Explore the most popular trails near Athens with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Athens, Georgia Map

Quiet on Saturdays afternoon. Safe. Great for beginners. I did the white trail and if you get too tired half way through, there is a shortcut back to the parking lot.

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.

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

2 months ago

Completed the white that connected with the orange and blue trails back to the parking lot. Nice and shady. There were points where the trail was somewhat hilly but nothing crazy. Be careful by the river after the rain—my stepson almost slid into the water because the mud was so slick! :)

3 months ago

Great natural escape from Athens, love the Botanical Gardens and this was the first time heading to the trails. The White Trail is for the most part easy but at times becomes moderate. Make sure to bring bug spray, especially during summer, some parts of the trail go along the river and it can get especially buggy. Otherwise, plenty of shady and saw several runners as well. Got confused at some points.

Perfect running trail! Shady in summertime and flat! Beautiful little creek runs along it; saw a blue heron here last week. 4 miles between sandy creek nature center and sandy creek park (lake Chapman) so you can get in your 8 mile run easy or even add the 7 mile loop around the lake if you run that far.

5 months ago

Hiked on 3.16.18 - all boardwalks have been repaired from storm damage last year. The trail is very susceptible to flooding since most of it follows the Sandy Creek basin. Bring insect repellent because gnats are everywhere. I sprayed Off once when arriving and was never bitten. Trail is mostly flat with lots of exposed roots, so watch your step.

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
5 months ago

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

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

trail running
7 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!

8 months ago

Great trail in the Athens area. The trail is mostly flat and easy terrain. Distance from Sandy Creek Park to Nature Center is about 4.1 miles. Round trip 8.2.

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.

It's a great trail for beginners like me (only 3 months since I actively started hiking), but unlike what everything says...it'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.

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

11 months ago

Good trail with lots of shade.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Good place to walk when it is too muddy to hike on wooded trails. You get a good sense of different architecture in this part of Athens.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Great hike. Half was easy, the other half moderate. Remember to bring bug spray....some of the trail follows the river.

trail running
Monday, July 31, 2017

Really nice quiet, confusing once or twice. lucky I had the alltrails map

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Good urban oasis. Fantastic canopy that keeps you cool in the summer.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The most difficult trail at botanical gardens. Starts off nice with a lot of up and down. My favorite trail in Athens.

Monday, July 10, 2017

WOW, what a great little gem. Very well kept up. Granted we hiked it after daily rain we have had, so some parts were a little muddy. Quite flat but the boardwalks are nice. YES this entire trail,is open. Saw one huge river otter, couple of blue herons, a turtle and a bunny. Will definately go back.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Easy and nice

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Connected Orange to Blue to White trails and back to the parking lot. Beautiful parts on each trail!! Easy and nicely maintained walking paths the whole way.

Excellent access. Great interaction with nature. I like the kayaking option at the lake.
Well kept and well marked. Nice trail!

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

NOT CLOSED. One of the more interesting trails I have hiked. Flat the entire length until you get to either end. Lots of wildlife. Boardwalks over much of the wetter parts. Clean and well maintained. Combined with Lake Chapman, makes an easy day hike.

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.

This trail is fun and easy to ride. Go for a cruise next to the river and under the trees. No worries about cars (although It crosses public streets in about 3 places). Only a short hop up the hill to downtown Athens.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

This trail has reopened

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