A bikeway and a path through history…
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
Electric Vehicle Permit
Medically necessary electric vehicles are permitted.
Hockhocking Adena Bikeway, 28 Curran Drive, Athens, OH 45701
Hockhocking Bikeway Map
Have an idea of where you are going? If not, the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway map PDF is available here.
Bikeway Rules of Etiquette
The Hockhocking Adena Bikeway invites and encourages public use. Types of “users” include runners, walkers, children on tricycles, infants in strollers, roller bladers, cyclists, bird watchers, wildflower viewers and dog walkers, to name a few.
To accommodate such a diverse group of users, the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway, similar to other bikeways, has “Rules of Etiquette” to promote safety and minimize conflicts in order to ensure user enjoyment.
1.) All users stay to the right to maintain two-way traffic
2.) Pass on the left – slow down and call out before passing
3.) Move off of the pavement when stopped
4.) Bicycle racing or riding in a reckless manner is prohibited
5.) Motorized vehicles are limited to those authorized for emergency or maintenance functions and those used by individuals with disabilities
6.) Keep dogs leashed and curbed
7.) Carry out what you carry in
8.) Leave plants and flowers intact
9.) Remember, the path is shared by bikers, joggers, individuals with handicaps, children, bird watchers and others
10.) No horses allowed
- Mile 0 — East State Street Recreation Area on East State Street in Athens
- Mile 4 — West State Street ball fields on West State Street in Athens
- Mile 10.2 — off of SR 682 in The Plains (limited parking)
- Mile 16.4 — Robbins’ Crossing/Hocking College on Hocking Parkway in Nelsonville
Want to hold an event on the bikeway? Let us know! You can’t close or block the bikeway, but telling us when and where you are planning to hold you event helps other users.
Click HERE to download event rules, regulations, and a submission form. You MUST fill out the form and return it accordingly for events exceeding 50 participants.
If your event will be going through Nelsonville, you will need a second, additional permit, found HERE.
Other special permits with the City of Athens, Ohio University and Hocking College may apply. The Athens County Convention and Visitors Bureau is not responsible for any additional permitting that may be required. Be sure to contact the necessary properties if you have any questions about holding an event.
Ohio ATV World, Bike rentals available at each end of the bikeway.
Athens Bicycle Shop, 4 W. Stimson Ave., Athens – bike rentals available.
Book a Bike – Bikes available to borrow at the Athens, Nelsonville and The Plains Library branches.
Rocky Boots Outdoor Gear Store, 45 E. Canal St., Nelsonville – bike rentals available.
Black Diamond Bicycles, Bike rentals available by the hour or for a full day. Buggy rentals also available.
The League of American Bicyclists recently named the City of Athens a Bronze-Level Bicycle Friendly Community. This recognition is awarded to applicant communities that demonstrate achievements in five categories: engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation and planning. Athens was identified as a bronze level community for 2015-2019, and is one of only 12 Bike Friendly Communities in Ohio and the first city in Southeast Ohio to receive the award.