Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park Things to Do

  • Atlanta skyline from Big Kennesaw Mountain
    Atlanta skyline from Big Kennesaw...
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  • North view from atop Big Kennesaw Mountain
    North view from atop Big Kennesaw...
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  • Stone Mountain from atop Big Kennesaw
    Stone Mountain from atop Big Kennesaw
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Most Recent Things to Do in Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park

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    LITTLE KENNESAW MOUNTAIN

    by mtncorg Written Oct 2, 2014

    Little Kennesaw Mountain is a subpeak of Kennesaw Mountain. Rising slightly above 1600 feet, Little Kennesaw Mountain was a stout point in the Confederate line. Artillery pieces were manhandled up the steep slopes from the Marietta side to provide support. Just south of here is the last substantial subpeak of the Kennesaw massif, Pigeon Hill. It was much lower than the Kennesaws and the Federals thought they saw potential for breaking the Confederate line there. They thought wrong.

    Little Kennesaw Mountain from slopes of Big Tablet describes gun moves up Little Kennesaw
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    PEAK

    by mtncorg Written Oct 2, 2014

    Big Kennesaw Mountain’s official peak is a short ways to the west of the crest parking lot. Next to the parking lot is an observation deck which gives good views and adds historical notes. The USGS marker notes the official peak top of the 1808 feet/551 meter high mountain which rises some 800 feet/250 meters from its base here. Communications huts and towers share the top next to the small parking lot. The view from up here gives a good impression of why Sherman did not press attacks on the Confederate line here – simply too stiff with the defenders sharing an abundance of natural defenses to hide behind while shooting down at potential attackers. The trail from the Visitor Center reaches here after about one mile. The same trail continues to the southwest for another seven miles following the old Confederate positions fairly closely.

    Marker atop Big Kennesaw Mountain Official USGS summit marker View north off the top of Big Kennesaw Steep rugged north slopes of Big Kennesaw
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    GUN EMPLACEMENTS

    by mtncorg Written Oct 2, 2014

    On the way up Big Kennesaw Mountain, you pass some rifle pits that were dug by men of the 1st Alabama regiment. The Federal attack here on 27 June 1864 was a diversion to the main attacks further south at Pigeon and Cheatham Hills. With the objective being not to carry the Confederate line here, but simply keep them guessing as to where the main push was coming from. Union soldiers launched probing attacks here were easily repulsed by determined Confederate resistance and stiff terrain.

    Single artillery pieces were manhandled to the tops of both Big and Little Kennesaw Mountains. Low in ammunition, the guns were not a big factor in turning back the Federal probes. The Confederate guns had a good view of the Union forces, but artillery on the other side had a great view of the guns here too. The Federals, with a much larger supply of shells, kept the Rebel guns suppressed for the most part here.

    Cannon atop Big Kennesaw Mountain Tablet describes artillery duels from the Kennesaw Confederate emplacement on Kennesaw Mt Tablet describes how guns got on top
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    NATURE

    by mtncorg Written Oct 2, 2014

    The days of battle are long in the past. This park, like most of the other Civil War parks, serves not only as a site of historical relevance, but as an oasis of nature – here amongst the ever-growing reaches of Atlantan suburbia. Walk quietly along the trails in the forest here and you will see plenty of wildlife. Life goes on.

    Deer abound within the Park boundaries Natural oasis amdist suburban sprawl
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    GEORGIA STATE MONUMENT

    by mtncorg Written Oct 2, 2014

    There are three dedicated State monuments to the efforts of their citizen-troops here at Kennesaw Mountain. Most visitors – including me – see only the Georgia monument. The 1963 monument made of granite from Stone Mountain towers at the base of Big Kennesaw Mountain, a short distance from the Visitor Center. Georgians comprised one brigade of cavalry; one of the brigades of Carter Stevenson’s division; the larger part of all four of William H.T. Walker’s division; and a couple of regiments within William Bates’ division. Both Walker’s and Bates’ divisions were heavily involved in the fighting near and to the south of Pigeon Hill – the littler hill immediately south of the Kennesaws. Stevenson’s men had been a major player in Hood’s abortive attack at Kolb’s Farm on 21 June. That area was quiet on 27 June. Stewart’s division – featuring Marcellus Stovall’s brigade – were part of Hood’s reserve at Kolb’s Farm and had little to do during that bloody repulse.

    Georgia State Monument at Kennesaw Mountain Inscriptions on the Georgia State Monument
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    VISITOR CENTER

    by mtncorg Written Oct 2, 2014

    The Visitor Center is always a good starting point in understanding the significant features of the Park. Here, you can see what there is to discover and begin to put the terrain together with the history. Sitting below the northern aspect of Big Kennesaw Mountain, you can get a good idea of how strong a position the Confederates enjoyed. There is plenty of parking here not only for your visit to the center, but from here trails emanate to all of the far regions of the park as well. The main trail goes to the top of the mountain and continues the length of the former Confederate line.

    View to top fo Big Kennesaw from Visitor Center
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    VIEW

    by mtncorg Written Oct 2, 2014

    For most visitors to Kennesaw Mountain, the glorious view towards Atlanta lying some six miles to the southeast is the motivation for their visit. There is a road that winds its way to the top or a trail also switchbacks up the northeast slopes, ascending to the top in about one mile. The parking lot on top is not very big. The road is closed on weekends; those people who don’t want to walk can take a bus that shuttles people up and down the mountain on the half hour. The path to the top is also popular with locals just out for exercise –whether running or simply walking.

