Kennesaw Mountain is a very popular mountain to hike just out of Atlanta. It’s a very pet and kid friendly trail so if you’re looking for some introvert time on a mountain, make sure to go early in the morning or you’ll be met with half of the city. On the other hand, if you’re an extrovert, hike during people hours and you’ll meet all sorts of dogs and humans. I shudder at the thought of meeting lots of humans when hiking, dogs are fine though. I did this hike at 8:00am on a sunny but cold day with a tiny human this time around. My tiny human hiking companion was my nephew who probably could have run up and down the mountain three times without getting out of breath. Nothing shows your age or lack of fitness level like hiking with a tiny human. I’m fairly strong and I run from zombies four days a week (Zombies, Run app – don’t run again without it). So when my nephew slayed me on the trail, it wasn’t awesome. Well, it was for him.
Okay so onto the morbid and awful history tale of Kennesaw. It’s fairly typical for much of the area around there. Cherokee Indians owned the land, gold is found, other humans move in and force Cherokee’s out, destroying the land in the process, read almost every quest in North Georgia and it’s about the same.
Then came the American Civil War with South Carolina’s succession from the United States in December of 1860. In the next six months, ten additional southern states followed suit, Georgia being one of them. Over the next several years the battle raged on and North Georgia, in particular Kennesaw Mountain, became the focal point of the civil war. Three years after the fall of Fort Sumter, the Atlanta Campaign began. Kennesaw Mountain became a primary battle between the states. The majority of casualties were caused by artillery fire. June 1864 severely altered the landscape of the area.
Prior to the campaign, Kennesaw Mountain and the surrounding areas were farming and an abundance of large trees dotting the mountain. The military presence destroyed the flora and most animals fled to escape the noise and battle. Because of fortifications, fighting and fires, Kennesaw was forever changed. Flora has gradually returned and with that, the wildlife. The flora is the main reason the fortifications built then still remain. Without it, soil erosion would have taken them down long ago. You can still find relics from the war around the mountain but it’s illegal to dig them up and take them out of the park because of the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 (ARPA).
So there you have the repetitive story of humans being unkind to other humans, raging war, destroying the landscape and mother nature attempting to reclaim what was lost. Humans are really wonderful, right?
The hike is pretty short from the visitor center to the top but it’s a great hike. Especially if you want to get out for an hour but still have time to run errands during the day. The views are absolutely stunning and on a clear day, Atlanta is very easily seen. Great area for photography as well!