Don’t worry, it’s a bit tough to actually get lost on the Athens (Ohio) bike path. We’ve never run into someone hopelessly adrift, we have run into lots of folks wondering “how far is X, Y, or Z.” That’s what this guide is for. To help you navigate on the spot.
How to Spot the Mile Markers
Signage on the Athens bike path varies. The older mile markers tend to be about 2-ft high and are visible as you ride, like the one below:
Some newer posts, which are also a bit taller, list distances to various attractions.
You’ll also see some pretty cool mile markers painted on the bike path itself (like the one below).
Here are a few key mile markers that’ll help you find what you’re looking for and give you a sense of exactly where you are on the 18-mile-long bikeway.
Navigating the Bike Path
Mile 1E — From there, the bikeway runs only about two miles east (you’ll notice the few mile markers on this stretch include an “E” for “east,” but none of the west markers have “w” ) behind a stretch of retail businesses, including grocery stores, restaurants, general retail. It ends near a Super 8 Motel. At Mile Marker 1E, there is a parking lot specifically for cyclists and other bikeway users.
Mile 1 — If you head west from Mile Marker 0, it’s less than a mile to the turnoff for Jackie O’s Tap Room. There’s no sign, so be on the lookout for a short spur just east of the Stimson Avenue bridge. Watch for the Taproom’s iconic silos — or for the Sonic on Stimson Avenue. If you get to Mile Marker 1, you’ve gone too far west. Double back. (During the summer of 2017, this spur is mired in construction as a roundabout is installed on Stimson Avenue so proceed with caution while work is under way.)
Between Miles 3 & 4 — From Jackie O’s Taproom, head west through Ohio University, past the golf course to Habitat for Humanity on West State Street, between Mile Markers 3 and 4.
Local tip: There are public restrooms, a water fountain, and a bike repair station at the Habitat building if you need to make a pitstop.
Mile 4 — After (carefully) crossing West Union, start watching for a spur on the left as you head west. If you get to Mile Marker 4, you’ve gone too far. This spur will take you to Little Fish.
Mile 5 — After visiting LIttle Fish, use the spur to return to the bikeway and continue west, keeping an eye out for Mile Marker 5. Just west of this you’ll see a spur on the right that leads to Devil’s Kettle on Columbus Road. You’ll see boxcars and Armitage Farm on the opposite side of the bikeway. After visiting Devil’s Kettle. use the spur to return to the bikeway.
Mile 7 — Next stop: The Eclipse Company Store. This stretch of the bikeway is sublime, shaded by trees and teeming with wildlife. After you’ve stopped at the Eclipse, you can either return or, if you still got legs, continue on to Nelsonville.
Mile 18 — After riding through the campus of Hocking College, you’ll come to Nelsonville. Mile Marker 18 is near Rocky Boots, which is just a few blocks from Nelsonville’s Public Square and the newest brewery in the area, Multiple Brewing.