Looking for loop rides off the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway

After an amazing Ohio Brew Week I decided to pedal off a few of the pints I sampled. So I hit the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway for biking without the brew. You can do that. And it’s a blast.

I biked from Athens Near Eastside neighborhood up to the Eclipse Company Town, taking time to enjoy to cool, shady stretches along the way. When I hit the Eclipse, I took the Athens High School Spur to extend the ride a bit and added a (humble) climb. Then I turned and doubled back.

 

When I got to Armitage Farm on my way back to Athens, I took the Armitage Road loop that leads down to Little Fish, stopping to say hi to the livestock along the way. (Turn onto the gravel road at the farm, right next to the boxcars; the go left onto Armitage Road).

Armitage is a mix of gravel and paved road with some washboard sections and a few modest hills, but it was a nice way to see different scenery on the return trip. And there’s very little traffic.

 

You’ll cross the railroad tracks twice on Armitage Road if you go all the way to Little Fish. I turned left onto the Little Fish Spur despite a strong urge to see what the Cajun Clucker was serving for lunch.

 

After returning to the bikeway, I dodged geese and watched wildlife along the swollen Hocking River. I’ve been seeing a lot of blue heron this year, and this ride was no exception. I also saw a bunch of boisterous bluebirds zooming around the golf course.

But I still wasn’t ready to go home. So I kept going when I reached the Athens Library Spur and stayed on the bikeway until I hit the East State Street parking area. And I kept going. This is my least favorite section of the bikeway, running next to East State Street as it feeds into HIghway 50/32. Traffic. Noise. Yuk. But all is not lost …


You’ll see a flashing light on East State at Hope Drive. Go a bit farther …


Look for this left, just past the “Right Lane Ends” sign. Cross East State here onto Della Drive, very carefully (drivers tend to maintain highway speed as they exit onto East State, and eastbound cars start picking up speed as they get clear of the congestion).

After turning onto Della Drive, you’ll need to watch out for turtles …

Della Drive is a paved road with very little traffic. It’s a nice ride that T’s at the highway. From there, you’ll want to very carefully ride the shoulder about 200 yards to the turnoff for Dow Lake/Strouds Run. The shoulder is in great shape. Just stay as far off the road as possible here.


Once you pull into the lot, you can lock up your bike and take a hike or try the mountain bike trails at Strouds Run.

The big green hill you’ll see from the parking lot actually is the dam that creates Dow Lake. Trails are accessible on either side of the dam and if you’re ambitious, you can circumambulate the lake (that takes a few hours).

Return to the bikeway the same way you came. Use the shoulder to return to Della Drive, then take Della Back to the bikeway.

In all, this ride included two loops and a spur and came in at about 24 miles and took 1 hour, 39 minutes at an average speed of 14.2 mph. For more details on the loops and spurs of the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway, check out our guide.

Paving project to close section of Hockhocking Adena Bikeway

 

Thanks to a tweet from Athens Bicycle Club, we discovered the City of Athens plans to close a section of the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway from the Wastewater Treatment Plant to the Stimson Avenue Bridge on Thursday and Friday (July 27-28). They plan to reopen this stretch on Saturday, July 30, according the the city’s Arts, Parks & Recreation Department.

The area of the repaving project is orange in the map above. We’ll post details on a detour when that is available. The Athens Bicycle Club also will be updating its site with details.

 

 

 

Ohio’s Best-Kept Bikeway Secret

The beers of Multiple Brewing

Out of all the Ohio bikeways, there’s one that’s off the beaten path, perfect for communing with nature, and easy enough for even the most die-hard anti-exercising souls among us.

It’s the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway between Athens and Nelsonville — about 21 miles long.

But the beauty of it is that it can be as short or long as you want it to be. You don’t have to go end-to-end, you can start in the middle: at the Eclipse, which is about 7 miles north of Athens. If you do, here’s what you’ll enjoy on your ride:

Ohio bikeways: Bikeway benches on the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway
Lots of benches to sit and take a break along the bikeway between Athens and Nelsonville

There are several beautiful spots to take a breather along the way (just remember to bring mosquito spray; much of this ride is along the Hocking River flood plain, which gets pretty swampy when it’s rained recently).