    Like Stone Mountain on the east side of Atlanta, Big Kennesaw Mountain offers vast wide-ranging views – towards Atlanta on one side and off to the foothills of the Appalachians on the other. The Appalachian direction is the approximately direction that was used by Sherman’s Federals as they slowly pushed Johnston’s forces backwards toward Atlanta.

    Atlanta skyline from Big Kennesaw Mountain North view from atop Big Kennesaw Mountain Stone Mountain from atop Big Kennesaw
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    kolb's farm

    by doug48 Updated Oct 27, 2010

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    the battle of kolb's farm was one of three major engagements of the battle of kennesaw mountain. on june 20 th 1864 the confederate forces of general carter l. stevenson attacked the union forces of john schofield at kolb's farm on the western base of kennesaw mountain. stevenson's troops attacked the union line three times but where repulsed on each attack. finally general john bell hood ordered stevenson to withdrawl from the battle. in the battle of kolb's farm 1000 confederate solders were killed compared to 350 union solders. the battle of kolb's farm was a decisive union victory in the battle of kennesaw mountain.

    cannons union general john schofield general carter l. stevenson CSA
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    cheatham hill

    by doug48 Updated Oct 27, 2010

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    there were three major battles at kennesaw mountain, one near the visitor center at the base of kennesaw mountain, one at kolb's farm, and one at cheatham hill. to really get a feel of the battle you should visit all three spots at the park. pictured are cannons on cheatham hill. the battle of cheatham hill was a decisive confederate victory during the battle of kennesaw mountain. the confederate defenders of cheatham hill constructed a "dead angle" line of cannon to thwart a union attack. union troops made a desparate effort to storm the confederate line but the rough terrain and intense confederate cannon fire forced them to withdrawl. in all 3,000 union solders and 1,000 confederate solders were killed in the battle of cheatham hill.

    cannons on cheatham hill
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    kennesaw mountain

    by doug48 Updated Oct 27, 2010

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    pictured is a view of downtown atlanta from the summit of kennesaw mountain. this was the site of the battle of kennesaw mountain in 1864. today this national military park is a popular hiking and bicycling spot for residents and visitors to the atlanta area.

    atlanta from kennesaw mountain
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    visitor center

    by doug48 Updated Oct 27, 2010

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    pictured is the visitor center at kennesaw mountain national battlefield park. i highly recommend this as your first stop when visiting the park. there are several roads that run through the park and they are not well signed. you can get a map at the visitor center that will make your visit easier and more enjoyable. also at the visitor center there are exhibits about the battle which help the visitor understand how the battle played out.

    visitor center
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    kolb's farm

    by doug48 Updated May 16, 2010

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    kolb's farm was established by peter valentine kolb in 1836. kolb's farm house was one of the largest farm houses in the area at the time. on june 20 th 1864 kolb's farm was a battle site in the battle of kennesaw mountain.

    kolb's farm
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    Rover will like it hear

    by paulscuba Written Jun 17, 2007

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    The Park allows dogs on most if not all the trails. The trails are heavily forested and I suspect ticks and other critters are about. We had our dog get a lyme disease shot before we did this trip and made sure he had his flea/tick meds current.

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    Visit the Illinois Monument

    by paulscuba Written Jun 17, 2007

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    Since Kennesaw does not have alot of monuments, if you like to see one and also see a unique view of how battles in 1864 were fought.... Go to this location. At this monument it shows very clearly how close battle lines were drawn and the extremes armies went through. The pictures tell the story better. The line at the bottom of the one sign(7 hour truce) shows that even in time of war honor and humanity were still evident. This is in stark contrast to how wars are fought today.

    The Tunnel in the pictures was dug by the Union in order to plant a mine under the Confederate lines. Shortly after it was begun the Confederates withdrew from the field for tactical reasons.

    Illiniois Monument from the Confederate Line Explains the battle at the Illinois monument The beginnings a tunnel for planting a mine How close the lines were.

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    Hiking trails

    by goingsolo Updated Jun 17, 2005

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    Kennesaw mountain is a popular hiking destination. Surprisingly, many people choose to jog along these trails as well, despite the fact that there are plenty of other public parks within the city that would make for more scenic workout locations than a civil war battlefield.

    But there are several options to either view the area in more depth, or get some exercise. From the visitor's center, there is a 1mile steep trail that leads to the top of the mountain. It is pretty steep going for most of the trail, but there are some good views from the top and some impressive civil war memorabilia and monuments.

    There is a long trail from the Pigeon Hill battlefield that leads to Cheatham Hill and Kolb's Farm. Its five miles one way with a good bit of uphill. Most of the first couple miles of this trail passes through wooded areas with a few spots that open up to the views of wide grassy knolls. These trails are pretty popular and you'll likely encounter other visitors, visitors with dogs and some joggers.

    There are a total of 17 miles of trail in the park. If hiking and/or the Georgia humid climate are not your thing, the road leads to Cheatham Hill and Kolb's farm.

    Kennesaw Mountain
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