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Athens, OH: Zaleski Backpack Trail (South & Middle Loops)

Escape into tranquil, rolling woods in the foothills of the Appalachians.

Trip Tools

Think Ohio’s all corn farms and soybeans? Think again. Zaleski’s 27,000 hardwood acres offer a dose of true wilderness. This mellow, two-night, 19.9-mile loop—with sandstone outcrops and wild edibles—is perfect for beginners or quick getaways. 

Gear up The Pedaler & The Packer, 432 Richland Ave., Athens. (740) 592-4630;

Season Year-round, though trails get muddy in wet weather.

Permit Register for first-come, first-serve campsites at the parking lot kiosk.

Contact (740) 596-5781;

To Trailhead

From Athens, take OH 56 11.3 miles west. Turn left to head south on OH 278. In 4.8 miles, park at the trailhead across from Hope Furnace.

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