Towpath Trail

Hockhocking Adena Bikeway


The Hockhocking Adena Bikeway connects Nelsonville with Athens in Athens County in southeast Ohio. [Scroll past 'Trail Facts' to continue reading.]

Latest Update: 12/12/16 by OB - Spur Opens in Athens

From athensnews.com, "...The completed construction project connects the bike/jogging/walking path on the northwest part of the city north of the Hocking River, to Columbus Road with an extended spur and bridge over the river."


Spur & Trail Extension Planned - 8/11/16 by OB

From thenewscenter.tv, "..there are two projects in the works to extend [the trail] even further.

One of those projects is a bikeway spur that will connect the bikepath to Columbus Road. That project is expected to be finished in 2017.

The second project is an extension of the path. A mile and a half will be added on the east end. It will run in front of Holzer Clinic and connect with Canaan Road. That project is expected to be finished in 2018."

New Mile Markers - 5/25/16 by OB

New mile markers are being painted on the trail surface this year.

Celebration Set - 7/18/15 by OB

From ohio.edu, "Community members are invited to celebrate the reopening of Ohio University's portion of the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway and the City of Athens' designation as a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists with a celebration from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, July 21."

OU Trail Repairs Delayed - 6/1/15 by OB

From athensnews.com, "...A university spokesperson confirmed last week that the project's completion date has been 'revised' to June 18...

"... the contractor, Athens-based York Paving, has stopped work while 'questions with the new sub-base, a key component of the pathway,' are investigated and resolved."

OU Paving Starts this Week - 5/11/15 by OB

From athensnews.com, "Ohio University's contractor will begin paving this week as part of repairs to a popular section of the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway on the Athens campus between Richland and Stimson avenues.

"Facilities management officials said in a conference call Thursday that work on that section of the bike path could be done as early as May 22, depending on weather conditions."

OU Campus Trail Repairs Continue - 4/18/15 by OB

From athensmessenger.com, "Repairs to the section of the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway extending from Richland Avenue to Stimson Avenue will occur beginning in early May, according to a news release from Ohio University.

"Repairs were completed to the section of the path extending from Richland Avenue toward Ohio Health O'Bleness Hospital last year. The upcoming repairs will address the remaining section of the bikeway maintained by the university..."

Trail Specs & Facts:

Location: Athens County, OH

Class: A3+

Length: 20.4 miles / asphalt (not including spurs)

Condition: Good

Facilities: Mostly limited to the Athens section of the bikeway.

Parking: W. State Street Park in Athens. (See map for more options.)

Worth Noting: The Athens portion of the trail has facilites, restaurants and other nearby businesses. Otherwise facilities are scarce.

Map: Hockhocking Adena Bikeway

Elevation: Mostly flat

More Trails in this Region: SE OH Trails List

I started my ride in Nelsonville, from the southernmost end of the campus grounds at Hocking College. Since that time, the trail has been extended 1.2 miles northward through campus and into Nelsonville.

Rock outcroppings grab your attention as you leave the campus area and head south. The Hocking River is in view during much of this ride through quiet, peaceful, wooded country. Plenty of tree cover accompanies you as well as a rail line that follows intermittently alongside as you continue in a southeasterly direction. The trail skirts briefly through Wayne National Forest, a nature preserve.

As you approach Athens, you'll see what appears to be a connecting path that veers off to the right. This apparent offshoot is in fact the main trail and is clearly marked with signs that direct you toward the Ohio University Campus. If you continue straight ahead and ignore this turn, you'll find that the trail ends shortly at Currier Street where there's a small parking lot.

Continuing on toward OU, the trail passes alongside some ball fields off W. State Street before emerging from the cover of trees and brush. Soon you meet up with the Hocking River in full view on your right. The scenery is quite splendid here with tall hills standing over the river.

The bikeway moves onto the OU campus where it begins its sweep around the edge of the grounds passing the football stadium and then a portion of the golf course where signs alert you to be on the lookout for flying golf balls(!) This section of the trail has light posts every few yards along the path, a nice touch.

Just before leaving campus the trail encounters a couple of connecting paths. Stay alongside the river and continue on until you come to East State St. Park, the bikeway's former endpoint.

In 2008 the trail was extended further along East State Street, adding about 1 mile to its length.

A .8-mile trail spur to Athens High School was also added. Another spur into Athens was completed in 2016.

This bikeway is unique in that it links two college campuses by trail. Also, it's one of the few paved bike trails we've encountered that's open at night.

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