I recently discovered this series of trails near the Allatoona Lake Dam near Cartersville GA. The Cooper Furnace Trail comes right up on Google Maps if you search for it. It is a one way trail of only .7 miles that ends at the more conveniently located trailhead in Cooper Furnace Day Use Area. This little park is only open seasonally.
Since it’s February, I started at the trailhead open year round. Almost immediately there are options to take a connector trail to the Pine Mountain Trail (which is a great hike by the way) or the Laurel Ridge Trail (which is a great one mile alternate hike back).
The Cooper Furnace Trail runs along an old railroad line used when mining was common in the area. It is a wide and well maintained trail.
Soon you come to a small pond where you can sometimes spot a beaver, and you pick up a gravel road where you turn right to come to the namesake Cooper’s Furnace.
The Furnace is really impressive and there is a short spur trail that overlooks the Furnace. From what I understand, Cooper’s Furnace is the only remaining structure from the defunct town of Etowah that was destroyed when Union General Sherman torched the town during the Civil War.
From here there is an excellent approx 1 mile loop trail that runs along the Etowah River with great views and this giant worm I came across.
After completing the loop, head back to the beaver pond but continue up the gravel road which will return you back to the trailhead on the Laurel Ridge Trail. The Laurel Ridge Trail has some really nice picnic spots if you are so inclined. Following this route gives you a 2.7 mile approximate distance that has a lot of fun scenery.
Thanks for reading. rk