Kennesaw Mountain Trail Guide: Hiking & Running Kennesaw Mountain

Hike or run these top Kennesaw Mountain trails near Atlanta. Explore Civil War History, stunning summit views, and rolling, rocky, ferny forest on over 15 miles of Kennesaw Mountain's best trails.

Kennesaw Mountain rises from the rolling Marietta landscape just north of Atlanta. The mountain towers beside its smaller, neighboring peak, Little Kennesaw Mountain, over the surrounding forest and suburban sprawl. This nearly 3,000-acre National Battlefield Park offers over 20 miles of trails that weave through forest, over mountaintops and through grassy meadows – a great run, hike or outdoor adventure near Atlanta.

The park’s now-beautiful landscape was the site of a bloody, muddy, tree-barren Civil War battle. Entrenched Confederate soldiers at Kennesaw Mountain fought approaching Union troops in the war’s Atlanta campaign. Thousands lost their lives on these mountains, hills and fields during a grueling, 14 day battle battle.

Catch Kennesaw Mountain summit views of the Atlanta skyline

Today, cannon, earthen fortifications, trenches and monuments are the few visual reminders of the battle 150 years ago. Present-day Kennesaw Mountain offers a lesson in history – as well as a great outdoor escape just North of Atlanta. The park’s many miles of trails trek to mountain summits, across grassy meadows, through shady forest and over meandering creeks, offering a great trail run, hike, or walk through beautiful, natural terrain that’s drenched in history.

Hike or run these Kennesaw Mountain trails near Atlanta through Civil War history and natural beauty

These Kennesaw Mountain trails vary in difficulty and in length – but they’re all uniquely different, and they’re all worth a hike or trail run. Catch views of the Atlanta city skyline from the Kennesaw Mountain and Little Kennesaw Mountain summits, visit Civil War memorials and monuments, and trek through gently rolling, stream filled forest on these trails from 1 to 11 miles in length.

Preserve the history and beauty of the Kennesaw Mountain parks, battlefields and trails. Pack out everything you pack in, leave no trace, and preserve the Kennesaw Mountain trails history: don’t walk or climb on historic earthworks or cannon.

Kennesaw Mountain Trails

Hike the kid-friendly Environmental Trail at Kennesaw Mountain

KENNESAW MOUNTAIN ENVIRONMENTAL TRAIL

The Environmental Trail explores the mountain’s lower elevations on a kid-friendly loop trail. Nine illustrated signs explain the surrounding forest ecosystem as the trail explores a rocky slope, trickling creek and diverse forest.

1.35 MILES

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Hike steep elevation climb to stunning views at the Kennesaw Mountain summit near Atlanta

KENNESAW MOUNTAIN TRAIL

Kennesaw Mountain’s most popular trail climbs elevation through sharp switchbacks to crest the mountain’s rocky, open summit. The mountain’s summit views are worth the effort, offering breathtaking views of the Atlanta skyline far on the horizon.

2.4 MILES

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Hike or run the Kennesaw Mountain 24 Gun Trail through rolling forest to a fortified Union encampment

KENNESAW MOUNTAIN 24 GUN TRAIL

Hike (or trail run) this two-trail duo on Kennesaw Mountain’s lower elevations. The 24 Gun Trail treks through a rocky, rolling forest to a grassy meadow bordered by earthworks, the site of a Union encampment. Then loop the boulder-dotted Environmental Trail, exploring beautiful forest ecosystems.

3.5 MILES

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Hike or run the Cheatham Hill Kolb Farm Loop Trail near Kennesaw Mountain

KENNESAW MOUNTAIN CHEATHAM HILL / KOLB FARM LOOP TRAIL

This popular trail run (or hike) departs Cheatham Hill, the site of a bloody battle, trekking through beautiful meadow and a stream-filled forest. The Cheatham Hill Trail visits the Kolb Farm battlefield South of Kennesaw Mountain before looping back to Cheatham Hill – a great, just-under-10k run.

5.8 MILE LOOP

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Hike the 11 mile Kennesaw Mountain trail loop over battlefields and to mountain summits near Atlanta

KENNESAW MOUNTAIN BATTLEFIELD & MOUNTAIN LOOP TRAIL

Hike this loop trail to stunning summit views from Kennesaw Mountain and Little Kennesaw Mountain, across grassy, open battlefields, and through rolling forest. From grassy meadow to soaring summit, it’s an epic exploration of the mountain’s beautiful terrain.

11 MILE LOOP

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What to Pack Hiking? Our hiking gear lists feature our favorite, trail-tested gear.

Our fave hiking gear

What to Pack?

Ready to hit the trail, but wondering what to pack?

Our gear lists feature our favorite, trail-tested hiking gear for day hikes on local trails and in the Georgia backcountry.

hiking gear list: local hikes

hiking gear list: backcountry

Kennesaw Mountain Trail Map

 
 
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.

Eric also freelances as a writer and photographer for publications covering travel, events and outdoor adventures.