Hike the eleven-mile Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield Trail loop over two mountains, across Civil War battlefields, and to stunning summit views of the Atlanta skyline.
More than 15 miles of hiking and running trails explore the battlefields, mountaintops and meadows at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield just north of Atlanta. Once a venue for bloody Civil War battles, these trails now wind through beautiful terrain, exploring the park’s historic monuments, cannon, earthworks, and abundant natural beauty. This 11-mile loop on the Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield Trail explores the park’s highlights, hiking to Atlanta skyline views from the summits of Kennesaw Mountain and Little Kennesaw Mountain, the battlefields at Pigeon Hill and Cheatham Hill, and through the ruins of a 1930s-era CCC camp.
From open fields to craggy mountaintops and grassy meadows to stream-filled forests, this multi-trail adventure hikes through many of Kennesaw Mountain’s most diverse and beautiful landscapes.
Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield Loop: the hike
The adventure begins at the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield visitor center (view maps and driving directions), hiking the southeast-bound dirt trail to the Kennesaw Mountain summit. The trail ascends quickly, climbing through a series of switchbacks in a rocky forest.
The hike peaks elevation at 1.1 miles, reaching the cannon-lined Kennesaw Mountain summit after crossing a paved lot. On a clear day, summit views extend to the Atlanta skyline on the horizon.
The hike crosses clearings of wide, grooved granite outcrops, grabbing excellent views before departing the summit. The hike descends Kennesaw Mountain, venturing southwest and crossing a paved road. A roadside clearing offers fantastic views of nearby Little Kennesaw Mountain. Wildlife, wildflowers, and fern are a common site on Kennesaw Mountain’s shady, wooded middle elevations.
The trail levels briefly before resuming the climb and cresting Little Kennesaw Mountain at 1.8 miles. Descending Little Kennesaw, the trail arcs in a wide arc, grabbing views on the mountain’s southeast slope. At 2.5 miles, the hike explores Confederate trenches and earthworks at Pigeon Hill, the site of an extended standoff between Union and Confederate troops during the Kennesaw battle.
The Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield Loop crosses Burnt Hickory Road at 3.8 miles, following the Noses Creek Trail. The trail widens, trekking through a deciduous forest before crossing a bridge spanning the pebble-lined Noses Creek at 4 miles. The creek is a great resting spot for water-loving four-legged hiking buddies, especially on a warm Georgia summer day.
The route crosses the often-busy Dallas Highway at 4.6 miles, beginning a southbound hike on the Cease Fire Trail. The hike passes historic cannons and crosses through a broad, grassy, cleared meadow toward Cheatham Hill.
The ascends Cheatham Hill, one of the bloodiest battle sites at the battle of Kennesaw Mountain, and reaches the Illinois monument at 5.4 miles. This 11-mile loop turns here, retracing its steps on the Cease Fire Trail northbound.
After crossing Dallas Highway and Noses Creek, the Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield Loop veers right at 7.4 miles, following the New Salem Church Trail to the east through a grassy clearing. The route passes Confederate earthworks and the foundation of a Civil War-era church at 7.9 miles before crossing Burnt Hickory Road. The hike follows the Camp Brumby Trail northbound, ascending through a vine, stream, and boulder-filled forest on the base of Kennesaw Mountain.
The Camp Brumby Trail explores the park’s eastern boundary, and then turns westbound to visit the ruins of a 1930s-era Civilian Conservation Corps camp at 10 miles. Departing the CCC camp, the hike trails through a clear-cut battlefield meadow and reaches the park’s visitor center at just under 11 miles, completing the adventure.
More Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield hiking adventures
Kennesaw Mountain’s extensive trail network offers runners and hikers exploration on a huge variety of terrain. Check out our Kennesaw Mountain Trail Guide for our favorite trails through the park’s battlefields, across mountain summits, and through beautiful forest landscapes.
Always leave no trace, pack out everything you pack in, and if you see trash, pick it up and pack it out.
Stay on the marked trail, tell someone where you're going, pack safety and wayfinding essentials, and don't rely on a mobile phone to find your way. Please always practice good trail etiquette. And before you go, always check the trailhead kiosk, official maps, and the park or ranger office for notices of changed routes, trail closures, safety information, and restrictions.
Love the trail?
This trail is maintained thanks to the hard work of countless volunteers and donations from supporters of the Kennesaw Mountain Trail Club. Please support them by making a donation or joining a volunteer day. Let's work together to keep these fantastic trails maintained and open for use!
Beginning November 13, 2019, the National Park Service will be charging a $5 per vehicle entrance fee with a $40 annual pass option at Kennesaw Mountain.
33.982433, -84.578120 // N33 58.946 W84 34.687