The Hopewell-Chillicothe-Marietta-Road

By Emmett A. Conway, The Olde Forester

Sugarloaf Mountain Low gap on Hopewell-Chillicothe-Marietta Road.
Photo by Emmett Conway about 1970 from Marietta Road on hill just south of Overly chapel. Modern Marietta Road turns left at the  junction shown at foot of hill and deviates from ancient path and road to go north and around the north side of Sugarloaf Mt. The old trail going to the houses shown and dead ending is called Schraeder Road. Remains of the ancient trail and early settlement road can be found by driving into Great Seal State Park and a little to the north. The park includes the ridges south of Sugarloaf to Mt. Logan. This view from Adena, home of Governor Worthington, is on the State Seal of Ohio.

The portion of the Hopewell-Chillicothe-Marietta  Road  in Ross County,   is now bent out of its original shape, according to the author.  This Ancient Footpath and early road had been the most dry, level and direct route and was the easiest way to travel on foot for thousands of years between the Hopewell Indian principal earthworks, now near the City of Chillicothe and approximately 100 miles eastward to yet another Hopewell earthwork at the confluence of the Muskingum and the Ohio Rivers, now the City of Marietta.  In fact, the only portion still named, Marietta  Road, is in Ross County between Bridge Street and  Hallsville on State Route 180! We need to explain what has happened to the alignment right from the start.

The modifications to the ancient route was brought about by our European settlement patterns and the subdivision of the Ohio east of the Scioto River into the Rectangular System of Land Survey of the United States of America. The simple fact is that farmers along the route did not want a road running diagonally across their squared fields. Farmers often petitioned the County Commissioners to move the road from its original alignment to the edges of their boundaries. Thus we have the present Marietta Road in Ross County, Ohio, east of  the Scioto River, being the most crooked road in the county. It goes from portions of  the ancient route to cardinal directions of the boundary lines and back again to the original, occasionally. This is readily seen on the modern map of  Ross County. The Marietta Road even ends at Hallsville and becomes State Route 180.

This is the conundrum of locating Ancient Footpaths in Ohio and elsewhere. The change in lifestyles from that of Native Americans and our introduced European modified land management has caused many ancient paths to be lost in the woods as along the west side of Great Seal State Park. You can walk into the woods from the picnic area of the park  towards the   lowgap on the south side of Sugarloaf  Knob and actually walk on the abandoned Marietta Road where stage coaches used to run. There are cement culverts left after abandonment.

The gravel road you find is the only smooth grade possible. If you tried one side or the other, you would be walking up and down continuously. That is the thrill of finding and proving the ancient routes which animals and Native Americans once trod.

The prominent Sugarloaf Knob on the northern end of  the range of hills fronting the Scioto Valley north of Chillicothe and its lowgap on the south side was the guideline for the first three miles of the Hopewell-Chillicothe-Marietta Road. The knob can be seen from many places in Chillicothe  and  the  lowgap furnished the turning point for the first lap. From the Bridge or        Hickory Street crossing of the Scioto River, the road ran almost straight along the glacial foothills of Mt. Logan, Mt. Ives and  the adjoining  knobs of  The Allegheny Front -- high and dry.   It is cut down in some places from long wear, especially on the part just south of Overly Chapel. You can stop on the road and see it heading directly ahead on what is now Schrake Road-- the first abomination of many. Schrake Road ends at the last house in less than a half mile, while the ancient trace continues into the underbrush heading straight for Sugarloaf Knob. In a miracle of historical recognition the lost portion is called  STAGECOACH ROAD! We quote the man in the Black Forest of  Germany who said, “Only the streets remember.”

Indian women generally carried the small children and the baggage, while the men traveled lighter for hunting and warfare.  Ross County history records some of these events.

An excellent book noting Native American activities in Ross County along the many ancient footpaths is Pioneer Record and Reminiscences of the Early Settlers and Settlement of Ross County, Ohio by Isaac J. Finley and Rufus Putnam, printed for the authors by Robert Clarke & Co., Cincinnati, Ohio, 1871.

