Hockhocking Adena Bikeway–Armitage Road
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Tips for birding Hockhocking Adena Bikeway Armitage Road
The Hockhocking Adena Bikeway is a true gem for cyclists, walkers, runners, and…birders! One of my favorite stretches is the relatively new spur from Armitage Road to Columbus Road. With a beautiful bridge spanning the Hocking River and paved throughout with moderate inclines, it should be accessible for most birders.
I drive to the end of Armitage Road and cross the bike path to park in a gravel area next to the railroad tracks to access the spur. There is also bike path parking on Columbus Road. About a half mile in length, the diverse habitats here include mowed and unmowed fields, riparian, woodlots, wetlands, and the Hocking River. In winter, it is a good patch for sparrows, woodpeckers, waterfowl, and raptors. On this January day, White-throated Sparrows stole the show against a rare and much appreciated blue sky.
From Melissa Wales, Ohio Ornithological Society Southeast Regional Director
About Armitage Road
Armitage Road runs east of OH-682 and parallels the north side of the Hocking River. Follow Armitage Road east until it dead ends at the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway.
About Hockhocking Adena Bikeway
The 19-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 Indian name for the Hocking River; Adena reflects the history of the Adena Indians who lived in the Hocking Valley over 2,000 years ago.
You may explore the bikeway’s history and beauty by bike, foot, wheelchair, rollerblades or other forms of non-motorized transportation (no horseback riding permitted.)
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 1800’s, 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).
Restrooms at locations identified on Hockhocking Adena Bikeway map.
The Hockhocking Adena Bikeway is handicap accessible.