Portable restroom at Beaumont Salina.
Portable restroom at Beaumont Salina.

At Mile Marker 11, you’ll come to Beaumont Salina. There is parking here as well as a few picnic benches and a portable toilet. Great place to stretch your legs.

Bluebell Preserve offers gorgeous scenery along the bikeway between the Eclipse and Nelsonville.
Bluebell Preserve offers gorgeous scenery along the bikeway between the Eclipse and Nelsonville.

After you pass Beaumont Salina, watch for the Bluebell Nature Preserve, a 65-acre parcel that’s bursting with bluebells — not to mention shady trees and dramatic rockscapes — that line the bikeway.

An historic log cabin at Robbins Crossing near Hocking College in Nelsonville. There are several portable bathrooms near here. and this is a great spot to take a break after a long ride.
An historic log cabin at Robbins Crossing near Hocking College in Nelsonville. There are several portable bathrooms near here. and this is a great spot to take a break after a long ride.

Next stop: Hocking College and Robbins Crossing, just past Mile Marker 16. The bikeway cuts right across campus, and the historic log cabins of Robbins Crossing provide a great spot for a picnic lunch or water break. There also are portable toilets there. (This is where the Nelsonville Music Festival is held each year. It’s one of our favorites. If you’ve never been, add it to your bucket list.)

Rusting railcars along the bikeway.
Rusting railcars along the bikeway.

After you pass through Hocking College, keep an eye out for the railcars that line the bikepath. There’s a lot of railroad history here.

The video above shows the railroad bridge on this Ohio bikeway that takes you over the Hocking River and into Nelsonville.

The Hockhocking Adena Bikeway terminates here, at the parking lot for Rocky Brands in Nelsonville.
The Hockhocking Adena Bikeway terminates here, at the parking lot for Rocky Brands in Nelsonville.

At North Street, you’ll come to the terminus of the bikeway. It’s just a few blocks from here to Multiple Brewery

The beers of Multiple Brewing
The beers of Multiple Brewing

Ohio Bikeway Trip Notes

We did the full roundtrip: 38 miles in all from our house (which is just a few blocks from the bikeway). So all in all, this was a long trip. Five hours, total. But that included the time it took to stop several times along the way and about an hour each at Multiple Brewing and Los Mariachis restaurant for lunch.

As noted earlier, you could start from the Eclipse or even Beaumont Salina to cut that roundtrip to 22 or 14 miles, respectively.  And while that might sound daunting for recreational bikers, it’s very doable if you take several breaks along the way. We found it much easier than we thought it would be. Remember, the bikeway is mostly flat, which makes the pedaling much easier (plus that means it’s a way accessible trail) . Bring plenty of water and snacks, though.

Click the link below to see the route we took in details.

Detour to Jackie O’s Taproom

The spur that runs to Stimson Avenue and Jackie O's Taproom has been closed during work on the roundabout.

 

UPDATE 9/21/17: The work here is largely completed and there no longer is a need to detour. Just use the spur near the Stimson Bridge to ride up toward Sonic (the black line on the map above). And be careful. Many drivers are unfamiliar with roundabouts, so don’t assume they know what they’re doing when you attempt to cross North McKinley.

UPDATE 8/28/17: North McKinley opened last week, feeding into the Stimson Roundabout. There are several ways to get to Jackie O’s Taproom from the bikeway. Cyclists can use the spur near the Stimson bridge (black line on the map above), but that will take them directly to the roundabout and a section without sidewalks. If you go this route, be careful. We continue to believe the best route is to exit the bike path at Mile Marker 1 (Orange line with exclamation points on the map above) and ride down toward South Green Drive and Mill Street. From there, you have two options:

  1. Turn onto McKinley (the sidewalks are completed on the west side of McKinley) and then cross McKinley into the Sonic parking lot, which will take you to the taproom.  The purple line on the map above shows this route.
  2. Continue to use the original detour, which allows you to go around the construction completely. That route is detailed with orange lines and exclamation points on the map above.

