This loop is a decent 2.5 mile trip with the possibility to extend (loop twice) as time and energy permit. There is some mild footwork and obstacles to traverse as well as a decent amount of hills to increase the intensity. This loop is short enough to fit into an after-work routine. The hills along the Cherokee Trail
side can make this loop challenging enough even for seasoned hikers. This is also a great beginners loop, which mixes both a short distance with changing terrain.
For viewing, there is Stone Mountain overshadowing the lake, a few small bridges to cross, and a small waterfall/creek around the 0.8 mile mark, as well as views of Venable Lake and Stone Mountain Lake.
This loop utilizes part of the Cherokee Trail
(blazed white) and Lake Connector
trail (blazed orange) to create a 2.5 mile loop around Venable Lake.
Start at parking lot 5, which has the children's playground and restroom facilities. Start heading east past where the fence ends, and you should come across the path where the Cherokee Trail
(white) crosses Robert E. Lee Blvd. To start this loop, you'll veer right (south) into the forest along the fence line. Follow the white blazes until the 1.2 mile mark where the Cherokee Trail
turns right and the orange-blazed Lake Connector
trail goes left.
Go left to head back toward the starting direction, but now you are on the other side of Venable Lake. Follow the orange blazes until you reach the road (Stonewall Jackson Dr.). At the road, turn left on the sidewalk, cross the street so you are on the west side of the road, and cross the bridge. After the bridge, you should return to the Cherokee Trail
. Turn right to head back to the start (if you want to extend your outing, go left to loop around the lake again). Follow the trail back to the starting position, which is where the trail crosses Robert E. Lee Blvd.
Usual Georgia plants and wildlife (squirrels and deer mostly). Great fall colors with the mountain in the background and the lake reflecting the season.