The hike is 8 miles one way with a 4,800 ft gain. Yes, in one trip we'll hike 16 miles. And climb up to the top of that giant rock.
To get ready for this trip Stephen and I have started to hike here in Atlanta. We don't have anything near as dramatic as Half Dome here in Georgia, but we have two small mountains, Kennesaw Mountain and Stone Mountain, that we can hike to get our legs ready for steep inclines for miles at a time.
|Kennesaw Mountain. Source: Atlanta Outdoor Club|
What's great about Kennesaw Mountain is that it's free. Yep, Atlanta still has something to do for free. The mountain played a huge part in the Civil War and the fall of Atlanta and along the way up to the summit you'll pass historical markets with stories of the battles that took place at the mountain. You can also bring your dog on the hike. It's been great to take Goose with us the past two days. We haven't taken Mabel because she's a barker and none of the other dogs along the trail are barkers and she'd interrupt the peacefulness of the hike. Goose has been great and having a sleepy dog at home this weekend has been wonderful.
If you're going to hike Kennesaw Mountain I recommend good, sturdy hiking shoes, a bottle of water and some bug spray. It's best to get there early because the close parking lot fills up pretty fast. There aren't any bathrooms along the trail, so stop at the Visitors Center before you start the hike if you have to use the restroom often.
I've also joined a gym to get ready for this hike. I'll be doing a lot of cardio to get my heart and lungs ready and I'm going to focus on my legs, a lot. Like all of the time.
Wish us luck!