In summary, your best bet might depend on time of day and traffic conditions. Work continues in the area, so while crews are present give them a wide berth.

UPDATE 7/22/17: We walked the new roundabout on Stimson this morning and we still advise cyclists to use the detour we describe on this page. As of today, the roundabout is open to through traffic but North McKinley, which leads to South Green Drive and Ohio University, still is a construction site that doesn’t look as if it will be open for a while.

From the bikeway, they’ve removed the “Sidewalk Closed” sign on the spur, but the spur dead-ends in an orange barrier and muddy area beside the roundabout.

We’ll update here as further developments occur …

Construction on the Stimson Avenue roundabout has made it a tad tricky to get from the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway to Jackie O’s Taproom.

The roundabout opened to traffic on July 21, but sidewalks and other work won’t be completed for weeks, or even months, afterward.

Here’s a detour that will keep you out of the construction zone and get you safely to Jackie O’s Taproom.

At Mile Marker 1 on the bikeway, there’s a turnoff that runs to South Green Drive and Mill Street. Take that turnoff (see below).

 

The spur leads down to South Green and Mill Street. Just keep going straight and you’ll end up on Mill.

Ride down Mill Street (there’s even a bike lane) to Elliott Street.

Turn right on Elliott Street. Go straight down Elliott to Campbell Street, where you’ll make another right.

After you go right on Campbell, it’s a straight shot to Jackie O’s Taproom, which is at 25 Campbell Street.

Here’s more info about where the spurs off the bikeway take you: A Mile-by-Mile Guide to the Bikeway and Its Spurs

A Lunch Ride to The Eclipse and Little Fish’s Cajun Clucker

Eclipse Athens Ohio
The Hockhocking Adena Bikeway runs parallel to the Hocking River on this stretch just west of the Stimson Avenue bridge.
A gorgeous day on The Hockhocking Adena Bikeway

The calendar claimed it was July 9, but it felt more like a cool, sunny autumn day — perfect for a ride on the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway.

We set off from our house in Athens’ Near Eastside neighborhood and were confronted with a somber scene at White’s Mill, where workers were trying to recover the body of a kayaker who drowned in the Hocking the previous day. We’d had a lot of storms, lots of rains, and the Hocking was very high.

When we arrived at The Eclipse, the folks at Black Diamond Bicycles were kind enough to add air to our tires after we couldn’t get the public bike pumps at the Habitat House or the Eclipse to work.

Athens Ohio bike shops: Black Diamond Bicycles is at 11325 Jackson Road in the Eclipse Company Town. In addition to renting, selling and repairing bikes, they usually have ice cream and cold drinks for sale.
Black Diamond Bicycles is at 11325 Jackson Road in the Eclipse Company Town. In addition to renting, selling and repairing bikes, they usually have ice cream and cold drinks for sale.

And of course, we stopped at the Eclipse Company Store for a beer. We both went for Sixth Sense Brewing’s Intuition IPA. Not too hoppy and perfect for sipping on a sunny day. (16-ounce pour was $5; ABV 6.4%)

At Little Fish, I started with a Kalsarikännit Baltic Porter. Great beer. Strange name. It’s Finnish for “drinking alone without pants on,” but rest assured we stayed fully clothed. (12-ounce pour was $4.50; ABV 8.75%). While I loved this porter, it was still summer and I wanted something lighter for my next beer so I switched to a Karman-Fest Vienna Lager (16-ounce pour was $4.50; ABV 6.2%).

We saw several of these signs during our ride to The Eclipse Company Store and Little Fish Brewing Co. Hope Charlie finds his way home ... we'll be keeping an eye out.
We saw several of these signs during our ride to The Eclipse Company Store and Little Fish Brewing Co. Hope Charlie finds his way home … we’ll be keeping an eye out.

The lager went great with the true reason we stopped at Little Fish: to have lunch at their Cajun Clucker food cart. I opted for my usual: crawfish etouffee over fried catfish ($14.75). I was not disappointed.

