A Spur-by-Spur Guide to the Athens Bike Path (and the BEER)

Each brewery has its own spur  from the Athens bike path — Hockhocking Adena Bikeway —  but they’re not always clearly marked. You need to know where to turn (or at least where to start looking for the spur).

Below are detailed directions to find for each spur on the Athens bike path, whether or not beer’s at the end of them.

(And if you want to avoid backtracking, we’ve got a couple of “loop routes” at the end that’ll keep the scenery lively for all your pedaling pleasure)

Athens Bike Path Spurs (in order, riding east to west)

Athens Community Center Spur (no beer)

The Athens Community Center Spur is in black on the map above.

Where: Mile 0 of the bike path.

It’s easy to spot. There’s a sign listing mileages to various points on the bikeway and the Mile Marker is stenciled on the bike path itself. You can find parking, restrooms and water fountains here.

Athens Library Spur (no beer)

The Athens Library Spur is in black in the map above.

Where: Just west of the .5 Mile Marker.

There’s a sign that will help you locate the spur. The library (at 30 Home St., Athens) has restrooms, parking, and free bike rentals for library-card holders for up to 3 hours.

Jackie O’s Tap Room Spur (BEER!)

The Jackie O’s Taproom Spur is in black in the map above.

Where: Western side of the 32/50/33 bridge over the Hocking

Note: Construction has blocked this spur. Here’s a detour you can use to get to Jackie O’s while the orange barrels are running amok.

It’s the second bridge you’ll pass under if you’re riding west from the Athens Community Center or Library. You’ll see an apartment complex at the spur. The spur takes you to the Sonic on Stimson Avenue, which is next to Jackie O’s Tap Room. If you get to Mile Marker 1 while riding west, you’ve gone too far …

OU’s Peden Stadium Spur (no beer)

The Peden Stadium Spur is in black on the map above.

Where: Just past Mile Marker 2

Bobcat fans will want to make note of this spur. It’s very short since Peden is practically on the bikeway. It’s just before the Richland Avenue Bridge (the third one you’ll pass under while riding west from the Community Center).

The Ridges Spur (no beer)

The Ridges Spur is in black on the map above.

Where: At the Richland Avenue Bridge

Going west, after you go under the bridge, hook right to ride the bridge south (it’s fine to use the sidewalk once on the bridge —  being respectful of pedestrians, of course)  and go under the Richland Avenue Roundabout.

You’ll see a steep brick road on the right. Drop it to granny gear and climb the hill into the Ridges, which once was called the Athens Lunatic Asylum. It’s a marvelous example of Kirkbride architecture, part of the “Moral Treatment” therapy for mental illness in the mid-19th century.

Little Fish Spur (BEER!)

The Little Fish Spur is in black in the map above.

Where: Shortly after you cross West Union St. (where the Habitat for Humanity Building is)

Once you’ve crossed West Union (carefully!), watch for a spur on the left that rises up the hill. If you start circling past baseball fields at the West State Street Park, you’ve gone too far.

The spur is a short and fun 5-minute ride across the Hocking River and through wetlands to Armitage Road. Look both ways and turn left on Armitage, riding over the railroad tracks and up the hill to Little Fish, which will be on the left.

Currier Street Spur (no beer, but CIDER!)

The Currier Street Spur is in black on the map above.

Where: Look for a hairpin turn and a sign pointing to the “bus. district”

This spur merges into the bikeway after you’ve ridden past the Tall Grass Prairie Research site, which you’ll see after you pass the baseball fields. The spur is a hairpin turn to the right (caution: if you’re coming from the opposite direction, you can easily mistake this spur for the main bikeway).

Once you’re on Currier:

To get to West End Cider House and Miller’s Chicken:

  1. Ride Currier St. to 2nd Street (about 3 blocks and a bit of a hill)
  2. Left on 2nd to Central Avenue (about a block)
  3. Right on Central to W. State Street (another 2 blocks or so).
  4. Left on W. State (you’ll see Miller’s Chicken here) to N. Shafer a block away
  5. Right on N. Shafer to the West End Cider House on the left at the corner of W. Washington St. (another short block away).

Devil’s Kettle Spur (BEER!)

The Devil’s Kettle Spur is in black on the map above.

Where: Just past the Mile 5 marker

Watch for a spur on the right across from several parked boxcars. If you get to Armitage Farm or Armitage Road, you overshot the spur. This is the newest spur to the Athens bike path, and a way-cool ride across a new-but-old-style trestle bridge. You’ll need to cross Columbus Rd. to taste the beer, but Devil’s Kettle is right there. You can’t miss the red building with tons of solar panels.

Athens High School Spur (beer, if you turn off at the Eclipse)

The Athens High School Spur is in black on the map above.

Where: Just past Mile 7 marker

While riding toward the Eclipse from Athens, the left for this spur is just past the mile marker (it’s a right if you’re heading toward Athens from the Eclipse). The spur crosses Jackson Drive, which leads to the Eclipse Company Store, and then climbs the hill to Athens High School. From there you can double back to return to the bikeway, or you can pick up Johnson Road, which runs directly into The Plains.

Alternative Loops

There are several opportunities for loop rides off the bikeway. Here are three we particularly like:

Little Fish/Armitage Road Loop

The Armitage Road loop is purple in the above map.

The Athens bike path spur to Little Fish leads to Armitage Road (black line on map above). From there, it’s a short ride up the hill to the brewery. If you’re returning and don’t want to double back on the spur, ride out Armitage Road instead of getting back on the spur (blue line in the map). It’s a mix of pavement and gravel with very little traffic. You’ll quickly notice the grade is steeper than the bike path, but it’s not prohibitive. This loop will return you to the bikepath at Armitage Road near Mile Marker 5 and the spur to Devil’s Kettle. From there, go right and look for the Devil’s Kettle Spur on the left; or you can go left and ride another 2 miles to the Eclipse at Mile Marker .

The Bobcat Loop

The Bobcat loop is green in the above map

Take the Peden Stadium spur off the Athens bike path and ride through Peden’s parking area to South Green Drive. Go right on South Green and you’re riding through the southern edge of the OU campus, where you’ll pass Ping Recreation Center and a series of dorms. When South Green becomes Mill Street, you’ll see a short spur on the right that puts you back on the bikepath. From there, go left a short distance to the Jackie O’s Tap Room spur.

Dow Lake/Stroud’s Run loop

The Dow Lake/Stroud’s Run loop is blue in the map above

This technically isn’t a loop, but it’s a great way to bike to Dow Lake/Strouds Run. Ride east of the Athens Community Center to the East State Street Parking area. The bikeway continues east from here, running parallel to East State Street. After you pass the flashing yellow light, start looking for a left turn onto Della Drive.  The turn is next to a road sign advising that Right Lane Ends. Be careful crossing East State and proceed onto Della Drive. Follow that all the way out to where it T’s at Highway 30/52. This is the tricky part. It’s about 200 yards up 30/52 on the shoulder. You’re riding against traffic, which generally isn’t advisable. But it’s only a few hundred yards, and the shoulder is wide and clean for this stretch. Turn left into the parking area below the Dow Lake dam. From here, you can lock up your bike and hike the trails around the lake, or if you have a mountain bike, you can keep riding up into the Stroud’s Run trail system.  Mountain biking is permitted on several trails.

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