Trails of Sandy Creek Nature Center

Alert IconALERT! Trail Hazards Hazardous trail conditions remain following Hurricane Irma with numerous downed and hazard trees along trails. A system-wide assessment is underway and trails will be flagged as cleared on the Trail Status page as crews complete work.

As always, users in natural spaces are encouraged to use caution, be aware of their surroundings, and avoid hazards. Please report damaged bridges, downed or hazard trees, and maintenance issues with geo-tagged photos or by dropping us a pin to or by calling us at 706-613-3801 extension 25.

Keep up to date with closings and damages on our Park Closings page.

Trail Descriptions

Pine Ridge Trail
ADA Interpretive Trail
(.2 miles)
Starting at the rear of the Education and Visitor Center, this walker- and wheelchair-accessible boardwalk enters woodlands and continues to a tributary of the Oconee River. Great short trail for all ages. Features interpretive areas and a wildlife observation blind.
* Look for: Animals at the observation blind, changes in forest from upland to wetlands near the creek

Brick Factory Loop & Log House Loop
Starting at Walker Hall, these trails form several loops around the ruins of the Georgia Brick Company (circa 1900) and an early 1800's log cabin moved on-site from Oglethorpe County in 1980.
* Look for: Building foundations, collapsed chimney remains, squirrel nests, lizards in sunny spots at the log house

Claypit Pond Trail (.5 miles)
Starting at Walker Hall, the trail passes through the brick factory ruins, turning left down steps to the pond's edge. Follows the shoreline halfway around the pond.
* Look for: Beaver sign and lodge on the small island in the pond, turtles basking on logs, fish, frogs, snakes, great blue heron.
Pine Ridge Trail
Cook’s Trail (4.1 miles)
This Greenway trail connects Sandy Creek Nature Center with Sandy Creek Park. Not a loop; length is one way. Wander along Sandy Creek through woodlands and wetlands. See the Cook’s Trail map for more information. Floods in the wet season!

Crossridge Trail (.1 miles)
Connects Kingfisher Pond Trail with the Claypit Pond Trail, passing through pine/ hardwoods and crossing the Pine Ridge Trail. Slopes slippery when wet!
* Look for: Sapsucker holes in large pines, mushrooms (in wet weather)

Hooded Warbler Trail (.2 miles)
A short loop in the upper Claypit Pond wetlands. Dense thickets of privet and tall trees make excellent cover for many bird species.
* Look for: Warblers and orioles, salamanders, ferns

Kestrel Trail (.7 miles)
Named for a small falcon that may be seen in the forest edge area. The trail follows the Oconee River floodplain with several vistas of the river. Continues through the extreme northern end of the property in wooded uplands.
* Look for: Deer and turkey in edges between the woods and fields, turtles, occasional otters in the Oconee River

Kingfisher Pond Trail (.3 miles)
This trail winds through the Oconee River floodplain along Kingfisher Pond and follows a creek for most of its length.
* Look for: Mayapple and other wildflowers near the southern end of the trail, signs of beaver activity around the pond, animal tracks in the mud, waterfowl, turtles, snakes, kingfishers

Levee Trail (.9 miles)
Follows Sandy Creek past the Log House and continues to the confluence of the North Oconee River and Sandy Creek. Returns through the floodplain of the Oconee River. Not passable in high water.
* Look for: Signs of beaver and raccoon along river and creek banks, turtles, herons, huge sycamore trees

Oconee Trail (.2 miles)
Starting at a curve in Old Commerce Road, the trail descends to the North Oconee River and loops back through hardwood floodplain forest. Floods in the wet season.
* Look for: Birds in the privet, salamanders, occasional river otters

Pine Ridge Trail (.4 miles)
Walk along the highest point on the property and get a panoramic view of Claypit Pond. Stretches between the Allen House and Walker Hall, passing through mixed pine/ hardwood forest with areas of dense shrub growth.
* Look for: Signs of squirrel and woodpecker, spring wildflowers under the hardwoods, birds

Screech Owl Trail (.4 miles)
The trail roams through dense woods, climbing to a rocky outcrop and crossing an old roadbed. Passes stands of large pines and other upland trees.
* Look for: Signs of previous agriculture, exposed rock, changes from floodplain to upland habitat

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