It was a relatively flat trail with only a couple of very slight elevations. Also, there was only a few trip hazard areas with large tree roots sticking out of the ground. It was pretty secluded with a lot of shade. It was perfect for trail running. However the boardwalk about a mile in is now closed for repairs.
Shaded for the most part but a few sunny patches. Some inclines and not too many stumps or rocks. An easy walk or a moderate trail run. Fairly secluded although there is a section where the trail runs behind people's homes. $2 per person entrance fee.
Heads-up - the trail is now closed in the middle due to damage to the boardwalk. You can still get about a mile starting from Sandy Creek Nature Center, or something over 2 miles if you start from Sandy Creek Park.
Trail is easy with very little elevation change other than the mile or so closest to Sandy Creek Park. In season, the mosquitos are nightmarish, even with repellent. Still, it's a lovely trail.
I am a novice in hiking, so unsure how to rate the trail. We went on a Thursday after school was in session and only encountered 3 other hikers. The trail was steeper than we expected (in places) but still not difficult. Bathrooms were well maintained. Trails also very nice and paths clear. A few more signs along the trail might be nice. We had our dog with us, but bank was steep so her access was limited. Bring water! We did and used it often--not for us, but for the dog! My husband and myself are in our late 60's. Park was free for our age.
A little surprisingly steep in places, but on the whole a surprising good hike for your typical round-the-lake loop. Some truly breathtaking overlooks on the lake when the trail runs down the shore. Close by, well-maintained and a nice length.
The Cooks Trail hike in Oct. right after many days of rain a couple of weeks earlier expected it to be sloppy. Was not sloppy. Was pleasantly surprised at the lack of mud. Wonderful hike right by Sandy Creek, flat and lots of plants and vegetation. No wildlife this time.
Nice soft trail with 3 hills - 1 at the beginning, the middle, and the end entering Sandy Creek Park. The majority of the 2nd mile is spent on a very long boardwalk that my knees didn't enjoy due to erosion which has caused parts of the boardwalk to tilt to one side or the other.
An easy hike and since I went on a week day the park was virtually empty. The loop around the lake was peaceful and my two dogs enjoyed it very much. There were a few large trees across the trail that could be a challenge for some. I assume the trail maintenance crew will clear these soon.