For a good 20 mile ride, ride out of the parking lot onto the trail along the lake, Hickory Trail. In a short distance Finger Rock Trail go to the right and will take you up to Finger Rock, a neat place to look around for a few or practice some scary riding. From there continue up Finger Rock and take a right on Athens Trail. Ride it all the way, straight through to Sells Park. Cross the little dam at the pond and catch Rockhouse Trail to White Oak Connector, then left on Athens Trail (you were here once) ride back to Finger Rock Trail and back to the parking lot. As you ride across the road from your car you will dive into the woods and start a little bit of a climb on Thunderbunny Trail. When it comes out at the campground go right on blacktop, at next intersection turn right the left at the next intersection (main road) immediate right a next road and then immediate left into wide gravel area. Note the trail (Sundow Trail) goes into the woods on your right. Follow this trail to the dam at Dow Lake, near Rt.33. Note: be carefull on Sundown Trail. There are horse trails the criss cross this trail and it can be easy to get on the wrong trail if you don't look at the trail markers. When you get to the dam ride across the dam and follow Hickory trail along the lake all the way back to the vehicle. We came up with 19.7 miles when we rode the same route. Thunderbunny is likely the best flowing singletrack I've ridden. Sundown is also great. Check Athens Bike Clubs website for a map of the Sells Park / Strouds Run trails. The map does not show all of Sundown Trail. It does go all the way to the dam and is a blast.
June 2022 - Sundown trail is very narrow and not well maintained. The brush needs to be trimmed back from the trail and there were a number of large trees across the trail. I am an intermediate trail rider is reasonably good fitness and had to walk a fair amount. It’s a tough ride.
More great roots and rocks foot-wide singletrack. Best route is to start at the dam and go counterclockwise starting on Sundown as the high point of the trail system is less than a mile into the trail. If you're feeling good you can hit Hollow Point and Thunderbunny. Regardless you'll return on the easy Hickory. One note, the online maps aren't accurate if they don't have Hollow Point. Grab the paper map at the campground.Thank |
Trails here are excellent! Fast, smooth, singletrack on rolling hills that connect to town. I rode all the lake trails and then connected them to the Greenway for a pint at Jackie O's... 20ish miles.Thank |
Great ride! Some technical areas such as bridges, rocks, and root clusters. The track ran together smoothly, and was well maintained. Will definitely be back!!!Thank |
Could not find the something-rabbit trail so went up the hill from the parking lot and found "HollowPoint". Great trail, but you will either love it or hate it. My first time riding, and lots of surprises. You crest a little hill and you don't know if you are dropping into a rock garden or tight uphill turn out of a creek crossing. Keep alert and duck from time to time.Thank |
Very nice trail system from sells park to strouds run. Very diverse trail system. Plenty of connector trails to mix up your rides. If your in the Athens Ohio area, don't miss out. Plenty of flow, with rocks , roots to mix it up.Thank |
Read some of the other reviews for more in depth information.
IMO some of the better technical trails in the area: Hollow Point and parts of Sundown. Thunderbunny is one of my favorite trails in the area as it has just the right amount of climbs/descents and good flow to it.
Sadly Sundown (still one of my favorites) can only be accessed (legally) from the lake side right now while they finish fixing the dam so the highway end of Sundown is getting too little use...
Great system of trails and a real bonus that it can connect into Sells Park.Thank |
This is a review of the Finger Rock trail only. The trailhead of the Finger Rock trail is the very small parking lot on Strouds Run Road where the Thunderbunny trail ends. (Thunderbunny is across the road and runs north while Finger Rock is on the same side of the road as the parking lot and runs west.) Park there, which is at 39-21.160N and 082-02.897W then descend toward the creek where there is a wooden bridge that takes you to the Hickory trail. The Hickory trail splits left at the foundation of an old house and hugs the southern shore of Dow Lake. Instead, continue for a short distance until you see a small sign for the Finger Rock trail and start ascending. This trail ascends from 676 feet up to 1,076 feet where you'll eventually reach Finger Rock at 39-20.976N and 082-02.796W. This rock formation is a massive sandstone outcropping, in fact, the entire ridge is one enormous block of sandstone that outcrops in different areas to form Rockhouse and Boulder Cave. Once you've stood on Finger Rock and looked down over Dow Lake, turn away from the lake and head west up the next outcropping. You'll have to push your bike up this rock because the rock is actually part of the trail and there's no way around it. At the top you'll see that the trail runs along the crest of a ridge, meets up with the Athens trail, which is also along the ridge, and eventually reaches a height of 1,214 feet. When dry, this section of the trail is very straight and fast. Continue west until you see an evident sign on the left for White Oak Connector - Rockhouse Trail. At this point it's an easy descent down a gradual slope until you reach the Rockhouse formation at 900 feet. From this point and out around the entire southern edge of the ridge the elevation doesn't change much so it's a fast ride along the base of several outcroppings. Eventually you'll bypass the Crumley Ridge trail (that ascends to the crest of the ridge) , Boulder Cave at 39-20.593N and 082-03.919W, will cross the Rockhouse Trail - Cucumber Tree Run bridge, and ascend either to the left or right back up to 1,214 feet and reach the main Athens trail. Turn right (east) and start heading back. You'll eventually find the Trace trail that branches left and has a very easy descent down the side of the hill, past the Pioneer Cemetery at 39-20.966N and 082-03.195W, and back to the Hickory trail that you'll take back across the bridge and back to the parking lot. The creek under the bridge is a good place to wash your tires.
