Exploring Athens County: Bike & Brew

Southern Ohio has a special place in my heart. My family has a lake house right outside of Lancaster, in Hide-Away-Hills that I have spent countless hours enjoying. It’s a beautiful part of Ohio with several locations to hike and explore. I grew up attending Camp Akita, tucked down in the Ohio hills and savored that week away from the city every Summer. The Hocking Hills / Athens area has to be one of most popular places to visit and soak in the outdoors in all of Ohio… That’s just my guess, not factual information.

Most famous for being the location of Ohio University, Athens Ohio offers so much more than just Court Street lined with bar after bar, . I was so excited when I was offered to the opportunity to spend some time exploring Athens, most specifically the incredible Brewed on the Bikeway, Athens County boasts.

It was a Gorgeously warm day, so we started our morning at the renowned Athen’s Farmers Market.

So many delicious options.

What began as a handful of farmers selling their produce is now a community event showcasing farmers, orchardists, specialty food producers, bakers, horticulturalists, cheese makers and many other food-based entrepreneurs.

Stop by and take some time to enjoy this region’s best in local flavors.

Saturday {year-round} 9AM-12PM

Wednesdays {April-December} 9AM-1PM

Athens is the county seat and the largest city in a several county region. Besides being a commercial center, it is the home of Ohio University, founded in 1804. By the 1960’s the university had become the dominant employer and economic force in the city. When the university is in full session, its student and staff population nearly doubles that of year-round area residents, who number under 20,000. The university contributes to the success of the Athens Farmers Market by helping maintain the employment level and overall economic health of the town, by creating a well educated population, and by bringing to Athens many international students and faculty who frequent the farmers market.

Local markets, once common here just as in traditional Asian, Latin, and European cultures, are making a comeback in the U.S. Athens seems to have the right mix of ingredients – small growers, educated citizens, and a regional commercial center – to take advantage of a growing interest in fresh, quality food and local products. Support from city officials has provided an additional critical ingredient of success: an excellent location.

Find them at 1000 East State Street in the Athens Mall Parking lot. You can’t miss us.

Take the East State street exit off of Route 32 if you’re coming from the east.

Take the East State Street exit off of Route 33 if you’re coming from the north, west or south.

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 951
Athens, Ohio 45701-0951

Phone: 740-593-6763
Email: athensfarmersmarket@gmail.com

After the Farmer’s Market we ate and drank our way up and down Court Street, which was bustling with college coeds.


 

Discover the best brews in Athens County along the Hock-hocking Adena Bikeway!

Ride up to several award-winning craft breweries, a craft beer hall, and a cider house all easily accessible along the 21-mile bike trail. Along the way, discover what else Athens has to offer as a side trip.

Bring your own bike, or local rentals are available.

Come find out what’s brewing in Athens!

Athens’ newest microbrewery and taproom, Devils’ Kettle is owned and operated by Cameron Fuller, Ohio Brew Week’s winningest home brewer. Enjoy premium ales and lagers in a beautiful, handcrafted taproom.

 

Eclipse Company Store is a unique building in that it is the only one of its kind now standing in Southeastern Ohio. The beautifully renovated Store is at the center of the century- old coal mining town of Hocking, which was operational from 1902-1938 and again from 1940-1948.

Jackie O’s is equipped with 16 taps for you to enjoy beers straight from the source, our production brewery and taproom is open Monday through Friday from 4PM to 9PM and Saturday from 12PM to 9PM.

 

As Nelsonville’s newest and only brewery, this nano brewery has big plans. In close proximity to Public Square and serving three different featured brews at $4 a glass, it’s sure to be a spot that every beer-enthusiast will love. Multiple Brewing is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 4-10 p.m.

 

Little Brewing Co. specializes in farmhouse-style ales and oak barrel aged sour beers.

View the downloadable brochure HERE to ensure easy access to the bikeway as well as the breweries.  Included in the brochure are suggestive side trip ideas, bike rental and services shops, as well as ideas of where to start.


Trailheads:

Nelsonville

Rocky Outdoor Gear Store

Location: 43 E. Canal St., Nelsonville, OH 45764

Phone: 740-753-1951

Parking is located off Canal Street adjacent to the bikeway. Bike rentals are available here.

Athens

Eclipse Town

Location: 11309 Jackson Dr., The Plains, OH 45780

Phone: 740-677-4904

Parking is across from the company store adjacent to the bikeway. Bike rentals are available here.

Athens Community Center

Location: 701 E. State St., Athens, OH 45701

Phone: 740-592-3325

Parking on both sides of the Community Center with access paths by the tennis courts and playground.

Public Restrooms

Location #1: Off the bike path next to Walmart

This public restroom is located right off of the bike path between the Hocking River and Walmart.

Location #2: Athens County Community Center

Location: 701 E. State St., Athens, OH 45701

Phone: 740-592-3325

Restrooms are located inside of the Community Center.

Location #3: near Habitat House

This public restroom is located right off of the bike path between the Hocking River and W. Union Street.

Location #4: near W. Union Street

This public restroom is located off of the bike path right off of W. Union Street.

“Fix It” Stations

Athens County Community Center

Visit Website

Location: 701 E. State St., Athens, OH 45701

Phone: 740-592-3325

Athens Bicycle

Visit Website

Location: 4 W. Stimson Ave., Athens, OH 45701

Phone: 740-594-9944

Cycle Path Bicycles

Visit Website

Location: 104 W. Union St., Athens, OH 45701

Phone: 740-593-8482

Black Diamond Bicycles & Rentals

Visit Website

Location: 11325 Jackson Dr., The Plains, OH 45780

Phone: 740-797-0880

Ok, let’s get real…. this is the confession portion of my post.

I was fully aware of what the agenda was of the day, biking and drinking. I knew I was expected to ride miles and yet I did not dress for the occasion. I figured it’d be fiiiiine, just a short distance between breweries.

Wrong.

This is real biking. On highways, not always a nice designated path, there is oncoming, speeding traffic. And sometimes you have to ride many miles between breweries. Several, several miles.

We rented our bikes, rode to the first stop and as soon as we got there I knew I would not be pedaling any further. I actually made Zach ride back to the car and come back and pick me up…HAHAHAHA!

In my defense it was a gorgeous Indian Summer in Ohio and in early October the temperatures were still soaring into the high 80’s which I learned is too hot for me to ride a bike long distances in sandals.

21 miles is no joke on a bike…. neither is 2!

Them moral of this story is, if you’re planning on biking the breweries, be prepared to pedal, and wear the right shoes!

There’s absolutely no shame traveling between breweries by car! As winter creeps in, I suggest this mode of transportation. No reason you can’t brewery hop just because there is snow on the ground!

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