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.