Walk Softly -- Leave No Trace

Please Be Kind and Courteous to
People, Animals and The Land!

“…My 2 year old son and I spend time about everyday on Big Kennesaw. A couple of days a week he hikes to the top with me and it is frustrating to have to deal with unleashed dogs around our very small little boy.”

“I have, in the past 2 weeks, encountered 2 people with loose dogs on the trail that, when I tell them to put their dog on the leash, have told me, quite unceremoniously, to f*** myself. Today I was told that, since my horse is 50 times bigger than their dog, it provides no threat to me, and that 'EVERYONE' lets their dogs run.”

“…between dealing with extremely rude dog owners and drivers that would rather run me and my horse over than take the few seconds out of their busy schedule to stop and allow me to cross, … I am very near ending my trail riding career at Kennesaw Mountain.”

Unfortunately comments like the foregoing are all to frequent at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park these days.   It seems as if the legendary hospitality and courtesy that Georgians have always been known for have gone by the wayside in these “Me First” times.  

The park was created to commemorate and preserve the history of the almost 5,000 Americans who died right here in Marietta Georgia in two weeks in the summer of 1864. The intent is to provide a place for ALL visitors to recall the history, and to enjoy the natural setting.   Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park (KEMO) is the most visited historic battlefield next to Gettysburg National Battlefield.  With more than 1.5 million visitors per year, we all need to be conscious of minimizing the impact of our visit on the historic and natural features of the park, and also on each other.

The issue of keeping pets, primarily dogs, on a leash is a particularly sensitive and aggravating issue for many visitors.   There are a host of reasons why keeping your animal leashed is an excellent idea.

Common Courtesy

The first and to our mind all the reason that’s needed to keep our pet on a leash is simple consideration for the enjoyment of other visitors.   Many people are genuinely afraid of dogs, especially strange dogs whose behavior we’re not familiar with.   Just because we love our dog doesn’t mean everyone loves our dog.  

We want to enjoy our outing in the park without being disturbed by other people and animals so we should provide the same consideration for other visitors.

If exercising your pet off leash is the primary objective of your outing then perhaps you would be better served by visiting a park that provides facilities for that purpose such as Sweat Mountain Park at 4346 Steinhauer Rd. Marietta, GA 30066.  

Conservation & Preservation

The goal of the park is to conserve the natural resources and preserve the historic features.

--There is a possibility of exchange of diseases between domestic animals and wildlife.

--Dogs, the most common traveling companion, are natural predators that may harass or even kill native wildlife that is protected within the park's boundaries.

--The "scent of a predator" that dogs leave behind can disrupt or alter the behavior of native animals.

--Pets may be hard to control, even on a leash, within confines of often narrow park trails and may trample or dig up fragile vegetation.


Restrictions on pets in parks are as much to protect your pet as to protect park resources. Following are some of the reasons parks give for regulating the presence of pets:

-- A startled runner may miss their stride and be injured when suddenly coming upon an unleashed dog.

-- A Startled Horse suddenly coming upon an unleashed dog may injure the dog, the rider, or itself.
--When a loose pet chases a squirrel or raccoon, the wild animal's ability to survive is threatened, and when it is threatened, it may react aggressively.
--There is a strong possibility in parks such as Kennesaw Mountain that your pet could become prey for coyote, owl, or other predators.
--Dog and cat feces add excessive nutrients and bacterial pollution to water, which decreases water quality and can also cause human health problems.
--Finally, lost domestic animals sometimes turn to preying on park wildlife and must be destroyed.


If courtesy, conservation, preservation and safety aren’t enough reasons to keep your pet leashed while you are in the park then you should also be aware that the National Park Service, and Cobb County have regulations regarding pets being on a leash and pet waste management that will be enforced and can result in impounding your pet, and you receiving a citation to appear in court.

Enjoying a walk in the woods with our pets doesn’t have to be a   law enforcement issue if we all just behave with consideration for the park and for the other visitors.

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park

You and your pet want to visit...

Bring them along so they can enjoy the Battlefield too. 
A few helpful things to keep in mind:

ALL PETS must be on a leash no longer than 6ft in length and under the accompanying human's physical control at all times.  No one likes to step in something soft and smelly and take it back to the car, so for everyone's convenience; there are mutt mitts available in the parking areas for the disposal of your pet's waste. 
Be aware, unfortunately, just because your animal has never displayed aggressive behavior does not mean it can not happen.  We are here for everyone's enjoyment so please be considerate of ALL Battlefield users including other animals, wildlife and Battlefield staff.  

There are just a few places that pets are NOT allowed:

  • In the Visitor Center
  • In restroom facilities
  • The shuttle bus
  • Water fountains made for HUMAN consumption

Should you encounter problems with either wildlife or animals off leash, you may call the visitor center at the time of occurrence at 770-427-4686 Ex.0. 

Note: Outside of Visitor Center Hours (8:30 AM   to 5:30 PM   Daily) you may call   Cobb County 911.  

To provide assistance to the law enforcement rangers or Cobb County police, call promptly provide time and place of incident direction of travel on the trail, be specific note distinguishing characteristics of the visitor and the animal, your name and a phone number where you can be reached for additional information.  

Cobb County GA Leash Law

Leash Law
Animals are required to be on a leash when outside unless contained by a fence. Pet owners are responsible for collecting animal waste and disposing of it properly. Contact Cobb County Animal Control at (770) 499-4136 to report violations.

Let us know if there are any events or updates you would like to share with fellow members.