North Oconee River Greenway


11 Reviews

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North Oconee River Greenway Facts

States: Georgia
Counties: Clarke
Length: 7.23 miles
Trail end points: Sandy Creek Nature Center and Carriage Ln.
Trail surfaces: Concrete
Trail category: Greenway/Non-RT
ID: 6032564

North Oconee River Greenway Description

The North Oconee River Greenway is a 7.23-mile long, 10-foot wide, paved multi-use path open to all types of non-motorized uses. The trail runs from Sandy Creek Nature Center (connecting with Cook's Greenway Trail), following the North Oconee River south past Dudley Park and Oconee Hill Cemetery to Carriage Lane.

Within the 1/2-mile section from Dudley Park to Wilkerson Street, you'll find a series of interpretive panels that illustrate Athens' rich history. Learn about the North Oconee River, the former Cook and Brother Amory/Chicopee Mill, Dudley Park, Athens' railroad and more. Parking, picnicking and recreational areas are located along the Greenway.

The trail is open daily from sunrise to sunset. During heavy rains the trail is prone to flooding where it nears the river.

There are several connector trails that link to North Oconee River Greenway:

  • Pulaski Heights Trail (0.25 miles) - Pulaski St. & Pulaski Heights St. to Hull St. & Hoyt St.
  • East Campus Connector Trail (0.86 miles) - River Rd. to Oconee St.
  • Trail Creek Trail (0.5 miles ) - Vine St. & Oakridge Ave. to Trail Creek St.

Parking and Trail Access

The Greenway is located in Athens, GA. Parking is available in Dudley Park (S. Poplar and Oak streets), in Riverside Park (Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Parkway and Ruth Street) and at the Sandy Creek Nature Center, at the northern terminus of the trail (Old Commerce Road). The southern terminus of the trail is located near a UGA Park and Ride Lot.

North Oconee River Greenway Reviews

Great scenery

Perfect Saturday afternoon trail

construction stops much of trail

We got short rides going north and south from Spring Street entrance. The trial was broken up with highway construction projects. I’m sure trail is beautiful but check first as heavy equipment was everywhere.

perfect for kids

Easy hills and plenty of shady path. This was perfect for a family bike ride with our 5 year old!

Fun, Fun, Fun!

The Dudley Park end is good for families, but the Sandy Creek end is too much fun.


just learning

Easy to get to. Plenty of parking (across from Chicopee building). The Sandy Creek end was flooded from the recent rains, so I will have to go back and try again.

good beginner or with kids.

Th strain is smooth and not to crowded. Be careful on the road crossings as people don't follow the traffic rules. Other than that great family trail.

first time and old man

Loved the overall trip. Dudley up to springs. Had to wait ten minutes for a parking place behind Mamas Boy. Got very lost going from road to sidewalks going north. Finally refound the path at the halfway point. Again got lost going south. Had a good time anyway. Never saw streets so poorly marked. Anyway I truly had a great time. Am sorry I never found the 4 mile boardwalk???

greenway is quite an outing

i've been riding the greenway here for 8 years now and the directional medallions are perfect for cyclists, skaters, joggers, or even pups out exploring the greenway as they are embedded right in the concrete trail. if you start at dudley park, you can grab a morning biscuit at mama's boy, enjoy the interpretive signs thru the heritage trail stretch, get close to the river many places. it's worth stopping along the way to read the signage, explore the subtrails below aguar plaza and read the wisdom rocks. friends can meet or intercept you at several gravel parking lots along the way if they are the strolling type while you are the cycling type. the remodel of the nature center will be great once completed and there are other facilities for water pit stops in the interim. if you continue on to cook's trail, lock the bike up and cool down with a stroll on the boardwalk. although it sounds short at first, 3.5 greenway and 4.0 boardwalk, you can get in quite a workout. enjoy and support the greenway. check the kiosks along the trail for season activities.

Great for beginning cyclists

"My family lives in Athens. I'm an accomplished recreational rider/commuter, but my wife and children are very uneasy on bicycles, especially near traffic. The Greenway is perfect for them. We like to start at Sandy Creek Nature Center (where I'm a volunteer) and ride the park's road 1/2 mile through the woods to the Greenway. This road is almost always closed to motor vehicles. South of the Nature Center, the Greenway offers about two miles of concrete, off-road path, often right beside the North Oconee River. The next two miles of the Greenway are essentially wide sidewalk as it enters the downtown area, but it lies along very quiet streets, so even nervous riders will be comfortable. The street crossing at North Avenue can be very difficult; be patient! Even in this urban section, most areas are wooded and you have lots of beautiful views of the river and the town. Also, the riverside route irons out most of the big hills, but leaves enough roll for a little downhill fun. Right now the Greenway ends in Dudley Park near the ""Murmur"" trestle; Athens is working on extending it both north and south, and on linking it directly to the University of Georgia campus. Speaking of R.E.M. landmarks, Weaver D's -- the restaurant that originated the slogan ""Automatic for the People"" -- is right beside the Greenway's magnificent bridge over the North Oconee at East Broad Street. The Greenway itself is too short and too much of a sidewalk to challenge experienced riders (check with local bike shops or the Nitty Gritty Bike Band website for group rides or longer on-road options in the Athens area), but for families or people who want a slow ride or a nice jog, it's hard to beat. If you are there Tuesday through Saturday, be sure to check out the Nature Center's ENSAT building, which includes several cool interactive exhibits and a small gift shop."

A nice start

"Currently, this is only a 4 mile trail, a short portion of which is on a city street, a significant portion on a wide sidewalk, and the rest (about 1/2) on a dedicated multi-use trail. The trail starts in Dudley Park, not far from the UGA campus and winds along the North Oconee River. It ends at the Sandy Creek Nature Center north of town. There are numerous signs along the way as well as information areas with historical details about the area. There are a variety of plans to extend the trail both upstream and downstream, either would be nice-the trails is abit short as it is. There are many possibilities for side trips. Athens is a relatively bike friendly town. "

City to woods

"This is a fun path that takes you from a park just south of downtown Athens (at the foot of the trestle featured on REM's ""Murmer"" album), along the river east of downtown (nice views), then into the woods of Sandy Creek Nature Center. About half of it is dedicated off-road trail, the other half is glorified sidewalk. Even though it's in town, the trail passes through woods most of its length, with frequent views of the red-running North Oconee.

The North Avenue road crossing can be tricky, especially with kids, and unless you are comfortable riding/skating with traffic, it's best to walk across the bridge on College Avenue, where the trail is routed onto the narrow sidewalk. At the north end, the Sandy Creek Nature Center features 4+ miles of hiking trails (no bikes) and a small natural science museum and gift shop (open Tuesday through Saturday, no admission fee). And there are lots of restaurants in downtown Athens."

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