Kennesaw Mountain: running the Kolb Farm and Cheatham Hill Loop Trail

Kennesaw Mountain Cheatham Hill & Kolb Farm Loop Trail

Run or hike this Kennesaw Mountain trail - a 5.8 mile loop from Cheatham Hill through beautiful meadow, creek-filled forest and Civil War battlefields.

trail info

5.8 miles
(round trip)
moderate
Dog-
friendly

LOCATION:Kennesaw Mountain near Atlanta, Georgia (maps & directions)

GEAR: Osprey Stratos 24 Backpack w/ our favorite hiking gear list and Canon 6D Camera

This trail loops a moderately rolling 5.8 miles through a wide variety of beautiful landscape in the shadow of nearby Kennesaw Mountain. It’s a favorite trail for running, walking and hiking in this National Battlefield park just north of Atlanta. And while some trail sections border residential neighborhoods and skirt busy roads, much of the trail’s trek crosses beautiful terrain in a stream and meadow-filled forest.

The Kolb Farm Loop Trail visits Confederate cannon and earthworks on this Kennesaw Mountain hike

Throughout the trail’s length, signs depict the site engagements on this Civil War battlefield that witnessed thousands of casualties 150 years ago. Earthworks punctuate the landscape, hand dug by entrenched Union and Confederate armies. The occasional cannon reminds of the staggering loss of life that happened here. But the passing of time and forest regrowth has regained the tranquility and beauty of the Cheatham Hill and Kolb Farm landscapes – and it’s a beautiful venue to explore, exercise and reflect.

Kennesaw Mountain Kolb Farm Loop Trail: the run

The Kolb Farm Loop Trail begins at the Cheatham Hill parking area trailhead (view maps and driving directions), descending elevation steadily through mounded Confederate earthworks as it approaches Cheatham Hill. The trail meets the recently restored, towering Illinois monument at .2 miles, skirting around its manicured formality and passing a tunnel dug by Union troops in an attempt to break through the Confederate battle line.

The Kolb Farm Loop trails beside the Illinois monument at Cheatham Hill

Descending the Illinois monument, the Kolb Farm Loop turns left at a trail junction, venturing south along a broad, cleared grassy meadow before diving beneath the leafy forest canopy. The hike meets the loop portion of the Kolb Farm Trail at .3 mile, veering left at the trail junction to hike the loop in a clockwise direction. The trail treks beside battlefield earthworks and crosses a stream, alternating its path between dirt, sand, and gravel. Flowering trees color the forest canopy in spring months when dogwood and wildflowers bloom.

Blooming dogwood and wildflowers dot the forest at Cheatham Hill, a Civil War battlefield near Atlanta

The Kolb Farm Loop rolls elevation through a stream-filled forest, the trail beginning to skirt the often-traffic-filled Powder Springs Road at 2.3 miles before passing the Kolb Farm parking area at 2.8 miles. The Kolb farmhouse, an 1836-built log home that was witness to the Battle of Kolb’s Farm, is visible through tree cover across the busy street.

The trail dives back into the serenity of the park’s forest at 3 miles, leaving the sounds of traffic behind. The trail runs through several grassy clearings before meandering and descending, the forest filling with the sound of songbirds. The Kolb Farm Loop passes a young bamboo forest at 3.8 miles, treks through a marshland and crosses a metal bridge spanning John Ward Creek at 4 miles.

The Kolb Farm Loop Trail crosses John Ward Creek en route to Cheatham Hill at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield

The trail rises from the marshland, steadily gaining elevation over the next .8 mile as it hikes northbound, looping back toward Cheatham Hill. The hike’s trek alternates between grassy clearings and green forest, skirting several residential areas and crossing Cheatham Hill Road at 5 miles.

This loop trail hikes from Cheatham Hill to Kolb Farm, sites of Civil War battles at Kennesaw Mountain

The trail descends from the road crossing, meeting the end of the Kolb Farm Loop at 5.4 miles and turning left to hike north toward Cheatham Hill. The Cheatham Hill Trail reaches the Illinois Monument at 5.6 miles, turning right to return to the trailhead and completing the hike at 5.8 miles.

Kennesaw Mountain Trail Guide

Explore more of Kennesaw Mountain’s history and natural beauty on an extensive (and growing) network of hiking and running trails. Explore battlefields, shady forest, mountain summits and beautiful views of the Atlanta skyline on our favorite Kennesaw Mountain trails.

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Kennesaw Mountain Cheatham Hill & Kolb Farm Loop Trail Map, Directions & Details

Kennesaw Mountain Cheatham Hill & Kolb Farm Loop Trail Map
Kennesaw Mountain Cheatham Hill & Kolb Farm Loop Trail Map
This map is not a substitute for official trail maps or topographic maps.

Driving Directions


Parking

Free. View hours and parking info at the Kennesaw Mountain National Park Service website.

GPS Coordinates

33.936217, -84.597117     //     N33 56.173 W84 35.827

Please Remember

Always leave no trace, tell someone where you're going, pack safety and wayfinding essentials, don't rely on a mobile phone to find your way, and follow these trail etiquette tips.

Elevation Profile

Kennesaw Mountain Cheatham Hill & Kolb Farm Loop Trail Elevation Profile
Eric Champlin is a writer and photographer who loves to hike, run, backpack, kayak and cycle the southeast. He’s the editor and founder of Atlanta Trails and Asheville Trails, online magazines that cover the South’s best outdoor adventures. His mission? To inspire others to get fit outdoors and explore the South’s incredible scenic beauty.