Sandy Creek Lakeside Trail is a 7.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Athens, Georgia that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and horses and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

7.8 miles
462 feet

dogs on leash

kid friendly


horseback riding

trail running






Note: There is a $2 entry fee.

4 months ago

Almost exactly 7 miles by my Garmin device. Parked in the lot above the beach and headed for the west bank. Finished crossing the dam. It's a great hike beside a peaceful lake. No bugs even with all the wet weather. Definitely a few muddy places on the trail though.

5 months ago

Average lake side scenery. Definitely shouldn’t be categorized as easy.

8 months ago

Nice walk or easy hike around a placid lake. Pay the annual fee and get a pass for two adults and family under 18 ($30).

trail running
8 months ago

Really enjoyed trail running/walking this approx 8 mile loop!!!

9 months ago

Good trail but definitely longer than 7 miles if you follow the white trail markings.

trail running
10 months ago

Ive run this loop almost weekly for the past 2 years. The park has a $2 entry fee but it's worth every penny. If you don't want to pay the fee park at Sandy Creek Nature center and take Cooks trail to the Lake Chapman loop.

The loop is well marked with blazes and a few mile markers. Park at the beach and head counter clockwise up the "campground" road to the trail entrance (about 1/3 mile). The trail is relatively flat but does have some steep rollers. The first half is almost all double track. The halfway point is the long bridge (3ish miles, you'll know which one). After the long bridge you enter single track through the forest. Run past the fishing pier, across the boat ramp parking lot and finally you are back at the beach.

This is my go to trail when it has recently rained. With the exception of a few areas the trail dries out in hours. My garmin watch usually reads 6.7 miles for the loop. Enjoy your trip around the lake!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Nice quiet hike, a lot of up and down trail and you do have to pay attention to the white markers to stay on track. Saw a couple of blue herons. Depending on where you park we ended up doing about 8.25 miles as we parked in the middle parking lot. But overall a enjoyable hike on a gorgeous autumn day! Would do this again.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

It's a great trail for beginners like me (only 3 months since I actively started hiking), but unlike what everything's not 6.5 miles for the full loop. It's closer to 9. And a tip if you are hiking with a four legged friend, be sure to pack plenty of water for them, as there are no water sources along the trail (I didn't feel comfortable anywhere along the trail even getting close enough to the edge of the lake for maybe a lap or two of her tongue to swoop some up). I recommend taking 2-3 bottles of water just for your fur baby. My 2 liter water sack was perfect for me though. There's a few inclines and as some have pointed out, an area that's not as well maintained. All in all though, a great trail for beginners or for those that want a good half-day hike.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Beautiful Athens trail for a cool, or winter day. Goes back into the woods, no real roads or cars around the backside. Very peaceful.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Super easy walk around the lake through the forest, nearby some private homes on one side, and along the lake by some marshy areas. Pretty shaded most of the way.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

A nice, easy trail with some interesting scenery different from the usual waterfall hikes up in the mountains. East shore is nice and flat and wide as it piggybacks the horse trail. West shore is hilly and overgrown in some spots, and not as well maintained. Between this trail and Cook's trail you can get almost all the mileage for the Boy Scout Hiking Badge.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Trail is well marked and in good condition.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

really enjoyed the hike. we will be back when they fix the boardwalk. it was a good walk for us and we enjoyed the scenery and the quiet.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Great trails! There's a choice of short, moderate (white) or long (blue). I did moderate with my dog the other day and it was 6.7 miles according to my GPS tracking. Nicely maintained trails and easy to maneuver even after heavy rain. CAREFUL: A medium sized dog came charging from the woods from one of the bordering houses at about the 3 mile marker near the halfway point.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Nice easy trail and is very good if you are starting hike or training for a longer trail. however the miles is off, it 8 miles, not 6.5.

trail running
Sunday, September 25, 2016

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.

Friday, September 16, 2016

It was a good trial and well mark. I has a pack of 30lb and had my small dog. It had only a few small hill nothing too hard to do. Great trail for newbies.

Friday, August 26, 2016

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.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Good train. A few trees down across the trail in a few places, but they didn't keep me from continuing. Starting on the back side of the lake the trail was a little easier.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

We logged 7.5 miles on the trail. Wetland area is beautiful

Saturday, March 05, 2016

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.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Longer than you might think, but not too strenuous. There are a few mild grades but the trail is well maintained and smooth. The scenery isn't much but it's a nice peaceful walk in the woods.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Great low key hike. I'm out here often with my dog. At a nice leisure pace, it generally takes me 2.5 hours.

Monday, September 14, 2015

It wasn't hard but it was a bit more than easy. You def had to pay attention. Really nice because it was more than walking on a trail and less than hiking a mountain. And 7 miles is nothing to sneeze at :). Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Easy, family friendly. Shady for most parts and good if you just want to get out and walk for a bit.

Friday, May 09, 2014

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.

trail running
Monday, August 05, 2013

I went on a whim and decided to run this trail while at the lake "beach". I was surprised how challenging it was. I'm not saying it was hard but it definitely wasn't the easiest. It does have it's share of inclines and the trail gets a bit winding. But for the most part it is free of root or rock gardens. Trail width size varies a lot but it is marked well for both hiker/runners and horses. Nice 7 miler.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

The trail is pretty easy to be connects to swimming dear trail on the other side of the lake which is the best need to do out and back on this one...and new bridge finished in Jan. 2013 connects the two together. I would rate it just above easy, but I did the blood mountain loop last weekend so... I might be a bit biased.

Also, there isn't much to see besides the lake, pretty boring on scenery side.

13 days ago

recorded GA - Sandy Creek Park

19 days ago

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