After eating, we hopped on our bikes and headed home. In all, we rode about 17 miles over 4 hours. I had lunch and three beers during that time. For a more detailed look at our route and peregrinations, click the map below …

4 Ways to NOT Be a Bozo on the Bikeway

Bike safety tips: try the ginger ale instead of beer

#1 Don’t Overindulge

It’s important to remember that drunken driving is dangerous and stupid, whether you’re driving a car or pedaling a bicycle. If you’re visiting the breweries, here are a few bike safety tips that will allow you to sample the beer without turning into Bozo on a Bike.

  • Know your ABV. Many craft brews are strong, much stronger than mass-produced beers. Bud Lite, for instance, is 4.2% ABV (alcohol by volume). Some craft beers have ABVs that are more like wine — in the 10-12% range. These stronger beers tend to be served in smaller glasses — a 10-ounce goblet vs. a 16-ounce pint glass, for instance. But they’re still strong. Pay attention to ABV when ordering.
  • Stick to samplers. All of the breweries offer flights of samplers so you can taste several beers. These glasses generally hold 2-6 ounces a beer. When we visit a brewery where we want to sample several beers, we get a flight of 5 or 6 samples and share it. It’s also a great opportunity to compare notes on each offering.
  • Sample the non-alcoholic drinks. Several of the breweries make ginger ale or root beer, and they’re not just for the kids.
  • Drink water. Make sure you’re staying hydrated while biking, but also start with a glass of water when you arrive at the brewery and are deciding which beer to sample. Then have at least one glass of water for each beer you consume.
  • Call a cab. If all of this fails and you overindulge, leave your bike behind and call a cab. Athens doesn’t have Uber, but you’ll find several local cab companies with very reasonable rates. Green Cab — (740) 594-7336 — and Tabs Taxi Service — (740) 594-8294 — are two worth considering.

#2 Be Courteous

We get it. Riding a bike is a blast. Riding fast can be even more fun. But remember that you’re sharing the bikeway with a lot of other users, ranging from [Strava]-obsessed cyclists focused on trying to beat their best time to dog walkers to joggers to children. Be considerate.

When you approach someone from behind, slow down and pay extra attention. That dog or child could dart unexpectedly in front of you. That jogger could decide to do a U-turn and head back the other way just as you’re about to pass. Expect the unexpected.

Holler “ON YOUR LEFT” as you pass someone from behind on the bikeway to let them know you’re there (or even better, ring your bell, if you have one, as you approach someone from behind).. If someone passes you, holler “THANKS” back at them for the heads-up as they pass.

#3 Be Here Now

Music is wonderful but save it for when you’re not on the bikeway. That Lady Gaga tune you’re rocking to could be the reason you don’t hear someone coming up fast behind you. And beware of other bikeway users who have isolated themselves with a pair of headphones. They’re probably not going to hear your “ON YOUR LEFT” as you approach. Proceed with caution.

#4 Be Prepared

If you’re setting out late in the afternoon or early evening, make sure you have proper lights for your bike: at the very least, a headline and tail light. There aren’t lights on the bikeway and it gets very dark out there. If you’re riding at night, make sure you have lights. Other items to make sure you have covered: a bike helmet, a bell for your bike, a water bottle, and a basket (so you can tote home the growler of that great beer you just sampled).

Where to Park, Pee, Eat, and Sleep

Parking on the Bike Path

There are several parking options when you want to explore the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway. The most obvious is to park at one of the breweries and use that as your home base for exploration. Each brewery has parking though Jackie O’s Taproom can be tight (Don’t park in the Sonic parking lot next door; you could get towed).

If you’re tempted to park in Athen’s uptown, don’t do it. There’s a 2-hour limit, and you will get a ticket.

