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Bring your hiking boots or tennis shoes to Sandy Creek Park and spend some time accessing over 10 miles of trails. Our trails are laid out over easy to moderate terrain and good for hikers and walkers of all ages and abilities. We have 3 different trails, each with its own trail-head and clearly marked throughout. For assistance with any of our trails, please call 706-613-3631.
Lakeside Trail This trail follows the shore of Lake Chapman, including the new Ellen R. Jordan bridge over Sandy Creek. Hikers may return to their origin by following the paved roadways back. This trail is of moderate difficulty and takes approximately 3 hours to complete. White blazes. Trail-heads: The first trailhead is at the boat ramp parking lot located off Beech Tree Drive A second trailhead is located off Campsite Drive on the left near the dam, park in the parking lot above and walk down to meet the trail-head.
Buckeye Horse Trail This trail is cut large enough for multiple horses and riders to enjoy over 4.1 miles of trail that heads northward throughout the park and its property. This trail does not loop, so you MUST return the same way. Blue blazes. Trail-head: Located off Campsite Drive directly across the street of the first parking lot. Trail-head is to the left of the Cook's Trail trail-head. Please park all horse vehicles and trailers in the grassy areas.
Entrance Fees The fee is $2 per horse, in addition to the $2 per person park entry fee. Annual horse permits are available for $10 per horse for ACC resident and $15 per horse for Non ACC resident. Please visit the gatehouse for an annual horse permit application.
Regulations Upon entering the park, individuals must produce proof of Negative Coggins Report at the gatehouse. When parked, all horse trailers and vehicles must be fully off the pavement. Please see Horse Rules for more information.
Cook's Trail This trail is part of the Athens Greenway and Riverside Parks system, and runs creek-side through woods, over boardwalks and bare mineral soil for over four miles, ending at Sandy Creek Nature Center. Return transportation from the Sandy Creek Nature Center back to Sandy Creek Park is not provided. You MUST either walk back the same way or provide your own way back to Sandy Creek Park. Trail-head: Located off Campsite Drive directly across the street of the first parking lot. Trail-head is to the right of the Buckeye Horse Trail trail-head.
Boardwalk on Cook's Trail Closed for Emergency Repairs
One of the boardwalks on Cook's Trail has been closed due to a cracked support beam. Crews are assessing the problem and hope to begin preparations to replace the broken beam on Wednesday, July 1. Due to the remote location of the worksite (approximately 3 miles in from Sandy Creek Park and one mile in from Sandy Creek Nature Center), work may take a week or more to complete. The remainder of Cook's trail on either side of the boardwalk will remain open during this work; however, please watch for work crews hauling equipment and materials to the site.
Failure to abide the trail closure signs during this work could result in severe injury as the damaged structural member is not visible to patrons on the boardwalk and could collapse at any time. Please stay completely off of the boardwalk during repairs.