Punxsutawney Phil may have warned that we have six long weeks of winter left to endure, but with a little preparation, the extended winter doesn’t have to keep you from experiencing nature.
Luckily, Cobb County is full of easy to access hiking trails for all fitness levels. Months of cold weather and dreary skies have made binging shows and staying indoors all too easy. Treat yourself and your body to a quick hike or a full day outdoors.
Before you lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails, I wanted to provide a few hiking tips and ideas on what to pack to make your trip the best adventure yet. Then I’ll share with you some of my favorite Cobb County trails.
1.Don’t Hike Alone
Being alone with nature may sound thrilling, but the reality is hiking by yourself can be very risky. I suggest at least having one person come with you on low-traffic trails and a group for intense hikes.
Not only is it important to have someone with you in case of injury, but you can also learn from other experienced hikers or deepen existing relationships.
If you absolutely want to be alone for your trip, make sure you tell someone where you will be and the estimated time of the hike. That way if you don’t touch base by the agreed upon time, someone knows you need assistance.
2. Wear Proper Attire
Nothing ruins a perfectly good hike like agonizing foot pain. For longer hikes, I suggest investing in some good quality shoes.
Notice I didn’t mention heavy, leather hiking boots. For most recreational hiking a pair of running or hiking shoes is perfect. They are lightweight, comfortable, and breathe easy.
It is also important to wear wool or synthetic socks along with your shoes. Avoid cotton as they tend to take longer to dry if they get dramp from weather or sweat.
Avoiding cotton is also a good idea for your other clothing choices. Comfortable synthetics or moisture wicking material is great for a hike. It is also smart to dress in layers so you can shed some clothes if you get warm.
3. Choose The Right Trail for Your Fitness Level
If you are new to hiking or haven’t hit the trails in a while, make sure you choose a trail that reflects where you are now. It is also a good idea to check the elevation changes in the trail you are picking and factor that into the difficulty of the hike.
To calculate how long a hike will take estimate roughly 2 miles per hour.
Hiking Packing List
Most Cobb County trails are under three miles and won’t require an extensive packing list or heavy pack. However, there are still a few essentials to keep with you at all times no matter the distance.
First Aid Kit
Whether you are hiking five feet or five miles, it is important to pack a first aid kit. Having bandages, antiseptic, and anti-itch medications is key. There are many prepackaged first aid kits available at outdoor stores and local grocery stores.
Rain Attire + Extra Clothing
If you’ve lived in Georgia for any amount of time you’ve learned that weather is pretty unpredictable. It’s a good idea to have a lightweight rain jacket in your pack. You also want to think about packing extra layers of clothing in case of weather changes or difficult activity levels.
Sun can be brutal during elevated hikes, especially those above the treeline, and can increase the probability of sunburns. Packing extra SPF to reapply during your hike will save you from scorching your skin.
Having some extra vittles around is always a good idea. Sometimes hikes can take much longer than expected, so having snacks will keep your energy high and your stomach happy.
Local Outdoor Stores
At a loss of where to find hiking accessories? Luckily Cobb County boasts a few great spots stocked with all kinds of items you make need on your hike.
REI Cobb County
740 Ernest W Barrett Pkwy NW Ste 450, Kennesaw, GA 30144
High Country Outfitters
4475 Roswell Rd #1120, Marietta, GA 30062
2500 S Cobb Dr, Smyrna, GA 30080
Trails in Cobb County
Now that we’ve gone over some basics about hiking, let’s dive into some local trails that are great for any fitness level.
Arguably the most famous hiking trail in the metro-Atlanta area, the Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield loop is 11-miles of varying elevations. The views of the Atlanta skyline and summits of both Kennesaw Mountain and Little Kennesaw Mountain are breathtaking.
Difficulty - Moderate to Advanced
Address: 900 Kennesaw Mountain Dr, Kennesaw, GA 30188
East Cobb Park
This luscious, green park is a great place for beginners. There are slate and natural surface walking trails that will condition the body to get ready for more rigorous hikes. Situated on the 20-acre lot there is a 1.5 mile trail that can be entered through Murdock Rd or Seven Springs Ct.
Difficulty - Beginner
Address: 3322 Roswell Rd, Marietta, GA 30068
Chattahoochee Nature Center
Among the many events and exhibits at the Chattahoochee Nature Center, you will also find a 1.7 miles hiking trail loop that’s perfect for hikers at all skill levels. The trail is open year-round and offers up some beautiful river views. After looping the trail you can also enjoy museum-quality learning center before leaving.
Difficulty - Beginner
Address: 9135 Willeo Rd, Roswell, GA 30075
Sope Creek Hiking Trail
Nestled in the ruins of a Civil War-era paper mill that was destroyed by the Union Army, Sope Creek Hiking trail is one full of interesting views without difficulty. Standing two stories, the paper mill’s castle-like quality is worth the 1.5-mile hiking loop. There are also running and mountain biking trails that stretch over a 3-mile span.
Difficulty - Beginner
Address: Brook Hollow Cir, Marietta, GA 30067
Noonday Creek Trail
A relatively new hiking, mountain biking, and running trail situated between Kennesaw Mountain and Bells Ferry road, Noonday Creek Trail is a great option for anyone seeking a challenge. The trail is 9.1 miles in total and a 318 ft elevation gain.
Difficulty - Moderate
See link for starting points.
Take a Hike!
While there are many other trails to experience in Cobb County, the few listed are a great place to start. Take advantage of our urban trails and enjoy the great outdoors!