Image of Hockhocking Adena Bikeway from Wikimedia Commons
The Hockhocking Adena Bikeway is a 21-mile path through the Ohio University Campus and then into tranquil woods that hug the Hocking River all the way to Nelsonville. More specifically, it is located along the bed of the old Columbus and Hocking Valley Railroad. Even before the railroad, this route served as a towpath next to the Hocking Canal where Ohio’s early settlers would haul agricultural products and goods to Carroll, Ohio.
“Hockhocking” was the native Shawnee name for the Hocking River. It translates to “twisted.” “Adena” remembers the Adena Indian tribe that inhabited southern Ohio over 2,000 years ago.
To an Ohio University student, this path is the first taste of culture outside of Athens. It leads riders past playgrounds, baseball fields, community gardens and much more. Each mile marker, painted white on the asphalt path, takes travelers into new scenery. Peddling through the heart of the Wayne National Forest, bikers will roll past farms speckled with old houses, ponies, and drooping trees.
The scenery, beautiful as it may be, isn’t the only attraction. The bikeway brings a sense of culture, purity, adventure and fun. Riders are never alone on this path. There are constantly people sitting on the banks of the Hocking, parents taking children on an afternoon ride, and walkers and joggers exercising to the beat of their own thoughts.