Atlanta TrailsbyTrailful Outdoor Co
Atlanta Hiking Trails

Kennesaw Mountain Trail: Big Mountain Hike

Hike a strenuous 2.4 miles roundtrip on the Big Mountain Trail, climbing Kennesaw Mountain, the site of a Civil War battle, to breathtaking Atlanta skyline views.

georgia hiking trails: 2-4 miles 2.1 miles
(round trip)
? Your mileage may vary! Accuracy of your GPS device, weather conditions, and stops along your route will affect your own recorded distance.
georgia hiking trails: moderaterelatively
?Our difficulty estimate, based on distance, terrain, elevation change, & ease of wayfinding. May vary daily due to weather, trail reroutes, downed trees, etc.
georgia hiking trails: dog-friendly Dog-
?Leashed dogs are allowed on this trail. We’ve loved hiking this route with our trail-loving Labrador Retrievers! Check out more of our favorite dog-friendly trails in Georgia for a great hike with your pup.

LOCATION:Kennesaw Mountain near Atlanta, Georgia

PACK:our Osprey day pack and our hiking gear list

This moderately difficult out-and-back hike summits Kennesaw Mountain, grabbing stunning, extensive views from the mountain’s rocky, open peak. The Kennesaw Mountain Trail climbs a rocky, shaded, steeply-pitched terrain to the summit – a moderately challenging, but relatively short, hike. The summit views make the effort worthwhile, though: from the summit, the Atlanta skyline and Stone Mountain are visible on the distant horizon.

Kennesaw Mountain was the site of a major Civil War battle in the Battle of Atlanta. It’s now both a battlefield memorial and expansive park for outdoor enjoyment, with an extensive network of hiking and running trails. This hike on the Kennesaw Mountain Trail explores the mountain’s natural landscapes, some beautiful views, and historic artifacts. It’s an equally great lesson in Civil War history and a great workout.

Kennesaw Mountain: hike the Big Mountain Trail to long-range summit views of Atlanta's skylineView from the Kennesaw Mountain summit, with the Atlanta skyline and Stone Mountain on the horizon

Kennesaw Mountain: hike a strenuous 2.4 miles roundtrip on the Big Mountain Trail, climbing Kennesaw Mountain, the site of a Civil War battle, to breathtaking Atlanta skyline views. #hiking #trailrunning #atlanta #georgia #travel #outdoors #adventure

Kennesaw Mountain Trail: the hike

The Kennesaw Mountain Trail departs the park’s Visitor Center (view maps and driving directions), crossing a paved road to the south before diving into the forest on a dirt trail. The trail quickly begins to rise in elevation, climbing the lower base of Kennesaw Mountain under a deciduous forest canopy. The landscape is rocky, filled with weathered rock fragments and craggy rock outcrops. The trail meanders through a series of switchbacks as it climbs.

The hike meets pavement at .85 mile, nearing the mountain’s summit. After grabbing stunning, long-range views from the parking area, the Kennesaw Mountain Trail climbs a staircase and begins following a paved trail.

A line of cannons line the trail’s right side, nestled within crescent-shaped, mounded earthworks. The large cannons aim to the northeast, pointed in the direction of the encroaching Union army during the battle of Kennesaw Mountain.

Kennesaw Mountain: hike the Big Mountain Trail to Civil War artifacts on a view-packed summit just north of Atlanta, GA

The Kennesaw Mountain Trail continues to climb elevation before cresting the mountain’s summit at just over 1 mile.

Expansive, grooved, exposed rock covers the mountain, offering a resting spot and vantage point for the incredible long-range views. Stunning views extend to the north and south from the summit.

Kennesaw Mountain Trail: hike to stunning Atlanta skyline views

Departing the summit, the hike retraces its outbound steps on the Kennesaw Mountain Trail to the visitors center trailhead. It’s a nearly all downhill return route, a reward for the workout on the climb to the summit. The trail meets the Kennesaw Mountain Visitor Center trailhead at 2.1 miles, completing the hike.

More Kennesaw Mountain hiking & running adventures

Up for some more outdoor adventure at Kennesaw Mountain? Check out our favorite Kennesaw Mountain hiking and running trails to explore the park’s battlefields, beautiful forest, meandering creeks, and wildlife habitats.

Leave No Trace: Atlanta Trails, Asheville Trails and Trailful are official Leave No Trace partners

Please Remember

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.

Kennesaw Mountain Trail Map, Directions & Details

This map shows our approximate route while exploring this trail, but does not replace an official trail map. Please refer to the official trail map for the most current and accurate route.

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!

Driving Directions


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.

GPS Coordinates

33.982433, -84.578120     //     N33 58.946 W84 34.687

Elevation Profile

Kennesaw Mountain Trail Elevation Profile

Eric Champlin is a creative director and photographer who loves to explore southeast. He's the co-owner of Trailful Outdoor Co, a locally-owned hiking outfitter shop in Hiawassee in the Georgia mountains near the Appalachian Trail. He’s also the co-founder of Atlanta Trails and Asheville Trails, digital magazines that highlight the South’s best outdoor adventures. His mission? To inspire others to get fit outdoors and explore the South’s incredible scenic beauty.