Construction on the first section of Greenway began in 1985. The 4.1 mile (one way) trail named Cook's Trail, in honor of Dr. Walker Cook, and stretches from Sandy Creek Nature Center to Sandy Creek Park. Cook's Trail was dedicated in 1990.
The Cook's Trail Bridge and Boardwalk Replacement project is the first step in a multi-phased process that will address long standing issues with the bridges and boardwalks along the oldest maintained trail in Athens-Clarke County. This project focuses on developing a full environmental and engineering assessment of the trail corridor followed by identification of areas for rerouting the trail and new bridge and boardwalk placement. A fully engineered plan for trail routing and bridge and boardwalk design and construction shall be in place prior to any construction efforts. The highest priority areas for this project are the boardwalks that are at the end of their lifecycle and those that are located in areas impacted by shifting waterways. Further replacements are to follow upon completion of the high priority boardwalk replacements. New boardwalks and bridges will allow for the appropriate entry so that people with disabilities can access the structures. They will be wide enough to allow two-way passage of trail pedestrian traffic and allow trail users to stop and observe flora and fauna from the boardwalk. Materials for the bridges range from weathered steel to fiberglass to wood. The goal of all boardwalk construction will be top down, meaning construction equipment will move along and work from the top of the recently completed boardwalk to minimize the ecological impact of construction where possible.