This was definitely a surprise hike this past weekend. It was a surprise because I have never been to the top of Pine Mountain in Cartersville. The land is located on some of the 13,000 acres owned by Mark Anthony Cooper, who had this unbelievable iron works during the Civil War. I have posted lots of photos of Cooper’s Furnace where this precious metal was made for the war. Of course, the northern armies realized that in order to win the war, they would have to destroy Cooper’s business. The drama all played into Sherman’s march to the sea and burning everything in this army’s path.

Here’s a short history on the area: “The only remains of the bustling industrial town of Etowah is the furnace at Cooper Iron Works. Built by Jacob Stroup in the 1830’s, this foundry was the first in the area. A politician named Mark Cooper purchased the foundry from Stroup in 1844 after losing the election for governor to George Crawford in 1843. Cooper later sold half of this business and used the money to build the Etowah Railroad, a short run spur that passed his furnace. The Yonah, the first engine used by the crew of the General during the Great Locomotive Chase  was his engine. That same year, Cooper sold all his holdings in Etowah. The next year the Confederate government began to operate the furnace. In 1864, during the Atlanta Campaign, General Joseph Johnston stationed men on the hills surrounding the plant, who fought a skirmish before retreating.

“Almost totally destroyed by Sherman’s troops on May 22, 1864, the town was flooded when the Corps of Engineers created Lake Allatoona. All that remains today is this furnace and a chimney. A railroad cut leading from Etowah Station on the old Western and Atlantic Railroad to the furnace is still visible on River Road.”

This is a super cool area. The hike is listed as strenuous, and I guess it is by Georgia standards though I did not have a problem. It is pretty much uphill for the first half of the walk. By North Carolina standards, it is probably easy to moderate. But the pathway is well kept  and very much like hiking at beautiful Fort Mountain in northwest Georgia.

It is a remote area so be sure to take a friend! In fact, take more than one. I did and was able to relax and take photos. The weekends are good times to go because there are lots of families hiking in the area. There are two loops. I hiked the East Loop, which ended up being over three miles counting the walk to the summit, which is located in between the two loops.

If you go be sure to take the time to go up to the rock outcroppings (some are much higher than the one shown in this photo). We couldn’t stay there long this time because yellow jackets were everywhere! And Cocoa tries to bite anything that flies! It is that time of the year, fall is on the way  and these guys are multiplying. We’ll definitely return in cooler months.

Cocoa and Chip (mostly Chip) drank lots of water! I always have their collapsible bamboo bowl with me.

There are lots and lots of old hardwoods. I was pretty amazed by that.

Historians say this is a Cherokee Indian grave. It is on a mound at the top of a hill and the Cherokee did like to bury members of their nation in that way. I would just have to spend more time to see if this particular one is “fact or myth.”

Some of summer’s last wild flowers!

That’s Lake Allatoona in the distance. This area really is a part of a much larger historical area that includes the Etowah Indian mounds, Red Top Mountain, and Cooper’s Furnace. Again, the rock outcroppings will really remind you of being in northern Alabama or the Fort Mountain area that was once alive with early Indian activity.

Cocoa gives this walk a definite 5 paws! She didn’t have a problem doing the 3 mile loop, but I don’t think I would have wanted her to hike the entire five mile trek. Chip did great, too. (smile)