Hot and historic. Those are two words that describe nearly everything about Georgia, but especially the hiking scene in Cobb County. Spring means it’s time to wander through the deep woodlands and have close encounters with remnants of the Civil War along the way.
Retreat from the hustle and bustle of the outside world and soak up any or all of the hikes on these stunning and storied trails.
Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield Trail
This trail is for those who like a little history with their hike. The Kennesaw Mountain Trails are a collection of paved and unpaved trails that wind around the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park. The Battlefield Trail is popular because hikers get to see the best of Kennesaw at every turn on this 11-mile sojourn. Stand in the middle of historic open battlefields and look up in amazement at the towering Georgia pines in the forested areas of the trail. This loop has plenty of spots to stop and rest along the way.
Silver Comet Trail
Silver Comet Trail is nearly 61.5 miles long, and each step lets you see another part of the beautiful Cobb County. The trail snakes through Smyrna, Mableton, and Powder Springs, and its official starting point is the Mavell Road Trailhead. Take a leisurely stroll on the non-motorized trail all the way down to the Georgia/Alabama line. Bikes and your pup are welcome on this trail. Most of the Silver Comet Trail is wheelchair accessible. Hike from dawn to dusk, and be aware that you could face hefty fines for being in the park during forbidden hours.
Cochran Shoals Trail
At only three miles, this trail shouldn’t take you that long, but you’ll probably want to budget some extra time for lounging by the Chattahoochee River. Cochran Shoals Trail is tucked in next to the river and is a popular refuge for hikers who want proximity to the warm sun and the cool water. Crowds tend to form during the weekends, so be sure to hit up this trail during off-peak hours if you want to experience its full glory without company. Also, bring your fishing pole and catch dinner straight out of the river while you’re on your hike.
East and West Trail Loop
Fortunately, there are no witch sisters to be found on this East and West Trail Loop; just a diverse trail that has plenty of different terrains and landscapes. All 11 miles of the trail require your careful consideration as you trek up the rocky parts and dodge the cactus growing along the path. The trail can get fairly crowded during the peak times, but it’s quite wide and accessible so you should have plenty of space to spread out. A pro tip for this trail is to go counterclockwise so you do the steepest part of the hike first.
Avalanche Trail Loop
The Avalanche Trail Loop is a true choose-your-own-adventure. This trail in Olde Rope Mill Park consists of a whole lot of dirt and a whole lot of ways to explore the area on foot. It’s a one-directional trail that hikers share with bikers, so it’s extremely important to keep an eye out for mountain bikers and go the opposite way. You’ll come across several switchbacks and a footbridge as you approach the water. Be sure to pay attention while you’re on this trail as some sections aren’t marked as clearly as others.
Sope Creek Trail
Sope Creek Trail transports hikers into the past as they explore the remains of the Civil War-era paper mill and stand on historic battlegrounds in Chattahoochee River Park. A small waterfall accents the area around the remains of the building and provides a nice place to park yourself for a little bit to catch your breath and take in the views. Hike along the rocky creek until you loop around a pond that’s known to really show off the wildflowers and other vegetation in the springtime. Be advised that it gets busy on the weekends and there’s a five-dollar parking fee.
Heritage Park Trail
Heritage Park Trail is known as the second-best option when the super popular silver comet trail is just a little too populated. But this trail stands on its own merits as an interesting path that has both all the trappings of a traditional hike plus the opportunity to pass by some still-standing historic structures and get a glimpse of some cool graffiti. The creek isn’t that deep so some casual splashing is the type of aquatic activity you can expect on the Heritage Park Trail. Many visitors have found that their four-legged friends are especially fond of this trail.