Ascent of Vineyard Mountain on 2015-04-09

Climber: William Musser

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Thursday, April 9, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Vineyard Mountain
    Elevation:1354 ft / 412 m

Ascent Trip Report

I used the USACE parking area as my trailhead and it can be accessed along the southern side of the Etowah River and the dam to the road although I did not know that when I had researched this potential summit. This is a nice day hike and I am shocked it was not in the database so I recommend this another fine hike in the Marietta GA area. frankly, I would say in terms of steep trail, views, and interest, this is a better hike than Pine Mountain, Red Top Mountain, and even Kennesaw but strangely nobody knows about this one and I had it to myself. Pine Mountain and Kennesaw were crowded with people!

The trails are well blazed and well maintained. Nice job USACE! The yellow is less steep and much longer. The blue takes you and a nice journey around features and the red is the summit trail to the top where you get to see as usual, a water tower, and a radio tower. The dam is enormous and actually quite interesting. The view of the lake from up high is nice in areas. As a spring hike, like I had today with the flowers blooming and the leafing barely started and light green, the views were fantastic. I am sure those views clamp down when the trees fully leaf out. This lake is quite impressive form up high.

I stumbled into the hike like this...I drove up the exclusive subdivision that shows on the aerials that is off the road that serves Red Top Mountain State Park. I drove past some very expensive and impressive homes along the mountain and of course was stopped to inquire my interest. I did not want to tell him, that my sweaty peakbagging outfit was to summit the water tower and hope I could slip on down and see the dam so I became very interested in buying a lot and was there to see which lot was best but of course I wanted to know if there was hiking nearby....the sales rep said " oh man! the entire backside of the mountain is great trails maintained by the UA Army go check them out!" and that I did. So I was parked at the top cul-de-sac of phase 5 and hiked up to the water tower and found the trails and then hiked down and found the actual trailheads by trial and error. In doing so, I actually summitted twice and explored the shore of both the lake and the lower river below the dam.

I will come back, and simply park at the parking area near the dam and stay totally on the public USACE lands next time. But at least I got to try out every one of the blazed trails and get to know the the lay of the land.The dam drops the water over 150 feet according to the USGS map. Wow!

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:684 ft / 208 m
    Total Elevation Loss:20 ft / 6 m
    Round-Trip Distance:0.9 mi / 1.5 km
    Grade/Class:1 and 1+, almost 2
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
85F humid
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:674 ft / 205 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 664 ft / 202 m; Extra: 10 ft / 3m
    Loss on way in:10 ft / 3 m
    Distance:0.7 mi / 1.1 km
    Route:various USACE trails
    Start Trailhead:Etowah River bank near parking lot  690 ft / 210 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:10 ft / 3 m
    Gain on way out:10 ft / 3 m
    Distance:0.2 mi / 0.3 km
Ascent Part of Trip: Red Top Day

Complete Trip Sequence:
1York Benchmark2015-04-09 a120 ft / 37 m
2Vineyard Mountain2015-04-09 b534 ft / 163 m
3Vineyard Mountain2015-04-09 c684 ft / 208 m
4Red Top Mountain State Park High Point2015-04-09 d230 ft / 70 m
5Red Top Mountain State Park High Point2015-04-09 e245 ft / 75 m
6Kennesaw Mountain2015-04-09 f703 ft / 214 m
7Little Kennesaw Mountain2015-04-09 g140 ft / 43 m
8Kennesaw Mountain2015-04-09 h383 ft / 117 m
Total Trip Gain: 3039 ft / 927 m    Total Trip Loss: 1365 ft / 417 m

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