Take a hike in Athens County and you'll see jutting boulders on hillsides, stony bluffs, rock houses, and an abundance of spring wildflowers.
The Athens Trail
Slated to be a major trail system looping around the City of Athens, the Athens Trail passes through Strouds Run State Park. The Strouds Run section of the trail currently extends 3.2 miles from Sells Park to Hope Drive, with another 0.3 mile on the bikeway. A quarter of a mile is finished at The Ridges, and the rest of The Ridges section is currently under construction.
Soon, a complete loop route will be marked. However, much of this will be on streets and the bike path for the time being. As soon as possible, various segments will be relocated off-road onto dedicated trail. When finished, the trail will be blazed with white arrowhead blazes on a red background. A backpacking campsite is in the future plans for the trail within the park. This is a moderate trail. For a map of the Athens Trail System click here.
Strouds Run Trail System
If you're hiking in Athens County there's a good chance you'll enter Strouds Run State Park at some point along the way. With seven major trail heads in the park including the Pioneer Cemetery Trail Head, Beaver Pond Trail Head and the Dow Lake Dam Trail Head, there are miles and miles of hiking opportunities. Some of the trails are usually clear while the less trodden trails are more rough. For a Strouds Run Trail map, click here.
The Ridges Cemetery Nature Walk
Nature lovers and history buffs unite on the Ridges Cemetery Nature Walk. Recently restored, the 1.3 mile nature walk winds through the grounds of the old Athens Lunatic Asylum (now known as the Ridges). In 2000, the conditions of the grounds and the patient cemeteries were in disarray due to vandals and neglect. A local and state mental health task force formed to address the issue. By 2006, with the support of public and private funding, the cemeteries were largely restored, the old pond was rebuilt, and a path was created to link the cemeteries. Visitors are encouraged to see the cemeteries not as haunted grounds, but as places of contemplative beauty. For a map of The Ridges Cemetery Nature Walk click here.
Get There!To Strouds Run State Park: From US 33, take the Columbus Road exit. Turn left if coming from the south and right if coming from the north. Take Columbus road for just over 1.5 miles, then take a left onto Lancaster Street. Lancaster becomes Columbia Ave. Continue on Columbia until you cross the US 33 overpass. Take a right onto Strouds Run Road. Approx. 2 miles to Strouds Run State Park.
A natural paradise, Lake Hope State Park lies entirely within the Zaleski State Forest in the valley of Big Sandy Run. It is a rugged, heavily forested region traversed by steep gorges and narrow ridges. In addition to the beautiful scenery you’ll also see remnants of abandoned mining and iron industries, the Hope Furnace and a pioneer cemetery.
Located deep in Zaleski Forest in Ohio near Lake Hope State Park, the Moonville Tunnel is all that remains from a small mining town that existed in the late 1850s.
Strouds Run State Park is located in the scenic forested hills of Athens County. Camp, swim, fish, boat or just relax and enjoy the scenery.
A unique and secluded 20 acre Rent-a-Park and campground tucked down in Zaleski State Forest.
The BEST way to experience the Hocking Hills? With the Hocking Hills Adventure Adventure Trek! Choose from guided hikes, rappelling adventures, Shawnee Storytelling treks, and Naturalists-on-the-Go! See the permit-only areas of the Hocking Hills and other areas in Southeast Ohio.
Tucked away just a few blocks off of East State Street, Sells Park is one of Athens's best hidden treasures. As you enjoy nature and explore the various trails, you'll forget that the business district is just minutes away.