Location: The trailhead is located at Riverside Park, Allatoona Dam Rd., Cartersville GA 30121. An alternate trailhead is on Red Top Mountain Road at the parking area adjacent to Bethany Bridge.
Description: As the name implies, this 2.8 mile (5.6 mile out and back) trail climbs and the descends Vineyard Mountain and then hugs the shoreline of the Lake Allatoona as far south as the parking area adjacent to Bethany Bridge. Adventurous runners can cross the bridge during times of low traffic to pick up the trails at Red Top Mountain State Park. Views of the Etowah River Valley, Allatoona Dam, Cooper's Furnace and the lake are especially beautiful in winter when the leaves are off the trees.
Hilly, rugged and heavily wooded, this trail can roll along pleasantly and then suddenly pitch upward at a 10% grade and become more like an exterra. Do not run this trail if you require wide, groomed trails. This trail was built by and is maintained by the Eagle Scouts and so conditions can be spotty. You may wish to brink a trekking pole for the hills.
Some claim to have spotted bald eagles and many owls can be seen around dusk. Deer are present to the point of nuisance and can even be dangerous if you happen to spook them by approaching from down wind.
The trailhead is indicated by a kisosk inside Riverside Park. An alternate trailhead is at the south end of the trail near the parking area adjacent to the Bethany Bridge on Red Top Mountain Road. Avoid the shorter trails in the area and stick to the yellow blazes.