TOP FIVE HIKING TRAILS

IN SOUTHEAST OHIO

The stress of classes, work or household obligations can become overwhelming at times.
When time is tight and tension is high, it's nice to have a place where you can just breathe.
This list documents five of the best hiking trails within an hour of Athens, Ohio.

Distance from Athens and trail difficulty are listed, as well as a few key features:
  Accessiblity           Bathrooms           Campsites

CANTWELL CLIFFS

OH-374, ROCKBRIDGE, OH 43149

Cantwell Cliffs, located in the Hocking Hills region, provides one of the more challenging trailed hikes in the Athens area. There are two trails to choose from – the yellow trail and the red trail – that provide two very different experiences. The yellow trail is a flat trail that follows a small stream that flows through the entire park. The red trail circles around the stream and contains hundreds of steps, squeezes and cliffs, but provides the best view of the park.


DISTANCE:    40 Minutes       DIFFICULTY:     Difficult       FEATURES:  


OLD MAN'S CAVE

21725 OH-374 SCENIC, LOGAN, OH 43138

Old Man’s Cave is the most popular trail in Hocking Hills that includes a 6-mile hiking trail as well as scenic views of caves, rivers and gorges. The Old Man's Cave area can be divided into five principal sections: Upper Falls, Upper Gorge, Middle Falls, Lower Falls and Lower Gorge. Quick tip: print (or screenshot) your directions before heading to Old Man's Cave because there's no signal in the area surrounding the park.


DISTANCE:    45 Minutes       DIFFICULTY:     Moderate       FEATURES:    


LAKE SNOWDEN

5900 STATE RT. 50, ALBANY, OH 45710

Lake Snowden is an education and recreation park owned by Hocking College. It features hiking trails, camping spots, and a large lake for water activities. If you like to hammock, Lake Snowden is the perfect park for you, boasting well-maintained trails and designated areas where people can go "off trail" without disturbing the ecosystem. Lake Snowden also hosts the annual Pawpaw Festival, among other events.


DISTANCE:    15 Minutes       DIFFICULTY:     Easy       FEATURES:    


ORA E ANDERSON NATURE TRAIL

OH-278, CARBON HILL, OH 43111 (39.51025, -82.26157)

The Ora E Anderson trail is located within the Wayne National Forest. The Ora E Anderson trail is an accessible 0.5 mile trail that surrounds a small lake in the Rutherford Wetland area. The trail includes many benches where you can sit and take in the view, as well as panels of Anderson’s poetry that were illustrated by local artist Barbara Sheriff Kostohyrz. Quick tip: the lake sustains a lot of wildlife, especially insects, so don’t forget your bug spray!


DISTANCE:    25 Minutes       DIFFICULTY:     Easy       FEATURES:  


STROUDS RUN STATE PARK

11661 STATE PARK RD, ATHENS, OH 45701

Strouds Run State Park is the most frequently visited hiking trail by students seeing that it’s only 10 minutes from Ohio University’s campus. Strouds Run features a swimming area, boat and kayak rentals, and multiple hiking trails, including The Blackhaw Trail founded in 2018, which is wheelchair accessible.


DISTANCE:    10 Minutes       DIFFICULTY:     Moderate       FEATURES: