My goal for our latest long weekend trip was to see the Appalachian Trail. I didn’t just want to see it. I wanted to touch it. Smell it. Maybe not taste it, but you get the idea. Instead, rain plagued the weekend and made the trip unrealistic. I thought about going anyway, but my legs were already covered in mosquitoes bites and I wasn’t excited about putting the waterproof feature of my new hiking boots to the test before I finished breaking them in. So we stayed in Atlanta instead and looked for closer options with alternative activities in case the rain came.
Enter Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park. While not a national park on our bucket list, it is still a national park run by the National Parks Service. (Though I saw you could press a penny in the gift shop – I can’t believe I didn’t have any change or that they didn’t sell shotglasses – which I was told at Niagara Falls you couldn’t do because it was defacing government property. But I digress.) It was a battleground during the civil war as the North tried to take the stronghold of Atlanta (which you can see along the trails on Kennesaw Mountain). While we didn’t make it back to the museum in time to go through it and learn some of the history, I felt surrounded by the history on the trail. A few cannons littered the side of the trail, undoubtedly pointed north. Signs also gave the names of the military groups that fought in different areas along the trail.
It would have been great to do a full day hike, but the sun shone high above the canopies covering the trail and the trails were void of water. When the tree coverage cleared, the heat and humidity combined for a brutal combination that had me sweating through my cooling towel. We made it a few miles but tuckered out and decided to turn back. Our local family guide mentioned the trails travel along several of the mountains in the foothills, and you could travel from peak to peak along the trails. Definitely a hike I would have liked to do on a cooler day with less mosquitoes and the forethought to fill my water bladder backpack to the brim. While we went on a busy weekend (I suggest bypassing the main parking lot and heading straight to the overflow lot), the trail wasn’t too crowded, especially once you got past the shuttle bus stop along the trail where people could opt to sit in the air conditioning instead of hiking up the inclines.
(the below photography is thanks to my hubby – let’s just call him Paul)