Atlanta, GA: Kennesaw Mountain

Tour a southern Civil War battleground on this 15.8-miler that offers Atlanta dayhikers multiple opportunities to experience their own journey through time.
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Tour a southern Civil War battleground on this 15.8-miler that offers Atlanta dayhikers multiple opportunities to experience their own journey through time.

Starting from a cannon at the visitor center, this 15.8-mile, figure-eight loop tours the rolling terrain of Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park. Traveling along a wide gravel and dirt path, this route wanders in and out of hickory and oak forest, tours grassy meadows and marsh areas, and offers occasional views of Atlanta in the distance. Those looking for shorter routes have an option mid-way through to cut off the southern loop for a 7-mile roundtrip that includes the climb up Kennesaw Mountain. The only significant ascent of the day—the route up Pigeon Hill, Little Kennesaw, and Kennesaw Mountain—affords hikers with far off views of Atlanta proper and an opportunity to tour Civil War era rifle and cannon pits. From the summit area, it's a short walk down to the visitor center and parking lot.
Note: Pack water. There may be opportunities to refill water bottles (during the non-freezing months) at the visitor center, Burnt Hickory Road (at the south end of the hike), and near Kolb Farm next to a bamboo thicket.
Info: Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
-Mapped by Scott Sanders,

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 25.4



Location: 33.9826645, -84.5778501

Start hiking from the visitor center at the cannon. Head uphill toward the mountain, and turn left onto the gravel and dirt path near the trail sign and water fountain.


Location: 33.98305, -84.5765931

Heading east from the visitor center, the dirt trail runs alongside a grass field across the road from the Georgia historical marker.


Location: 33.9799444, -84.5709518

Turn left @ 3-way intersection.


Location: 33.978661, -84.5701468

Turn right @ 3-way intersection.


Location: 33.9769051, -84.5706114

Turn left @ 3-way intersection.


Location: 33.975347, -84.5700919

Turn left @ 3-way intersection. Ahead, the trail passes by an abandoned Civilian Conservation Corps building foundation.


Location: 33.9663451, -84.5849293

Turn left @ 3-way intersection.


Location: 33.9647541, -84.5860919

Turn left @ 3-way intersection.


Location: 33.9622951, -84.5881345

Go straight across the paved road and merge onto the gravel and dirt path. If you want to cut the hike short, turn right on the road and rejoin the return route at Waypoint 32 (this would make for a 6.3-mile loop).


Location: 33.9599948, -84.5927202

Turn left @ 3-way intersection.


Location: 33.9575863, -84.5953783

Turn left @ 3-way intersection to continue toward the southern trail loop, or turn right here to loop back over Kennesaw Mountain toward the visitor center. Turning around here, the round-trip would be 7 miles. After completing the southern loop of the figure eight, the route returns through this waypoint.


Location: 33.9533954, -84.5968219

Cross a wooden bridge over Noses Creek.


Location: 33.9456111, -84.5971645

Cross the paved road (GA 120) and continue south on the gravel and dirt path.


Location: 33.9439091, -84.5981848

Turn left @ 3-way intersection.


Location: 33.9379312, -84.5976844

Bear left here to begin hiking the southern loop counter-clockwise. The route returns through this waypoint on the return trip.


Location: 33.9349962, -84.598927

Continue straight @ 3-way intersection. The Illinois Monument is on the left. Ignore any side trails and follow the wide gravel path.


Location: 33.9329077, -84.5975237

Turn right @ 3-way junction.


Location: 33.9319782, -84.598789

Turn left@ 3-way junction.


Location: 33.9308525, -84.6014044

Turn right @ 3-way junction heading towards Kolb Farm.


Location: 33.931996, -84.6040353

Cross the paved road (Cheatham Hill Road), then bear left on the gravel path following signs for Kolb Farm.


Location: 33.9210627, -84.607258

Turn left @ 3-way junction.


Location: 33.9096863, -84.5992649

The trail passes a water fountain next to a bamboo thicket.


Location: 33.9116861, -84.5970052

Cross the paved road (Cheatham Hill Road) and continue on the gravel and dirt path.


Location: 33.913881, -84.5929149

Turn left @ 3-way junction.


Location: 33.9187933, -84.5911947

Turn right @ 3-way junction.


Location: 33.9258305, -84.5901826

Turn right @ 3-way junction.


Location: 33.926349, -84.5909084

Turn left @ 3-way junction.


Location: 33.9275984, -84.5912492

Turn right @ 3-way junction.


Location: 33.934522, -84.5953586

Turn right @ 3-way junction. Follow signs towards Cheatham Hill and the visitor center.


Location: 33.9372148, -84.5967857

Here, the gravel trail ends at a tear drop-shaped paved road. Go straight on the road for about 100 yards, re-enter the woods (to the left) and pick up the trail next to the cannon. Backtrack through Waypoint 15 to Waypoint 11 and turn left to approach Kennesaw Mountain on the return trip.


Location: 33.9589859, -84.5951073

Turn right @ 3-way junction. Stay on the wide gravel path, ignoring any side trails.


Location: 33.963211, -84.5935368

Pass a water faucet across the paved road and follow signs for Pigeon Hill Trail. From here, the trail begins its climb up to Pigeon Hill, Little Kennesaw, and Kennesaw Mountain.


Location: 33.964682, -84.5918524

Turn left @ 3-way junction. Look for a sign pointing toward the visitor center. (A right at this point will take you to the East Trail and you can go around the mountain instead of over it.)


Location: 33.966792, -84.5877666

Turn left @ 3-way junction.


Location: 33.9754014, -84.5814693

Cross a paved road (Kennesaw Mountain Drive) and continue to the summit of Kennesaw Mountain. The steepest stretch of ascent is just ahead.


Location: 33.9778053, -84.5776649

Take trail down the steps, around the parking lot, and re-enter the woods on the gravel trail (heading downhill toward the visitor center).


Location: 33.981098, -84.5748395

Turn left @ 3-way junction off a wide gravel path onto a narrower dirt and gravel path toward the visitors center.

Cannon on Kennesaw

Location: 33.9762856, -84.5791698

Visitor Center

Location: 33.9829225, -84.5779788

Typical Trail Conditions

Location: 33.9616575, -84.5883751

Entering a Grassy Meadow

Location: 33.9598711, -84.5928812

Noses Creek Crossing

Location: 33.9534147, -84.5967597

Cannons near Cheatham Hill

Location: 33.9379572, -84.5979452

Illinois Monument

Location: 33.934548, -84.598546

Grassy Meadow

Location: 33.941918, -84.5982027

Pigeon Hill Trail

Location: 33.9648698, -84.5913255

Atlanta View

Location: 33.9685536, -84.5875061

The climb up to Little Kennesaw Mountain offers distant views (through the haze) of downtown Atlanta.

Summit Cannons

Location: 33.9705556, -84.5870876

Cannons on the summit of Little Kennesaw

View from Little Kennesaw

Location: 33.9722284, -84.5850921

Summit View

Location: 33.9771397, -84.5785046

A view of Atlanta from the summit of Kennesaw Mountain

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