For people who love to hike, Cobb County offers a number of places to wear out your walking shoes.
An extensive system of more than 120 miles of federal, county and city trails covers the entire county, and some trails also connect or will connect with trails in other counties to provide a number of recreational opportunities and an alternative form of transportation.
The Cobb County Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs (PARKS) Department manages 60 miles of paved and natural-surface trails, and the Cobb Department of Transportation (DOT) maintains the trail system map, which identifies multiuse and recreation trails that are existing, planned and programmed, according to the Cobb comprehensive PARKS master plan.
Silver Comet Trail, Noonday Creek Trail and trails in Allatoona Creek Park are among the most popular hiking sites in the county.
- Silver Comet Trail
Probably the best-known trail in Cobb County, Silver Comet is a 60-mile multiuse, paved trail stretching from Smyrna into Alabama. Cobb’s section is a 12.8-mile path in the southern part of the county that was developed along an abandoned rail line once traveled by the Silver Comet passenger train. Connections to other city and county parks are planned.
- Noonday Creek Trail
Noonday is a paved multiuse side path and greenway trail that extends for 7 miles from Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park to the Noonday Creek trailhead on Bells Ferry Road, connecting Kennesaw Mountain to Town Center and Kennesaw State University (KSU). Opened in September 2014, the trail is accessible for a variety of recreational users, including walkers, joggers and cyclists. Connections can be made from the West Cobb/Barrett Parkway, Mountain to River and Big Shanty Road trails.
- Allatoona Creek Park Trails
The 1,450-acre Allatoona Creek Park, Cobb’s largest park, contains 40 miles of natural-surface multiuse trails, making it the most extensive trail system in the county.
The Acworth park also is home to the largest purpose-built multiuse trail in Georgia. “Purpose-built means that the entire trail system was professionally designed and constructed as a destination trail system,” said John Purcell, recreation program coordinator with Cobb PARKS.
The trails host a variety of events, including cross-country races for eight local high schools, the Georgia Cycling Association race series, three running races and four bike races conducted by promoters, mountain bike and cross-country camps, bike clinics, trail workdays, night hikes, group rides, wildlife walkabouts and hiking clinics.
Purcell added more trails will be constructed in the future, including one that will connect the Allatoona Creek Greenway to Price Park in Kennesaw.
Community Improvement District (CID) Trails
There also are two fairly interconnected networks of greenways and trails in the Town Center CID and the Cumberland CID, according to the 2018 Greenways and Trails Master Plan (GTMP), which focuses primarily on trails outside park properties. Trails throughout the Town Center CID mainly link to Noonday Creek and include facilities on Big Shanty Road, the KSU walking trail and Town Point Parkway. In the Cumberland CID, key trails include the Bob Callan Trail; segments on Cumberland Boulevard, Circle 75 Parkway and Interstate North Parkway; and Akers Mill Road.
Trails systems in Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park and Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area also are vital pieces of the trail system in Cobb County.
The 2,965-acre national battlefield includes 19 miles of interpretive walking trails that allow visitors to view information about the Civil War battle that took place there June 19-July 2, 1864, as part of Union Gen. William Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign. Connecting to the park is the Noonday Creek Trail.
The recreation area, designated a National Recreation Area in 1978, contains 48 miles of river flowing from Lake Lanier’s Buford Dam to Peachtree Creek. Winding through several cities and four counties, including Cobb County, the corridor includes more than 70 miles of hiking trails.
Cobb County participates in the Emergency Locator Marker program, which provides trail markers at every quarter mile along the trails in the county’s system. These markers provide U.S. National Grid alphanumeric coordinates, which are important for emergency responders. When provided in 911 calls, the coordinates quickly direct emergency responders to a location on a trail where a physical address might not exist.
Located on Lake Acworth, Cauble Park has more than a mile of multiuse trails and two bridges that connect the park with adjacent neighborhoods. Logan Farm Park features almost 2 miles of paved and unpaved trails along Tanyard Creek, linking the park with adjoining neighborhoods.
“We also consider any of the sidewalks that are big enough for golf carts (8 feet wide or more) to be part of the trail system,” Acworth spokeswoman Taylor Aubrey said. “The plan in the next several years is to have full connectivity around Lake Acworth. There are also lots of sidewalks, making the Main Street area very walkable from the north side of downtown, all the way to North Cobb High School.”
Aubrey added an official city trail map is “actually in the works,” but it won’t be completed for “a few more months.”
The Deerfield Park, Kennesaw First Baptist Church, Matlock, Whispering Lake and Winchester Forest Park trails make up the Kennesaw trail system. Each trail has a different trailhead.
In addition, the city has three parks that have trails within them, according to spokeswoman Rebecca Graham.
“Swift-Cantrell Park, Kennesaw’s largest community park, is home to a 1-mile-long perimeter trail, and the (inner) half-mile-long Fisher King Iditarod Lead Dog Memorial Trail,” she said. “The 12-foot-wide perimeter trail is ideal for walking, running and cycling. The 8-foot-wide inner trail is ideal for strolling and dog walking. Both trails are paved asphalt.”
At just over a half-mile, the 8-foot-wide concrete trail at Adams Park extends from Park Drive at the northern boundary of the park to points near Watts Drive along the southern boundary, Graham said. Skating and dogs are permitted on the trail and sidewalks, unless otherwise posted.
Depot Park, located downtown across from the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History, has about a half-mile of paved sidewalks.
While most trails are contained within the county, a few Cobb trails already extend or will extend into other counties.
The Silver Comet Trail begins in Smyrna and runs to the Georgia/Alabama state line, where it joins the Chief Ladiga Trail and continues to Anniston, Alabama. The Silver Comet Connector Trail, which will stretch from the Cumberland area across the Chattahoochee River into Fulton County to connect to Atlanta’s trail system, is in various stages of planning and construction, according to Laura Beall, planning division manager for Cobb DOT.
And the Noonday Creek Trail will be connecting with Cherokee County in the near future.
“The city of Woodstock, with Cherokee County, has a trail nearing a construction phase, which will connect the existing trail in downtown Woodstock into Cobb County at the north end of Noonday Creek Park,” Beall said.
The 2-mile trail would be a 10-foot-wide shared-use concrete path stretching from Noonday Creek Park at Shallowford Road into Cherokee County, where it would link up with the existing Woodstock Noonday Creek Trail at Highway 92, according to the GTMP.
Cobb County is conducting a planning study for a Noonday Creek Trail Extension that would pick up at the park where the Woodstock/Cherokee County section ends and stretch south to the existing Bells Ferry Road trailhead.
“The county’s section planning study is wrapping up this summer,” Beall said. “Once the Board of Commissioners approves a final trail concept report, the county expects to actively pursue funding opportunities to begin engineering and design. We do not have funding yet for the trail but expect to pursue several options.”
The county also is doing a planning study on the Austell Powder Springs Trail, which would connect the two cities from the existing trailhead at Silver Comet Linear Park in Powder Springs to Joe Jerkins Boulevard in downtown Austell, generally along Austell-Powder Springs Road.