Peak season for fall foliage is on our doorstep. Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources estimates that southeastern Ohio, which includes Athens, will start seeing its peak somewhere around the 25th of October with the Maple and Honeysuckle beginning the show. Warmer weather has delayed and lessened the “splash” of color we are so accustomed to seeing this time of year, but the painting will still be just as breathtaking and worth the trip!
One of the highlights of “fall viewing” is that there are a variety of ways to take in the splendor. The newly renovated Baileys Bike Trail allows both bicycles and walkers to explore the leaves up close while taking in the local scenery. Located between Athens and Nelsonville, this 26 mile northern route skirts the Wayne National forest. Strouds Run, Lake Hope, Moonville Trail, Athens-Belpre rail trail are also just a few of the many recreational areas to explore the beauty of Athens County.
If motorcycles are your thing, southeast Ohio is your destination. The Windy 9 is a network of public access roads that wind through Wayne National forest and the Hocking Hills. Guide maps and apps are available by visiting athensohio.org and look under Windy 9. Cars can also use these maps as a guide. And, while your out there, stop by the Triple Nickle Diner at 1060 High St in Chesterhill for some delicious homemade apple pie!
Want to take home some of the fall harvest? Each Saturday morning on East State Street local merchants sell their wares at the Athens Farmers Market. It’s a great place to pick up your pumpkin pies! Whites Mill, one of the oldest structures in Athens located along the Hocking River, has everything for your fall decorating needs.
If you like to imbibe, Little Fish Brewing Co. on the west side of Athens is featuring their ‘fall’ flavors such as Woodthrush. Or travel onto Court street downtown at Jackie O’s Pub & Brewery on Union street and sample their Bourbon Barrel Blue Maple. One of my favorite places in the fall is the Cider House on 234 W Washington St in Athens featuring “Autumn Sweater,” a peach infused bourbon with harvest spices. Like wines? Athens hosts four local wineries such as Dutch Creek and Pleasant Hills Vineyard. Want real ‘moonshine’, visit the Hocking Hills and the Moonshine Brewery in New Straitsville.
Due to COVID, many of the fall activities had to be postponed, but we hope that does not stop you from enjoying what Athens County and southeast Ohio has to offer. Be adventurous, explore our county, sample the local harvest and take care of yourself! Book your next fall getaway online today! Until next time…