When the temperature and humidity meet at 85 and above, it's difficult to motivate yourself for a summer hike. That's when we seek shaded paths that keep the summer sun away while allowing us to continue with our hiking plans.
One of our favorite summer hikes is the Noses Creek Trail, part of the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park located off Burnt Hickory Road in Marietta. Away from the always-busy Visitor Center area and main trail up Kennesaw Mountain, Noses Creek features a wide walking path through the woods and offers several side trails for those looking for more distance and varied terrain.
The Main Trail
The main trail from Burnt Hickory Road to Dallas Highway is a wide, shell-covered, gradually-sloping 3.0-mile round-trip route shared by hikers and horses. If you’re not in the mood for the full walk route, the trail crosses scenic Noses Creek approximately .75 miles from the Burnt Hickory Parking lot, thus offering a scenic and relatively-easy 1.5 mile walk if your turn around at the bridge.
Our favorite route is walking the main trail from the Burnt Hickory parking area to Dallas Highway, then hiking back on the narrow Hardage Mill Trail. This path through the woods adds some additional elevation change, and requires good balance and greater attention on the exposed roots and water-eroded sections. This trail parallels sections of the Civil War-era earthworks constructed by Confederate troops to defend this entry-way to Atlanta.
Along the Creek
Before rejoining the main trail, Hardage Mill Trail drops down to the banks of Noses Creek. We often see families here, allowing the younger ones a few minutes to play in the slow-moving water. It’s easy to walk across the creek in several places, rejoining the north section of Hardage Mill Trail on the opposite bank rather than climbing up to the bridge, then following the trail down again.
More Nearby Walks and Hikes
Around Kennesaw Mountain, you can find a variety of other hikes and walks. Here are a few of our other favorites:
Allatoona Pass Battlefield Park. Another wide path through the woods, this offering views and access to Lake Allatoona.
Cooper's Furnace. The winding trail delivers a peak-top view of Lake Allatoona, Allatoona Dam and the Etowah valley.
Iron Mountain Trail. (video) This wide trail follows the banks of Lake Allatoona, and offers lots of places for cooling your feet or whole body.
Marietta City Walk. Perfect for biking or walking, stops in downtown Marietta offer air conditioned respite and cool treas.
Green Meadows Preserve. (video) After hiking across a sunny meadow, these trails turn through wooded areas.
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