Besides there are plenty of other options that’ll put you right on the bike path:

East State Street Parking Lot, 1601 East State Street

This lot features plenty of parking and it’s convenient to use if you want to start at ground zero and bike the entire bath. There is accessible parking but no food or restrooms (though there are myriad restaurants nearby on East State Street). Where’s the beer? From here you’re about:

  • 2 miles to Jackie O’s Taproom
  • 5.5 miles to Little Fish
  • 6.5 miles to Devil’s Kettle
  • 8 miles to the Eclipse.
  • Nelsonville is a mere 20 miles away …

Athens Community Center, 701 East State Street

There is plenty of parking here, and it’s also near the Athens City Pool, the Athens Skate Park and the dog park. There also are restrooms and parking (accessible for both). It’s open Monday-Friday 6 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturdays from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

From here you’re:

  • less than less than a mile to Jackie O’s Taproom
  • about 4.5 miles to Little Fish
  • about 5.5 miles to Devil’s Kettle
  • 7 miles to the Eclipse.
  • Nelsonville is about 19 miles away.

West State Street Park

This is a great choice if you want easy access to Devil’s Kettle and Little Fish. Both breweries are a short pedal from the park, which has numerous ballfields, parking, restrooms and a dog park.

From here it’s:

  • less than a mile to Little Fish
  • about 2 miles to Devil’s Kettle
  • about 3 miles to Jackie O’s Tap Room
  • 3 miles to the Eclipse.
  • Nelsonville is about 14 miles away.

The Eclipse Company Town

There are several parking lots here, including one at the bike path and several near the Eclipse Company Store. The “store” features more than 40 craft beers on tap as well as great food. There’s also a bike repair station at this location.

From here it’s about:

  • 2 miles to Devil’s Kettle
  • 3 miles to Little Fish
  • 6 miles to Jackie O’s Taproom
  • 11 miles to Nelsonville.

Rocky Brands, 45 Canal Street, Nelsonville

There is parking in back, near the railroad tracks, that gives easy access to the western terminus of the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway. The store has a restaurant and restrooms, and if you pedal across Canal Street up Hocking Street to Nelsonville Public Square, you’ll find several cool shops and restaurants, not to mention Multiple Brewing, which is on West Washington Street (turn left on W. Washington at the northern end of the Public Square.

From here, it’s about:

  • 11 miles to the Eclipse
  • 13 miles to Devil’s Kettle
  • 14 miles to Little Fish
  • 17 miles to Jackie O’s Tap Room.

Where to Pee

There are several places for a pitstop when you need a bathroom break.
Athens Soccer Complex (behind Ruby Tuesday, 951 E. State St.), just west of Mile Marker 1E on the bikeway. There are restrooms and a water fountain here.

Habitat for Humanity, 309 W. Union Street

There’s a small parking lot here and the building has restrooms and a water fountain that are open to the public. There also is a bike repair station that includes an air pump. This is a great place to take a break and watch the Hocking River rush past White’s Mill.

West State Street Park

There are public restrooms and water fountains near the ball fields.

Beaumont (Salina)

This is near Mile 11 on the bikeway. There is a Porta-John here as well as a water fountain. Great place to take a break if you’re going all the way to Nelsonville.

Robbins Crossing at Hocking College

This is between miles 16 and 17 in Nelsonville. Restrooms and water fountains are available. This is also a great place to catch your breath after pedaling to Nelsonville from Athens.

Where to Eat

There is no lack of food options for bikeway cyclists. Here’s the download about food along the bike path:

Food Options at Each of the Beer Places on the Bike Path:

The Eclipse Company Store

It’s got the largest menu and the biggest kitchen. Plus it’s got beers from all the local breweries and across Ohio. Outdoor seating, and live shows. They’re the same folks who own Kiser’s, Athens best barbecue. And it’s centrally-located at Mile Marker 7.

The menu is basically upscale pub food; burgers, brats, a ginormous BLT, salads, homemade potato chips (often served still warm!), wings, soups, eggplant tots, etc. And they’re the only beer-serving place along the bike path with food open for lunch on weekdays.

