Complete Guide to Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park in Georgia, including things to do, history, nearby lodging and camping, directions, and so much more.
Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
Located near Atlanta, Georgia you don't want to miss a visit to Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park.
Kennesaw Mountain NBP includes 2,965 acres that preserve a Civil War Battleground of the Atlanta Campaign.
About Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
Kennesaw Mountain NBP is one of the most visited National Park Sites in the country. You can expect the parking lot to be packed most days.
This is because a lot of local residents use the park for walking and hiking on a frequent basis. It is incredibly popular for people to walk up and down the mountain road.
The park includes 22-miles of maintained interpretive trails.
Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield was the site of a key Civil War battle during the Atlanta campaign. The battle was fought here from June 19, 1864, until July 2, 1864, some of the bloodiest battles during Union Major General William T Sherman’s advance towards Atlanta happened at Kennesaw Mountain and the surrounding area.
During the campaign, the landscape of the area was changed and altered. Thousands of soldiers marching along the grass, soldiers cut down trees and tore apart whatever they could to create historic earthworks for protection.
8 miles of earthworks are still visible today at the Cheatham Hill battlefield location.
Is Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park worth visiting?
If you're a history enthusiast or someone who loves being outdoors, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park is the perfect destination for you.
The site is historically significant, with lots of great views, hiking trails, and educational exhibits that showcase the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain during the American Civil War. It's sure to be an exciting and interesting place for any visitor.
History of Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
The Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park preserves the site of the Civil War Battle of Kennesaw Mountain.
The Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park incorporates Little Kennesaw Mountain, Pigeon Hill, and Cheatham Hill, where most of the fighting took place on the 27th of June 1864.
The Union Military Division of the Mississippi under General Sherman fought the Confederate Army of Tennessee headed by General Joseph E. Johnston at Kennesaw National Battlefield Park.
The battle was part of the Atlanta Campaign and was a Confederate victory.
The fall of Chattanooga Tennessee, to the Union, opened up the Deep South to a Union advance. Advancing to Atlanta was something the head of the Union Army, Ulysses S. Grant, wasted no time doing. Grant sent General Sherman and his army into Georgia.
Initially, Sherman was to make his way into the Deep South and destroy Joseph E. Johnston's Army of Tennessee. While crippling Confederate supply lines and destroying factories to eventually take Atlanta, Georgia.
The Atlanta Campaign
The Atlanta Campaign, beginning in May 1864, took place during the same period as General Grant's Overland Campaign. Grant’s aim with both campaigns was synchronized Union attacks on Confederate forces in both the Eastern and Western Theatres.
The Union forces were to destroy the two major Confederate forces, those of Robert E. Lee in Virginia and Joseph E. Johnston and the Army of Tennessee. Grant believed that this would be the quickest way to end the Civil War. Tactics soon changed, however, and the strategic city of Atlanta became Sherman's goal.
Sherman maneuvered Johnston's army by continuously approaching them from the side or using a flanking maneuver. Each skirmish and battle fought during the Atlanta Campaign forced Johnston to retreat slightly further back towards Atlanta. Johnston dug in at Kennesaw Mountain, just 25 miles from the city.
The Battle of Kennesaw Mountain
The Battle of Kennesaw Mountain was the first time in the campaign that Sherman attacked Johnston's forces head-on. Sherman had three Union armies that made up his division at the Battle of Kennesaw. These were the Army of the Cumberland, The Army of the Tennessee, and the Army of the Ohio. Combined, Sherman had 100 000 men, to the Confederate 50 000 who made up the Army of Tennessee.
On the morning of the 27th of June, the Union attacked the Confederates spread along Kennesaw Mountain. Sherman believed that Johnston had spread his forces too thin across his defensive line and would be easily overwhelmed.
Sherman ordered the Army of the Cumberland to attack the center of the Confederate 7 mile defensive line, the Army of the Tennessee the right, and the army of the Ohio, the left.
The Confederates opened heavy artillery fire on the Army of the Tennessee as they advanced upon Little Kennesaw, successfully halting the Union advance there.
The Army of the Cumberland was similarly unsuccessful at penetrating the center of the Confederate defensive line at Cheatham Hill. The fighting here was particularly ferocious.
The Army of the Ohio was the only division to achieve its objective by breaking through the Confederate defensive line at Powder Springs Road.
A Union Defeat
Overall, General Sherman’s plan of attack at Kennesaw Mountain failed to break through Johnston's strong defensive line. The Union attack had become disorganized by mid-morning. The close fighting at Cheatham Hill dubbed the “Dead Angle”, saw the Confederates throwing rocks at the Union and heavy losses.
By noon on the 27th of June, the Union retreated. Between the barrage of Confederate artillery fire, the 7-mile earthworks, and the mountain at the back of the line, there was little hope in the Union making it through.
By the time the Union retreated, they had lost three thousand men and the Confederates one thousand. The frontal assault by Sherman at Kennesaw Mountain would be his last of the Civil War.