The  Finley and  Putnam book states on page 111 that in Springfield Township, where the Hopewell-Chillicothe-Marietta Road begins, “The Indian traces were plain in this region in 1805, and many arrow heads and stone axes are yet picked up in the fields. Mr. McNeal  says he has often counted as many as eighty Indians in a squad, passing through from Old Town (on the Little Miami River north of Xenia) to Salt Creek and Raccoon to obtain lead and hunt.”  Another of the many  references  is on page 94 about  Jefferson Township  and refers to the “Road to the Scioto Salt Licks” (now U.S. 35).  It states, “The old Indian trail , from Kanawha to Chillicothe, passes here, going by way of the salt works at Poplar Row, now called Jackson. Mr. Rittenour says he has seen at least one  hundred  Indian women, with their pappooses  fastened to  boards,  resting or camping half a mile from town”.

We intend to describe the location of the original Hopewell-Chillicothe-Marietta Road and to point out the common characteristics of Ancient Footpaths.  We will also mention where the changes have been made and probable reason.  It was  used for travel by the statesmen from Marietta to the First Capital for legislative sessions beginning in 1803 and other business.

When settlements,  like  McArthurstown,  where  established for the making of millstones for delivery to Mussellman’s Grist Mill at Hopetown about 1815,  the ancient route with their efficient long distance characteristics were modified and generally abandoned.

The last records of Native Americans wintering or summering in Southern Ohio was about 1812-1815. The Shawnee had sided with the British in the War of 1812. A few references are found of wintering groups as at Cedar Falls as narrated by Homer Kalklass about the rock shelter called “Salt Peter Cave Trading Post.”

The extension from Overly Chapel is now called Schrake Road.  You can follow Schrake Road straight to the lowgap or saddle on the south side of  Sugarloaf  Knob, a prominent target seen from all over Chillicothe. Other abandoned portions in Great Seal State Park are easily found for hiking.

From the lowgap  beside  Sugarloaf  Knob, you can practically draw a line to the Hallsville Cemetery where the ancient route parallels State Route 180. There are survey records to prove this.

An Ancient Footpath between the City of  Chillicothe  in the Scioto  River Valley  and the rival City of Marietta at the confluence of the Muskingum River with the larger Ohio River was called by European Americans, The Marietta Road.  However, because it has served both the Native Americans and the European Americans, we will call this ancient trace/trail/road , The Hopewell-Chillicothe-Marietta Road.

Its original course, no doubt, served prehistoric migratory animals and the earliest Native Americans.  The route exhibits all the common characteristics of Ancient Footpaths the world around.  As the late Paul A. W. Wallace stated in his landmark book from his life study entitled Indian Paths of Pennsylvania, 1955, the Marietta Road  follows Wallaces’ description of  "Dry, Level, and Direct.”  Floodplains were avoided. From the road’s beginning on Bridge Street, Chillicothe, at a center of Indian activity, the trace skirts along the west foothhills the Great Seal Park in a direct line for the lowgap on the south side of Sugarloaf Knob. This prominent knob is visible from most places in the valley and must have been a landmark. Native Americans we call Hopewell and Adena,  also used the trail because they had similar major earthworks at both locations.

Marietta was settled in 1787 by Revolutionary veterans from Massachusetts and was the first permanent settlement in Ohio.  Chillicothe was laid out in 1795 by Nathaniel Massie of Kentucky and others and settled in 1796. It was the road which the politicians traveled between these two rival cities, Virginians in Chillicothe and Federalists from New England in Marietta. Chillicothe was headquarters for the Northwest Territory before statehood and The First Capitol of Ohio in 1803.

Although later settlement patterns caused abandonment of portions and name changes for original tracks, the political Bourne Map of 1820 and the Government Survey Map of subdivisions, called the Hough Map, show that during the first twenty or thirty years of the Nineteenth Century, The Hopewell-Chillicothe-Marietta Road maintained its ancient directions utilizing all the characteristics of Ancient Footpaths of the World:  Dry--Level--and Direct.

