that the red blazes are now joined by the blue blazes as the trails come together. You'll soon come to the ravine where there are markers that provide detailed information about troop position and actions during the battle. From the ravine you can see the back side of the visitor center. Continue following the red blazes though blue and white blazes will also be present most of the way back. The route is slightly uphill for the short hike back to the visitor center.
This is a pine forest for the most part.
The park offers information on the battle that took place there on May 27, 1864. You can take a guided hike or use the information provided by the park rangers. A booklet is provided that gives details corresponding to markers on the trail. There is also information on the grist mill that was on site.