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Kennesaw Mountain Loop

Intermediate/Difficult
  4.1 ( 14 ) Favorite

Trail

9.8 mile 15.8 kilometer point to point
91% Runnable
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 1,355' 413 m
Descent: -1,344' -410 m
High: 1,786' 544 m
Low: 1,040' 317 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 23% (13°)

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Trail shared by Rachel Beltran

Varied terrain, historical sites, and excellent views make this an enjoyable run.

Rachel Beltran

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

A beautiful 10-mile loop that enjoys great views and a historical site from the summit of Kennesaw Mountain before heading south to eventually double back at Dallas Highway. This run gets the major climbing out of the way at the start, and the remaining miles follow the area's pleasantly rolling terrain.

Runner Notes

Look out for rocks and roots on Kennesaw and Little Kennesaw Mountains.

Description

From the Visitor Center, look for the well-marked trail to Kennesaw Mountain Trail. The first mile, which is mostly uphill, is the most populated section of trail, with lots of visitors going up and returning down this stretch. At the summit, enjoy broad views of the surrounding landscape. Civil War plaques and cannons commemorate the Atlanta Campaign of 1864.

Enjoy scenic views, rock outcroppings, and a variety of flora while descending the backside of Kennesaw Mountain, running through a saddle and then up to the top of Little Kennesaw Mountain, which also displays cannons from the Civil War.

The run down the southern side of Little Kennesaw Trail is both the most scenic and the most technical portion of the run. Take your time and watch your footing. The rock piles and boulders make this landscape interesting. Remember to pause occasionally to enjoy the views.

Continue straight on the Pigeon Hill Trail and follow it to Burnt Hickory Road. There are a couple of cutoff trails to the left if you would like to shorten your run and complete the 5.8-mile look back on the Camp Brumby Trail.

To continue on the 10-mile loop, cross the road, pass the parking area, and pick up Noses Creek Trail, which runs past a broad field. At the fork, veer right towards the North Hardage Mill Trail, a much less-traveled and nicely forested area. You may enjoy a peaceful encounter with a wild turkey on this section.

At Noses Creek, turn left, go up to the gravel road and then turn right to cross Noses Creek Bridge. Immediately after the bridge, turn right to continue on the singletrack South Hardage Mill Trail. Continue until the trail meets Dallas Hwy. If you would like a longer run, you can cross the highway and follow the directions for the Kennesaw Mountain Full Loop.

But, to complete the 10-mile loop described here, don't cross the road. Instead, veer left onto the Noses Creek Trail heading North. This is a wider section of trail that can accommodate several runners abreast. Continue back over the Noses Creek Bridge, this time staying on the wider gravel path headed north. At the New Salem Church Trail, veer right, past the New Salem Church Historical Site, and cross back over Burnt Hickory Road onto the Camp Brumby Trail.

Once on the Camp Brumby Trail, your tired legs get to enjoy a much flatter stretch of the run, winding through the forest and even past a few large homes. Pass Camp Brumby Loop Trail, a CCC site that housed workers who built trails and signs, planted trees, etc. Continue north and follow signs to the Visitor Center.

Flora & Fauna

Springtime brings wildflowers and the summer canopy is lush and green. Fall colors are spectacular, with particularly striking red sumacs brightening the surroundings. In winter the landscape affords more clear vistas. Wildlife includes deer, wild turkey, squirrels, and snakes.

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Jul 4, 2019
Varun Gopinath
Did a little extra to hit 10. Solid trail with adequate signage. A good way to get solid miles while beating the heat in the woods. 10mi — 1h 53m
Jun 9, 2019
Kacy Martin
Skipped the Brumby Loop at the end. Really fun and engaging running, mixed with some nice rolling wide trails 9.5mi
Jun 4, 2019
Khris Nguyen
Nov 18, 2018
Todd F
Did the loop + a bit more out of the Pigeon Trail parking lot. got smoked by the climb up Little Kennesaw. What a blast of a trail. 12mi — 2h 35m

Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 14 votes

#1982

Overall
  4.1 from 14 votes
5 Star
21%
4 Star
71%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
7%
1 Star
0%
Featured Run Rankings

#35

in Georgia

#1,982

Overall
99 Views Last Month
2,372 Since Oct 15, 2016
Intermediate/Difficult

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8%
17%
75%
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Photos

View from Pigeon Hill.
Oct 15, 2016 near Marietta, GA
Large trees on Hardage Mill Trail.
Oct 15, 2016 near Marietta, GA
Cannon with wildflowers.
Oct 15, 2016 near Marietta, GA
View from Little Kennesaw Mountain.
Oct 15, 2016 near Marietta, GA
Taking a break at the top.
May 2, 2018 near Marietta, GA
Canon on Kennesaw Mountain
Mar 23, 2018 near Marietta, GA

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