The Cajun Clucker at Little Fish

The permanently-on-site food truck would be right at home on Bourbon Street. It opens for happy hour and dinner (5-8:30) on weekends, and 1 p.m. until 9 or so on weekends (sometimes they open at noon in the summer season) . If you’re not into Louisiana cooking, they also offer basics like hamburgers. (Note: no outside food allowed)

Jackie O’s Taproom

The food cart here offers a decent selection of food ranging from snacks to sandwiches, and usually opens around mid-afernoon. The food features a host of local ingredients, ranging from pickled veggies from Pork & Pickles to Laurel Valley Creamery cheeses. You could also hop over to Sonic next door and bring food back to eat with your craft brew. Or you could order food from any delivery place in Athens.

Devil’s Kettle

No food cart or restaurant here, but that’s OK. OMG! Rotisserie is just up the street, and they’ll deliver to the brewery. Their chicken is amazing and the sides are great. Collard greens. Mac and cheese.. Tough choices. Dessert? Why not? The Pecan Pie Bread Pudding is life changing. Or, like at that Tap Room, you could order from any place that delivers in Athens. Or bring your own food. It’s allowed.

Food Beyond the Bike Path

Larry’s Dawg House, 410 W. Union Street

For great shakes and footlongs, Larry’s is the place. And it’s close to the bikeway. Two ways to get there: 1. As you’re riding west you’ll pass OU and then O’Bleness Memorial Hospital at about Mile Marker 3. Start looking across the field to your right and you’ll spot Larry’s. You can bike through the field directly to the restaurant. 2. You can keep riding out the the Habitat for Humanity building and instead of crossing the street and continuing on the bikeway, go right on West State and Larry’s is a few hundred feed down the road.

Uptown Athens Restaurants

There are a variety of restaurants on and off Court Street, ranging from O’Betty’s (incredible hot dogs) to Salaam (Middle Eastern) to Thai Paradise. Jackie O’s has its original brewery there, too, with some amazing bar food (much of which they grown themselves at their farm). You can get there via Richland Avenue, but get ready for a climb (they don’t call it “uptown” for nothing.”

Places to Eat on East State Street

There are myriad restaurants along East State Street that are easily accessible to the bikeway. Two we like are China Panda (surprisingly good sushi for Athens as well as a wide variety of Asian dishes) and Gran Ranchero, a comfortable, reasonably priced Mexican restaurant.

If you’re willing to cross East State Street (doable, but not easy … be careful), we recommend Kiser’s Barbeque and Sol. The former is run by the same folks who own The Company Store at the Eclipse and the food is always excellent; the latter features Cuban food (it also has a location off Court Street uptown). There also are more chain restaurants than you can shake a stick at. On the bikeway, watch for short spurs running up to the shopping centers as you ride between the Athens Community Center and the bikeway parking lot on East State.

Where to Sleep

There are a lot of options here since the bikeway is a short distance from multiple hotels. Several chain hotels are on or near the bikeway:

Tips for People Who Seek (Fun) Accessible Trails

Hockhocking Adena Bikeway is wheelchair accessible

If you’re looking for accessible trails to experience the great outdoors — and craft beer — the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway is a grand bet.

It’s a glorious way to get from one brewery to another; enjoying the luscious scenery around Athens, Ohio, while rolling along in your chair.

Accessible trail: Noah in his wheelchair and Lara on her bike on the bike path in Athens, Ohio
The Hockhocking Adena Bikeway is very accessible.
Accessible trail: Bob and Noah on the Hockhocking Adena accessible bikeway
Bob and Noah on a bikeway bridge over the Hocking River

We love riding the trail with our buddy, Noah Trembly, a disability advocate who has severe cerebral palsy.

“I roll the entire bikeway in my chair,” Noah says gleefully.

“It’s an incredible experience. I love sampling beers at the breweries. While there’s always room for improvement, I’ve got to give everyone involved a shoutout for making this an incredibly inclusive experience.”

Because it follows a railway, the bike path is a very accessible trail. It has very few hills, making it easy to navigate whether you’re in a human-powered or electric chair.

