One thing great about living near Atlanta is that so many of our trails have a lot of history surrounding them, especially Civil War history. I love to learn and I love to hike so enjoying both at the same time is great. I hiked this trail back on 06/09/12, before I started the blog, so I’m playing a bit of catch up here.
Allatoona Pass (also known as Deep Cut) sits on the western shores of Lake Allatoona and was the site of the last Civil War battle in the Atlanta area. The pass was built by slaves during the construction of the Western and Atlantic railroad and is flanked by two large mountains… or hills, depending on your definition. On the eastern hill there are several rifle embankments and Federal trenches. The western hill was the location of The Star Fort, composed of 6′ earthworks walls and 6′ trenches with only one opening to allow munitions to be brought in. General Sherman rode his horse through the pass in 1844 and was so impressed with the defense it provided that he avoided it during his Atlanta Campaign. I think it’s extremely cool to hike down a trail in the exact location William Tecumsheh Sherman once rode.
I’m also a firearms enthusiast and this battle was one of the earliest where the Henry rifle was used by Union soldiers, and it made a huge difference in the battle. After an encounter with the 7th Illinois Volunteer Infantry a Confederate Officer is credited with the quote, “It’s a rifle you could load on Sunday and shoot all week long.”
The trail itself has a total length of just over 3 miles and winds in and back out along the banks of Lake Allatoona. At the beginning of the trail is Memorial Field with monuments to both the Union and Confederate soldiers that fought here. There are some moderate hills and the trail offers some great views of the lake through a heavily wooded area. Walking through the center of the cut there is a staircase leading up to The Star Fort and further along the trail is a sign marking the Grave of the Unknown Hero. The trail eventually dead ends and you loop back to the trailhead.
This was a very fun and educational hike on a very hot day. My poor old dog almost couldn’t take it and would lie down anytime I tried to stop to read one of the signs. Looks like she’s getting a bit tender in her old age.