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Civil War era cannon in Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park

Visitors to Arbor Terrace of Burnt Hickory in Marietta, Georgia, may not realize how close they are to an important piece of our nation’s history.

Arbor Terrace lies in the shadow of Kennesaw Mountain, the site of a major Civil War battle. In June 1864, Confederate troops tried to stop General Sherman’s army from advancing into Georgia. The nearly 3,000-acre site was designated as Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park in 1917.

The park, popular with locals and visitors alike, is well worth exploring. If you are planning to spend the day, here are eight things to know before you go.

Do Your Homework

The site includes three battlefields and 11 miles of earthworks. Because the visitor’s center is currently closed, reading up on the history of  the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain will give you a better idea of where everything took place.

It’s Not Just for History Buffs

There are more than 18 miles of trails for hiking and open paved roads for biking, and you are welcome to bring your dog if you keep it on a leash. There are also places to picnic.

The View Is Worth the Climb

Kennesaw Mountain rises more than 1,800 feet above sea level, and it’s a very steep climb to the summit. From the top, you can see the city of Marietta, the Atlanta skyline and even Stone Mountain. Click here and scroll down for pictures of the hike as well as the view from the top. In the past, people who couldn’t make the climb opted to drive up the road to the observation deck, but as of now, the road is closed.

Bring a Map 

Whether you are scoping out the history or just hiking, having a map with you will help you get where you want to go. Click here to download maps of the park.

Dress Appropriately

In the spring and summer, you will want to wear a hat to block the sun. In the fall and winter, keep in mind that the temperature at the top of the mountain can be about 10 degrees cooler than at the base, so you might need a light jacket. No matter the weather, carry a refillable water bottle.

Bring Binoculars

Besides using them to check out the view, they will come in handy for spotting wildlife like hawks overhead, or deer in the woods beside the trail.

Do Not Disturb History

There are stiff penalties for visitors who engage in relic hunting, or taking home historical items they find as souvenirs.

Park officials also ask that you do not let children climb on the cannons, not only because it can be dangerous, but also because it can damage them.

Be Prepared to Walk from the Parking Lot.

Most cars have to park in the overflow lot, which is about a quarter-mile away.

While you are in the neighborhood, the staff and residents at Arbor Terrace of Burnt Hickory would love it if you came in for a visit. Call us at 770-691-0050, and we will be happy to arrange a tour of the community.


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Beth Laxton

About the Author: Beth Laxton

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