Here are a few tips to help adults with disabilities get the most from their Athens bike and brew experience:

Accessible Parking Along the Bike Trail

Park at West State Street Park

The park begins where West State Street dead-end.  It’s great central location for starting your brew tour. It has accessible parking, but even some regular parking spots have plenty of room for loading and unloading your wheelchair. It also offers flat, easy entry onto the bikeway. And much of it’s shaded, a real boon on those sunny, must-be-on-the-bike-path days.

Locals’ tip: Just be sure to follow the road all the way into the park. You’ll see a parking lot when you first come to the park, but it’s in the hot sun — just keep going until you see the shady spots like this:

Accessible parking at West Side Park

and the entrance to the bike path:

Park at one of the breweries

The two newer breweries on the bike path, Devil’s Kettle and Little Fish, have large parking lots, too. As does the Eclipse Company Store in The Plains. Jackie O’s Taproom is on the bike path, but parking there is limited, and we recommend finding another spot if you’re going to be gone for some time.

Park at the eastern trailhead

It has two designated accessible parking spots. The address is 1601 E State St, Athens, OH 45701.

Accessible trail: accessible parking at the East trailhead of the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway

It’s a small lot, though. About 10 spaces total. Not saying it doesn’t happen, but we’ve never seen it full.

Accessible trail: the parking lot at the East trailhead of the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway

Accessible Restrooms

Porta-Johns are located at several points along the bikeway, but they’re not all accessible. There is one right off the bike path, not far west of mile marker 7 and The Eclipse Company Store.

And it has a rather scenic view:

Accessible restroom on the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway

Another accessible public restroom is at the soccer field near Mile 1E on the trail.

But best of all, the restrooms at the breweries are accessible! Our favorite is probably Devil’s Kettle because of the chalkboard walls (keep it friendly, folks).

Accessible restroom at Devil's Kettle

Accessibility in the City of Athens, Ohio

Athens itself also strives to be accessible. Some of the older buildings and bricks around Court Street present challenges, but Ohio University and the city of Athens work to make the community more accessible to everyone.

In fact, Athens may be the only city in the nation with a commission dedicated to making the city more accessible.

“Athens is a dream,” says Noah, who also serves on the Athens City Commission on Disabilities.

“I find it to be very accessible and, just as important, accommodating. We still have work to do, but I’m very impressed with this community’s dedication to making everything from government services to the bikeway accessible to all.”

It’s not perfect, at least not yet. But, in general, you will find people willing to help and accommodate as best they can.

For instance, at Casa Nueva (one of Athens’ most popular restaurants), if you go to the emergency exit door, they will open it for you because the main entrance has a step up. And over at Fluff Bakery, you can gain entrance through the Pita Pit, which cheerfully helps you out.

Basically, people in Athens are nice, friendly, and approachable. Ask and you’ll probably find accommodations.

In the meantime, the city is working on a program to make accommodations more well known. We’ll keep you posted.

Passion Works Studio: Worth a Visit

And don’t forget, the Passion Flower, the official flower of Athens, is created by the amazing artists at Passion Works Studio, 20 E. State Street.

The studio’s mission is “to provide a creative and inclusive atmosphere in which artists with and without disabilities thrive.”

Swing by to support their efforts while you’re in town. If you’re a Bobcat alum, consider getting one of the Bobcat Flowers. Or if OSU is more your speed, check out the Buckeye Flower.

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.

How to Not Get Lost on the Athens Bike Path

Heading west on the bikeway (toward the Plains), this is the view of the Currier Street spur (on the right) merging into the bikeway. The Currier spur can be used to get to West End Cider House.

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:

Mile 6.5 on the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway.
Mile 6.5 on the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway.

Some newer posts, which are also a bit taller, list distances to various attractions.

This post is near the Habitat for Humanity building on West Union.
This post is near the Habitat for Humanity building on West Union.

 You’ll also see some pretty cool mile markers painted on the bike path itself (like the one below).

Mile marker 7 on the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway.
Mile marker 7 on the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway.

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

Heading East

Mile 0 — The Adena Hockhocking Bikeway runs east-west, more or less. Mile 0 is behind the Athens Community Center at 701 East State Street (there also is free parking available there).

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. 

Heading West

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.