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Duluth Massage

Cheatham Hill Connector
Georgia Trails

Trail Length: 2.6 miles Type of trail: Point to Point
County: Cobb County, GA Our rating: E
Features: scenic, historic, family, 60hikes Your rating:
Usage: Heavy Added on: January 01, 1998
Last hiked: November 17, 2010 Updated on: December 12, 2010
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Additional Trails
Hiking trails in Cobb County, GA

Directions to Cheatham Hill Connector


The Cheatham Hill Connector gives hikers a route from Pigeon Hill on the Burnt Hickory Loop to the Cheatham Hill Loop or the Kolb's Farm Loop. Although both Union (under William Tecumseh Sherman and Confederate (under Joseph E. Johnston) battle lines were formed between Burnt Hickory Road and the Dallas Highway, very little fighting actually occurred, and most of that happened at the northern entrance on Burnt Hickory Road. Once south of the Dallas Highway the fighting increased dramatically.

Trail History

The Battle of Kennesaw Mountain on June 27, 1864 brought nearly 160,000 men to the vicinity of Marietta, Georgia during the The Civil War. Beginning south of Pigeon Hill, where a supporting Federal attack targeted the area near Burnt Hickory Road, and running to Cheatham Hill, a rise where the Confederate Army withstood the toughest Federal attacks during this trail features widely varied environments and much Georgia history
The 63rd Georgia Infantry Regiment overrun south of Burnt Hickory Rd.
At the start of the Cheatham Hill Connector, just south of Burnt Hickory Road, the trail winds through an open field, passing between the lines of the Union and Rebel forces on the fateful day in June, 1864 that General Sherman ordered one of his only frontal attacks against a reinforced Rebel line.

As Federal troops advanced under the command of Brigadier General Andrew A. J. Lightburn, they ran into a skirmish line manned by the 63rd Georgia Infantry, recently transferred from coastal duty. New to battle, their commanding officer did not allow the skirmishers to fall back to the main line, instead ordering support forward. The result was devastating as losses in the regiment were high. Federal soldiers were turned back a few minutes later as they approached the hill east of the trail.

Cheatham Hill Connector

Burnt Hickory entrance
This narrative is told hiking south from Burnt Hickory Road. The Connector, which initially follows a gravel road, ascends quickly to a ridgetop, then rises and falls over the first .3 miles of the hike through fields and woods. The path then begins the easy-to-moderate descent to Noses Creek. At this point two side trails leave the Cheatham Hill Connector. The trail to the left is actually the return trail to the Kennesaw Mountain Visitors Center. It crosses Burnt Hickory Road in a mile, quickly joining the return trail on the Burnt Hickory Loop, creating an excellent 3.6 mile alternative hike to the visitors center.

The trail on the right is a moderate hike that continues south to Noses Creek and is a much less used 0.9 mile alternative hike to the bridge over Noses Creek on the Cheatham Hill Connector. Watch for entrenchments above you on the left as you hike south along this side trail. When the trail reaches Noses Creek it turns left at the Hardage Saw Mill site and returns to the Cheatham Hill Connector just before the bridge. Both are worth the hike, as each has unique features. For example, clearcut areas allow wildlife to flourish in many places.

Cheatham Hill Connector bridge
On the descent to Noses Creek along the Cheatham Hill Connector, the forest becomes dense and animal life abounds. South of the bridge the terrain begins a moderate climb to the Dallas Highway, which marks the start of gently rolling hills more typical of the Georgia Piedmont. During the Atlanta rains of September, 2009, Noses Creek was hard hit, rising to a level only seen once every 500 years or more. Nearby John Ward Creek and Sweetwater Creek, the downstream connection to the Chattahoochee River for both tributaries, was heavily affected as well.

After the bridge the Cheatham Hill Connector makes a steady, easy to moderate climb to the Dallas Highway. A 1.0 mile side trail to the right just past the bridge provides a moderate alternative hike to the Dallas Highway. The Connector crosses Dallas Highway about .6 miles south of the bridge. This is a high-speed, dangerous road, and caution is advised. The total distance from Burnt Hickory Road to Dallas Highway on the Cheatham Hill Connector is 1.6 miles.

Once Dallas Highway has been crossed the trail passes through a split rail fence and into a pine-hardwood mixed forest as it follows a low, level ridge to Cheatham Hill. Leaving the forest 0.1 miles later, the trail makes an easy climb to a three-way intersection. Follow the trail straight ahead at a three way intersection (the incoming trail goes to John Ward Road). The entire 0.6 miles from Dallas Highway to the Cheatham Hill Loop was the scene of heavy fighting during The Battle of Kennesaw Mountain. To the east of the Cheatham Hill Connector is the Confederate line, delineated by a number of cannon and historic markers. To the west of the trail are open fields and was the site of the Union lines on the day of the battle. General Patrick Cleburne, known as the Stonewall Jackson of the West, defended this area.

A trail to the left just after a cannon battery on the right leads to the Cheatham Hill parking area and the trailhead for the Cheatham Hill Loop. Continue straight and the Connector takes you past the impressive Illinois Monument. The trail ends at a three-way intersection with the Kolb's Farm Loop. Turn right to hike the west side of Kolb's Farm first or left to hike the east side first.


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Cheatham Hill Connector
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Georgia Hikes
Your guide to hiking and walking trails in the state of Georgia

Article Links
Burnt Hickory Loop
Chattahoochee River
Cheatham Hill Loop
Joseph E. Johnston
Kolb's Farm Loop
Patrick Cleburne
The Civil War
William Tecumseh Sherman

Georgia Trails
Georgia Trails Index
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