The Skylake trail system was designed to give hikers a continuous primary trail from Woodbrier on the north extending 5.6 miles to the summit of Grimes Nose on the south.

Through the years secondary trails have been added to the primary, e.g. Sid's (McKnight) Slopes (Deerpath to Woodbrier), the path alongside the pasture fence, and the Chastain's Challenge trail. The total length of trails inside Skylake is now nearly 12 miles.

Although the trail system utilizes green belt area almost exclusively, it does in a few places pass close by existing homes. Please respect the privacy of your neighbors and remain on the pathway.

The primary trail system is divided into 8 segments which begin and end where the trail crosses a paved road, which allows a hiker to access the trails at many locations, called "trailheads", and to complete a shorter or longer hike, as desired.

The footpath is generally easily recognizable and well-traveled but it is also marked by white blazes of 2" x 4" at eye level on trees. Further guidance is provided by trail signs along the trail where the trail makes a sharp turn or intersects another trail.

Points of interest along the way include York Falls and picnic area, York Creek, Upper Lake, Red Barn, pasture, Bonnie's Bottoms, Lower Lake, and the Observation Tower on Grimes Nose.



Volunteer Opportunities

Maintaining 12 miles of hiking trails in Skylake is not an easy task, but our volunteer trail crew does an outstanding job. They have earned the title, Trailkeepers. The Trailkeepers Chief is Wes Bartlett

There are several roles for volunteer Trailkeepers: help make or install new trail signs, adopt a segment of trail, report trail problems observed on your hikes, volunteer for announced projects or work sessions.

Please give the Trailkeepers Chief your email address if you want to be included on the Trailkeepers email list or are interested in adopting a trail segment. Tell your Skylake neighbors about our work. New Trailkeepers are always welcome! Also please report to the Trailkeepers Chief any downed trees or other obstructions of Skylake trails.

Click Here For Information about Adopting a Trail Segment (Trailkeepers) 

History Notes of Skylake Trails
From Minutes of the NRC 1998 - 2004,
Newsletters and contemporary sources

  • The initial Trail System (7.5 miles) was laid out and created in the late 1980's and early 1990's by Skylake volunteers. According to Susie Calhoun, daughter of Sid McKnight, the founders of the trail system were Sid McKnightChuck Stanfield and Joe Ferguson.
  • The Natural Resources Committee (NRC) was instituted by the POA Board in late 1997 and given responsibility for maintenance and extention of the Trail System. Membership during the early history of the committee included Sid McKnightTed NewhallTinker BachantKen MoffatBill Thomas and Doug Tanner.
  • The segment named Sid's Slopes was completed by July 2001 and honored Sid McKnight, a key founder of the Trail System and the first chairperson of the NRC.
  • The Ken Clark Memorial Trail already existed by October 1997 as it is mentioned in a letter to the NRC. Ken Clark served as President of the POA Board in the early 1990s and was an active volunteer in the trail crew. Tragically, his life was shortened by lung cancer.
  • The Roz Klausman Memorial Trail is named for Rosalind "Roz" Klausman, the horse riding instructor of the summer Sky Lake Camp for children from 1950 through 1966. A bronze and masonry monument, placed in 1969, can be seen at the end of a short trail segment off of Sautee Trail Rd
  • The Littleberry Trail is named for the person (probably a Cherokee) appearing on a deed transferring 490 acres to Jessie Monroe on Oct. 24, 1825 . Part of the 490 acres contained the front part of the future Skylake. It was apparently some kind of a swap deal, since another deed on the same date transferred another property from Monroe to Littleberry.
  • The NRC Minutes of August 24, 2004 mention Harry Chastain was elected to replace Dick Johnson, who was Skylake's first Trail Crew Chief. The Chastain's Challenge trail was named in honor of Harry's 9 years of service as Trail Crew Chief.
  • The Carla Lewis Trail is named for a property owner since 1996 and, as a child, a participant in the summer Sky Lake Camp. Carla was the niece of Roz Klausman.
  • The poet who wrote the Creekside poem was Marilyn C. Hinson.

A mallard hen makes her nest mid the ferns ...
And magic awaits your eye round each turn.
Butterflies hover in the soft light of day ...
Near the bank of the creek, two fawns are at play.
The waters of the creek flow cloudy at first,
But soon will run clear ... a sparkling rebirth.
Carrying sediment they flow and ripple along ...
Filtering impurities, while singing their song.
Countless droplets are filtered and finally clear ...
There's a message for us, if we will just hear.
Storms of life muddy our souls at times ...
Depositing fear, self doubt, thoughts and deeds unkind.
Let the clear waters of mercy, of love and of grace
Wash over our souls and pour over our face ...
So we may see clearly ... begin life anew ...
As God's love flows abundantly through me and through you.
Marilyn C. Hinson