After The Battle
Although the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain was a Confederate victory, it did not achieve Confederate General Johnston's goal of slowing Sherman's advance to Atlanta. After the battle, Sherman performed another flanking maneuver to the left of Johnston's forces forcing Johnston to retreat further towards Atlanta to protect the city's outer defenses.
Johnston was removed from his position as commander of the Tennessee Army shortly after this retreat. As the Union crept closer to Atlanta, Confederate President Jefferson Davis became frustrated with Johnston's timid approach, worrying it would cost the Confederates Atlanta.
In the Kennesaw National Battlefield Park, you can see the remnants of the defensive earthworks, where 50 000 Confederate soldiers fought off 100 000 thousand Union troops. The Park preserves the site of one of the last battles to defend Atlanta before it fell to the Union.
Things to know before your visit to Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
Per Vehicle Daily Fee - $5.00
Per Vehicle Annual Fee - $40.00
Valid for one year through the month of purchase. Admits one private, non-commercial vehicle or its pass holder.
Learn more about National Park Passes for parks that have an entrance fee.
Free Entrance Days -Mark your calendars with the five free entrance days the National Park Service offers annually.
Eastern Time Zone
Pets are allowed in the park but must be on a leash that is less than 6 feet long. Pets are NOT allowed in the Visitor Center, restroom facilities, shuttle bus, or water fountains.
Cell service is generally available throughout the entire park, although some small dead zones may exist.
Visitor Center - 9 am to 5 pm daily year-round
6:30 AM- 6:30 PM – Standard Time
6:30 AM- 8:30 PM- Daylight Savings Time (March-November)
There is no public Wi-Fi.
Insect repellent is always a great idea when outdoors, especially if you are around any body of water.
We use Permethrin Spray on our clothes before our park trips.
Make sure to bring your own water bottle and plenty of water with you. Plastic water bottles are not sold in the park.
There is a really busy parking lot in front of the visitor center. Be prepared for the parking lot to be packed. You may have to circle a few times.
There are no restaurants within the park.
There are no gas stations within the park.
Drones are not permitted within National Park Sites.
Accessibility - The visitor center is fully accessible including auditorium, exhibits, phone, water fountain and restrooms. The shuttle bus is ADA approved and can accommodate those with special needs. The park trails and the terrain is still natural and has not been altered.
National Park Passport Stamps
National Park Passport stamps can be found in the visitor center.
Electric Vehicle Charging
There are EV charging stations available at a distance of 8 to 12 miles from the park.
Details about Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
Size - 2,965 acres.
Check out how the park compares to other National Parks by Size.
February 18, 1917
In 2022, Kennesaw Mountain NBP had 1,322,003 park visitors
In 2021, Kennesaw Mountain NBP had 1,800,823 park visitors.
In 2020, Kennesaw Mountain NBP had 2,356,401 park visitors.
In 2019, Kennesaw Mountain NBP had 2,621,050 park visitors.
National Park Address
900 Kennesaw Mountain Dr
Kennesaw, GA 30152
National Park Map
Where is Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park?
Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park is situated in the northern region of Georgia, United States, nearby Marietta--which is about 20 miles away from Atlanta.
Estimated distance from major cities nearby
Marieta, GA - 3 miles
Atlanta, GA - 23 miles
Birmingham, AL - 149 miles
Nashville, TN - 230 miles
Charlotte, NC - 254 miles
Louisville, KY - 401 miles
Jacksonville, FL - 368 miles
Greensboro, NC - 341 miles
Memphis, TN - 393 miles
Cincinnati, OH - 441 miles
Estimated Distance from nearby National Park
Congaree National Park - 259 miles
Great Smoky Mountains National Park - 155 miles
Mammoth Cave National Park - 321 miles
New River Gorge National Park - 461 miles
Hot Springs National Park - 571 miles
Shenandoah National Park - 551 miles
Where is the National Park Visitor Center?
The Visitor Center at Kennesaw Mountain is located at 900 Kennesaw Mountain Dr.
Getting to Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
Cobb County International Airport- 3 miles
Fulton County Airport - Brown Field (FTY)- 21 miles
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) - 35 miles
Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport (CHA) - 98 miles
Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM) - 147 miles
Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) - 165 miles
Atlanta Regional Airport - 54 miles
Gwinnett County Airport (LZU)- 44 miles
Paulding NW Airport- 24 miles
DeKalb-Peachtree Airport (PDK)- 23 miles
Pinewood Airport - 22 miles
Cartersville Airport - 29 mile
Take the 269 exit from I-75, and take Barrett Pkwy. west for approximately three miles and turn left at Old Hwy. 41. Turn right at Stilesboro Rd, the visitor center is on the left
Best time to visit Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park is best enjoyed during the fall and spring seasons; late September to November or March to May.
These months offer mild weather and picturesque foliage, making it a great time for outdoor activities. It can get crowded here in the summertime, especially on weekends and holidays, while winter conditions may bring closures of some trails due to icy temperatures or snowfall.
To ensure your visit goes off without a hitch, check the park's website before planning your trip for current information about closures or other conditions that might impact you.
