Explore the most popular dogs on leash 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.

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.

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.

7 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
8 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
9 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!

11 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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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

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

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, October 30, 2016

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.

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.

Monday, September 19, 2016

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.

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.

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