The Hockhocking Adena Bikeway is such an incredible experience that people drive from all over Ohio and the region just to ride it. The Bikeway's low grade makes for an easy, relaxing 21-mile ride and the scenery is unforgettable. Start at the Bikeway in Athens, in front of the Athens Community Center on East State Street, and you'll pass Ohio University's campus and then disappear into the serene woods along the Hocking River leading you all the way to Nelsonville.
The 21-mile Hockhocking Adena Bikeway is named in honor of the first inhabitants of this southeastern Ohio region. "Hockhocking," which means "bottleneck" or "twisted," was the native Shawnee name for the Hocking River; "Adena" reflects the history of the Adena Indians who lived in the Hocking Valley more than 2,000 years ago.
The Hockhocking Adena Bikeway is located on the old Columbus and Hocking Valley Railroad bed. Construction of the rail line between Columbus and Athens was completed in July 1870. Before the railroad, it was a towpath alongside the Hocking Canal, built between 1829 and 1842, which moved agricultural products and other goods to Carroll, Ohio, where it joined the Ohio-Erie Canal. The canal had 26 locks, seven culverts, and one aqueduct crossing Monday Creek south of Nelsonville.
Repeated flooding, especially in the late 1800s, severely damaged portions of the canal, and the railroad became the favored mode of transportation. Today, remnants of the canal basin are visible from the bikeway particularly from Armitage north to Chauncey (between miles 5 and 10).
On your journey, stop at these attractions:
Eclipse Company Town, the Plains
Robbins Crossing, Hocking College
Historic Square Arts District, Nelsonville
Hocking Valley Scenic Railway, Nelsonville
Need a place to park your vehicle before setting off down the bikeway? Park FOR FREE at any one of these locations.