The objective of this study is the synthesis of activated carbon derived from cattle manure compost (CMC) causing environmental problems using zinc chloride (ZnCl2) activation and to examine the suitability and performance of the prepared activated carbon (PAC) in removing 2-methylisoborneol (2-MIB) from aqueous solution. The influence of ZnCl2/CMC ratios and outgassing from the PACs on the removal of 2-MIB were studied. Pore texture and surface functional groups were obtained to characterize the PACs. It is suggested that the increase of micropore surface area and volume as a result of the activation favored the removal of 2-MIB, while activated carbon rich in acidic functional groups showed poor 2-MIB adsorption. The preferable removal of 2-MIB depended on the poor acidic functional groups and the higher micropore surface area in the PACs. A sample of the PACs was synthesized at a lower temperature (around 550 °C) compared to commercially available activated carbon (CAAC) (around 900 °C). The sample showed a performance for 2-MIB removal for drinking water purification as well as CAAC. Furthermore, from the results of N2 adsorption-desorption isotherms and 2-MIB adsorption isotherm in aqueous solution, pore structure of PACs and 2-MIB adsorption mechanism on it were suggested.