Gay hiking

Get some fresh air on these walking trails in the Athens area

One of the best things about living in Athens is the easy access to tons of nature and hiking trails. There are plenty of parks within 20 minutes where you can have fun and get some fresh air.

The fall season is one of the best times of year to hike. With the changing leaves and pleasant weather, it’s a great way to have fun on a nice day.

Athens has much more to offer than Court Street. Enjoy living in Appalachia during your four years here and discover all the beauty it has to offer on these trails:

Hockhocking Adena Bike Path

This trail is probably right in your backyard. Located along the Hocking River, this path is closest for OU students.

Although more of a path than a trail, this 21-mile trail is perfect for a relaxed walk along the river.

Even though 21 miles seems daunting, you can walk, run, or bike as little or as much as you want.

The path has various access points, but the easiest for OU students is to take Richland Avenue and start the path under the bridge or by the River Gate Apartments off South Green Dr.

The Crest Trails

The trails at The Ridges are for those more into hiking. If you walk up and down Jeff Hill every day, you’ll be fine.

This is another trail basically in the backyard of OU, just a five minute drive away. If you don’t have a car on campus, you can also take Athens Public Transportwhich is free for OU students.

Although this trail is still perfect for beginners, you get a real hiking experience as you go through the woods.

There are three separate loops you can take, but if you’re looking for a longer day hike, you can go around them in one big loop.

If you’re looking to spend a few hours of your day hiking, the big loop is just over three miles long.

There are lots of signs along the trail to guide you, so it would be very difficult to get lost.

The trail takes you to different places like Radar Hill, which is the highest point in Athens, and even along Old Ridges Cemetery.

Another nearby trail is the Ora Anderson trail, which is another great trail for beginners. It is just over a mile away and is located behind the Dairy Barn Arts Center.

Each of the separate loops have different places to park, but if you’re looking to do the whole loop trail, a good place to park is near Dairy Barn.

Strouds Run State Park

When it’s too cold to sunbathe or rent boats in Strouds, a hike is the best option to enjoy this beautiful park.

This is another location so close to campus that there’s no reason you shouldn’t visit it at some point.

This park offers many trails that can be hiked separately or combined into larger trails. Some of these trails may take you along the lake or into the woods.

the Ohio Department of Natural Resources is a great website for discovering all the trails and planning your day in Strouds.

Sell ​​Park

Just a 15 minute drive from campus, plenty of trails are available at Sells Park.

This park includes the Athens Trail Loop, which has many different rock formations to view as you hike along the trails.

This park is also very close to Strouds if you want to go to different places to hike in one day.

Wayne National Forest

This forest is home Baileys trail system. This network of trails is designed primarily for mountain biking, but is also welcome for hikers.

If you are hiking this trail, keep in mind that it should also be shared with those who are biking. Be aware of your surroundings to ensure your safety and that of other trail users.

Just a 15-minute drive from campus, this forest offers a wide variety of trails to explore with sights such as “gob” piles from coal mining.

The trail network has the perfect trail for you whether you are a beginner hiker or an expert. The website linked above will help you discover which one is right for you.

Hocking Hills State Park

Although Hocking Hills is not exactly on the road, the 45 minute drive is well worth it.

If you’re looking for a day trip, consider heading to Hocking Hills. This park has some of the best hiking in the area.

The park has many trails available for all skill levels.

One of the most famous is the Old Man’s Cave, where you will be surrounded by magnificent rock formations and gorges. There is also Cedar Falls, which is one of the most photographed waterfalls in Ohio.

To plan your trip, you can visit the Hocking Hills website here.

If you’re going hiking this fall, here are some tips:

Download a hiking app like AllTrails

Not all trails are perfectly mapped and it can sometimes be difficult to know where you are going. Hiking apps like AllTrails are great ways to research trails and make sure you’re still on the right track. These apps can also give you tips or other trail information from previous hikers. Sometimes these apps can drain your phone’s battery, so bring a portable charger as well.

Bring a backpack

If you’re going on a longer hike, you’ll need something to store your stuff. A rucksack is the simplest because it’s hands-free and there’s plenty of space inside. At some point, you might even forget it’s on.

Stay hydrated

This is something that is important all the time, but especially during physical activity. Do your body a favor and pack a bottle of water, or maybe even two. Store it in the side pocket of your backpack for easy access. Nothing is worse than being thirsty while hiking.

Bring snacks

Your body needs fuel while hiking. Bringing protein-rich snacks will help you get through it. Some great hiking snacks are granola bars, beef jerky, and classic trail mix. Just be sure to throw out your trash instead of dumping it in the woods.


Fall weather can be a little unpredictable, especially when you’re in Ohio. One minute you may be cold and the next you may be sweating. The best way to prepare for this is to layer your clothes. You can always remove layers when you need them and store them in your backpack.

Bring tissues

If it’s colder outside, your nose might start to run while you’re hiking. Save yourself the sniffles and bring some tissues with you just in case.

Watch out for the leaves

Since it is fall and many leaves are on the ground, it is almost impossible for the trails to be completely clear. Although the trails are still obvious to follow, the leaves can be a hazard, especially if wet. The leaves can be slippery and it’s harder to get good traction, so be extra careful when going up or down a hill.


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