Weather and Seasons
The warmest weather is between June and August, with average high temperatures ranging from 80 degrees to 90 degrees.
The coolest weather is from December to February, with temperatures typically ranging from mid-30 to mid-50 degrees.
The snowiest weather typically occurs in January and February, with an average snowfall of 2-3 inches per year.
Best Things to do in Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
There's plenty to do, including hiking on the 20+ miles of scenic trails, touring the battlefields where Sherman and Johnston fought during the Civil War, picnicking in one of the many areas, visiting the Visitors Center to learn more about the park’s history and plan your visit, attending one of the educational ranger-led programs and taking photos of wildlife. Have fun!
The visitor center is the perfect way to start your visit. You can get up to date information on what is happening in the park, find out if there is any road construction or delays you need to be aware of and ask questions about the park.
There is a museum attached to the visitor center that has artifacts and information about the battlefield.
You can pick up a Junior Ranger program at the National Park Service visitor center. This is a great way to learn more about the park for all ages! If you would like to start the program before your trip you can print it here and have it ready when you visit the park.
Drive the Park Road
The park road is open for personal vehicles Monday through Friday. On weekends and holidays, It is closed but a shuttle bus is available for a minimal fee to take a ride to the top of the mountain.
The location of Kennesaw Mountain NBP at the southern portion of the Appalachian Mountains makes this area great for bird watching. It is especially great during fall and spring migrations! The park was designated a globally Important Bird Area in 2000.
Hiking in Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
Always carry the 10 essentials for outdoor survival when exploring.
There are more than 22 miles of trails maintained within the park.
Big Mountain Hike
Distance - 2 miles - approximately 1-hour hike
Location - Visitor Center to Big Kennesaw Mountain Top
Pigeon Hill Trail
Distance - 5.4 miles - approximately 2 hour hike
Location - Visitor Center to Pigeon Hill
Noses Creek Trail
Distance - 3.7 miles - approximately 1.5 hour hike
Location - Burnt Hickory Road to Dallas Highway
Kolb Farm East/West Trail
Distance - 5.5 miles - approximately 2.5 hour hike
Location - Cheatham Hill to Kolb Farm
How to beat the crowds in Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park?
To beat the crowds at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, start your visit early in the morning to beat other visitors. Avoid going during peak season or holidays, and plan your trip for weekdays instead. Utilize alternate trailheads and take less-crowded trails to experience the park in its natural glory. Explore the spring and fall seasons when the weather is milder, and you can really take in the beauty of nature!
Where to stay when visiting Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
There are no National Park Lodges within the park.
Nearby Lodging includes:
La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Kennesaw- La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Kennesaw offers comfortable rooms and suites with modern amenities such as free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, minifridges, and microwaves, enjoy coffee using their coffeemakers. the hotel also features an outdoor pool, a fitness center, and free parking. Guests can enjoy a complimentary breakfast every morning.
Courtyard by Marriott Atlanta Kennesaw- located in Kennesaw, Georgia. Offers spacious guest rooms with comfortable bedding and modern furnishings. Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel is available. There’s an on-site restaurant serving breakfast and dinner, as well as a bar/lounge. Also features an outdoor pool, heated whirlpool, and fitness center for relaxation and exercise.
Hilton Garden Inn Atlanta NW/Kennesaw Town Center - Amenities include an outdoor pool, fitness center, 24-hour business center, meeting spaces, and an on-site restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Provides comfortable accommodations and convenient amenities for travelers. The hotel has guest rooms and suites that feature modern furnishings, comfortable bedding, and high-speed internet access.
Hampton Inn Atlanta-Town Center/Kennesaw- This wonderful hotel provides an array of amenities and services that guests can enjoy: a deluxe hot breakfast with a variety of options, including eggs, waffles, and fresh fruit; an outdoor pool and hot tub open all year round; a 24-hour fitness center and free Wi-Fi in all guest rooms and public areas for connectivity.
Comfort Inn Kennesaw- It offers comfortable and affordable accommodations with amenities such as a free buffet breakfast, high-speed internet access( Wi-Fi and wired) available in all rooms, a fitness center, an outdoor pool, and a business center.
Click on the map below to see current vacation rentals and lodges near the park.
There are no National Park Campgrounds within the park.
For a fun adventure check out Escape Campervans. These campervans have built in beds, kitchen area with refrigerators, and more. You can have them fully set up with kitchen supplies, bedding, and other fun extras. They are painted with epic designs you can't miss!
Parks Near Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
Chattahoochee River National Recreation - 15 miles
Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site - 24 miles
Ocmulgee National Historical Park - 70 miles
Freedom Riders National Monument - 88 miles
Jimmy Carter National Historic Site - 150 miles
Andersonville National Historic Site - 153 miles
Fort Pulaski National Monument - 270 miles
Fort Frederica National Monument - 330 miles
Cumberland Island National Seashore - 365 miles
Check out all of the National Parks in Georgia along with neighboring National Parks in Alabama, Florida National Parks, National Parks in North Carolina, South Carolina National Parks, and Tennessee National Parks