5 great hiking and biking trails in Cobb County

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5 great hiking and biking trails in Cobb County

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For the AJC
The Noonday Creek Trail in Cobb County. MARTY SEWELL/COBB COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION.

Home to Kennesaw Mountain and the Chattahoochee River, Cobb County is full of scenic hiking and biking routes just waiting for you to explore this fall. Some are longtime favorites; others are new routes.

Bring along the family for some exercise and a history lesson, or simply commune with nature and enjoy a little peace and quiet. The colorful leaves will not disappoint, either.

Kennesaw Mountain Trails

Hike | More than 17 miles

Located within the historic Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, 900 Kennesaw Mountain Drive, Kennesaw

Visitor center hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. year round; battlefield hours: 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m., daylight saving time, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m., standard time

These trails are perfect for multitasking. Exercise and enjoy the outdoors while learning about Civil War history. Make your way through terrain from paved roads to steep climbs. Biking is not allowed on any of the trails, but it is permitted on roadways. Trails can be as long or short as you want, but take your time and note the monuments and historical markers on the battlefield.

Mountain-to-River Trails

Hike and bike | 13.5 miles

Run from Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park to the city of Atlanta's Trail System at the Chattahoochee River.

Hours: Trails in Kennesaw Mountain are open during park hours, and trails outside of the park are always accessible to the public.

This multiuse trail system will lead you from the historic battlefield park all the way to the Chattahoochee River with its bountiful wildlife. Several sections make up this trail system, including the Atlanta Road and Spring Road trails. The Spring Road system connects to the Silver Comet and Concord Road trails as well. Mountain-to-River's urban trail system enables safe, environmentally friendly travel throughout the county.

FREE: For trail information outside of the battlefield, visit the Cobb County Transportation Department's trail system directory at www.cobbcounty.org.

Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area

Hike | 20 miles

Eastern boundary of Cobb County

Park hours: 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset

Five different sections of this national park connect to form a huge trail system open to outdoor enthusiasts from dawn till dusk. However, biking is allowed only on designated routes of the Cochran Shoals section of the park. Cobb County's 20 miles of trails allow visitors to catch glimpses of the wildlife found around the Chattahoochee River.

FREE: Call the park's Island Ford Visitor Station at 678-538-1200 or get more details here.

Silver Comet Trail

Hike and bike | 12.8 miles (Cobb County portion)

Trailhead near I-285 and South Cobb Drive past Nickajack Elementary School on Mavell Road in Smyrna. Runs through Smyrna, Mableton and Powder Springs.

Hours: Strictly enforced "dawn till dusk"

An old rail line turned multiuse trail runs all the way to Alabama, but it officially begins at the Mavell Road trailhead in Cobb. This path extends over several beautiful pedestrian bridges as well. Silver Comet is open from dawn till dusk, so you can bike and hike all day. When you get tired, there are plenty of benches, picnic tables and water fountains to cool off and catch your breath.

Noonday Creek Trail

Hike and bike | 7 miles

Town Center area, connecting Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield Park trail system to the proposed West Cobb trail at Bells Ferry.

Parking is available at Kennesaw National Battlefield Park (900 Kennesaw Mountain Drive, Kennesaw) and at 3001 Bells Ferry Road N.E., Marietta

Hours: Always accessible to the public.

This multiuse paved trail, opened in 2014, is appropriate for walkers and bikers of all ages. It meanders through Cobb's hidden green space, but runs close to many neighborhoods, schools, restaurants and shopping centers. Now you can use the trail as a "green" alternative to driving around Cobb.

From the animals to the photo opps, Atlanta Botanical Gardens has something to offer everyone.

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