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.
I used to run these trails all the time when I went to UGA. I like to do the widest loop possible- orange and white trails. Some parts get pretty technical but the whole trail system is beautiful and well maintained. Athens is so lucky to have this!
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.