Of all of the trails in Strouds Run State Park, this is, by far, my favorite!Thank |
This is a review of the Sundown trail only. The northwest trailhead of the Sundown trail near the beach parking lot is at 39-21.277N and 082-02.184W. However, the Sundown trail flows downhill from the dam to the beach so it is better to park at the dam and enter the southeast trailhead at 39-20.111N and 082-00.983W. Park in the dam's paved parking lot and ascend the evident crushed limestone trail and head up to the dam to take a look around. You'll notice the trailhead on your right as you ride up to the dam. After you check out the dam, ride down and glide up the trailhead to the first intersection. Your intuition will tell you to turn left toward the dam and beach, but this short segment just takes you right back to the dam. So go right, initially away from the dam, and ascend the mountain. Once you've gained sufficient elevation, you'll notice that the trail becomes much easier to ride and starts flowing northwest toward the beach. I found the first hour of riding and pushing arduous, but it was alot more fun after that. Take a look at the park map online and you'll notice that bridle trails criss-cross the Sundown trail frequently but these intersections are very well marked - I always knew where I was and that I was on the right trail. Once you reach the hillside above the beach you'll see several places where you can easily bail out and drop down to the beach but the purist will want to endure to reach the trailhead mentioned above. To return to your car at the dam parking lot you'll want to ride the Hickory multi-use trail that follows the southern shore of Dow Lake back to and across the dam. To reach the Hickory trailhead from the Sundown trailhead, turn away from the beach and then turn left onto Stroud's Run Road. Follow the road over to the Thunderbunny parking lot and look for a recently-built wooden bridge at 39.21.140N and 082-02.880W that has no evident bike path leading down to it. This is where you'll pick up the Hickory trail aka South Lakeview Trail. It is from this trail that you can also ride up to Finger Rock or take the Finger Rock trail over to the Athens trail to ride out to Boulder Cave and Rockhouse.Thank |
This is a review of the Thunderbunny trail only. There are 18 miles of mountain bike trails in the park but I could only get this one trail in today. Park at the beach, located at 39-21.037N and 082-02.239W. Grab a map of the bulletin board there. Thunderbunny is about 90% downhill when ridden as shown. Start by riding up the road to the highest trailhead (994 ft) located on Scatter Ridge Road at 39-21.958N and 082-02.351W and enter the trail heading southwest. After a short and level ride you will find a large cluster of boulders to ride over and through, and from there the downhill begins. Ride down to where Thunderbunny crosses State Park Road at 39-21.710N and 082-02.664W (724 ft), cross the road, and continue southwest. From here the trail is fairly level and mildly uphill with rolling terrain and one creek crossing. At the creek you can portage straight across or ride about 30' to the right to stay on the trail. The Thunderbunny trail ends where it meets Strouds Run Road at 39-21.166N and 082-02.893W (799 ft). There is a dedicated parking lot at this trailhead and facilities nearby. For those who can handle doing the climb first before the downhill, just park in this parking lot at the trailhead and head northeast before coming back southwest. There are large "Thunderbunny" engraved signs at each trailhead listed above so you won't miss them.
On July 23, 2011 I found the trail condition to be very good. No overgrowth to speak of, the track was moist but not muddy, there were about five mud patches, and the creek was low enough to walk or ride across.
This is an excellent park to bring the family to with a sandy beach, boat rentals, and nice pavillions. Drop them off, do the ride, then cool off in the lake after the ride.* Review edited 8/7/2011Thank |
Ride Sundown trail from Dow Lake Dam to the beach. That is great singletrack. The Trail on the otherside of the lake, Hickory, is wider, faster and less technical. Thunderbunny similar to Sundown trail.Thank |
Sells Park Section, parking just at top of E State St Neighborhood. Rockhouse up to the Ridge and back to Sell's is a fun ~4mile lap
Cyclepath, a store in athens and site on the internet has great trail maps. * Review edited 3/17/2011
Thunderbunny and Sundown trails are a must ride. Of course the stuff up on top, Finger Rock Trail, Athens Trail, White Oak Connector, Rockhouse Trail, all the trails in Sells Park are awesome. The connector to those is Finger Rock Trail.Thank |