 “Only the streets remember”can be said of but the first eight miles beginning at the Bridge Street bridge over the Scioto River in Chillicothe.  Nevertheless, that portion bears the signature of an Ancient Footpath. The starting point would have been a fording over the Scioto River. The fording would have been a veritable junction of important main trails through the Ohio Country.  When this area was cleared for construction of Shawnee Square and other developments, many artifacts were uncovered. Ancient footpaths went from places of importance to other places of importance.

The most important was and still is the north-south route. In Ohio this trail is called The Scioto Trail. In its entirety, this trail is called The Path of the Armed Warriors or Warriors Path. The Marietta Road is on the modern maps from Bridge Street in Chillicothe to where it joins State Route 180 at the Hallsville Cemetery. There are no more than eight miles left of what was once one hundred. Even the remaining portion has been corrupted by diverting the original trail to the cardinal directions of American survey lines.

Some Ross County citizen remarked that, “The Marietta Road is the most crooked road in the county!”  What a setback for the Ancient Trail which was “Dry-Level- and Straight,” not only the eight miles to Hallsville where it mounted the glacial moraine, but all the way to the Mouth of the Muskingum River. Look at the 1820 Bourne  map which accompanies this account.

While ANCIENT FOOTPATHS on all continents exhibit similar characteristics of dry, level, and direct to places of importance for both animals and earliest people, changes in the modes of living, particularly that of the immigrants from Europe, has led to rerouting of many of the ancient routes.  However, for our study of the Hopewell-Chillicothe-Marietta Road when the destinations were similar both for the Hopewell Indians and the white settlers in the Northwest Territory, we believe that little or no rerouting took place until new white villages were established.

Therefore our discussion of the route taken by the earlier Ancient Native Americans and that of the settlers of Marietta (1787) and Chillicothe (1795) were primarily in the same locations which we will describe.

The impact of European mode of living of ANCIENT FOOTPATHS in America led to changes from the very first settlement at Jamestown. Native Americans were not uncivilized or savages as the invaders wanted themselves and others to think. Native Americans just lived a different pattern of life than did the Europeans in America.

Ancient Paths used by the Native Americans were well defined before the Paleo Indians appeared and many trails had been established by migrating animals. Europeans were told by the Indians that the trails were there long before their traditions of tribal occupancy began.

The  Hopewell-Chillicothe-Marietta Road is a prime example of a road which was important to both Native American and European cultures.  Originally a footpath for Native Americans and animals, it connected two popular destinations about one hundred miles apart. The Chillicothe region on the Scioto river and the Marietta region on the Muskingum River were important habitations to Indians of all periods of time because of suitable natural conditions. The Indians we call Hopewell or Adena alone left major earthworks at both ends of this road or trail which confirm the importance of a connecting path--their trail.  Marietta was settled by The Ohio Company of Associates in 1787. Their city at the mouth of the Muskingum River was even laid out to incorporate some of the Hopewell earthworks in a cemetery. Chillicothe was established as a city in 1795 on top of and surrounded by the greatest assembly of Hopewell/Adena earthworks in North America. Thus we are confident that a common trace or footpath would have existed and used by both cultures, The Native Americans and the newcomers, The Europeans.

We do not know the politics or traffic requirements of the Native Americans; however, we do know that Chillicothe became the capital of the Northwest Territory in 1796 and the capital of the new state of Ohio in 1803.  Like it or not, the government officials living in Marietta were required to travel to Chillicothe on official business. The Hopewell-Chillicothe-Marietta Road which we are describing must have been the common road of the Indians and the Europeans.

Ancient Americans--Hopewell Indians
Mention Hopewell Indians and you think of modern Chillicothe, Ohio.  It was the capital of their empire or whatever you want to call the region in the Scioto Valley where we find the greatest number of magnificent Hopewellian ancient earthworks. The map of the Chillicothe Region published by E.G. Squire and E.H.Davis in their ANCIENT MONUMENTS OF THE MISSISSIPPI VALLEY, Smithsonian Institution, 1847,  proves that.

The Olde Forester visited the Archaeological Division of the famous British Museum in 1976. He wanted to view the most famous of the artifacts found in the first excavations of the namesake “Hopewell Earthworks.” These had escaped to Great Britain when little interest was shown for keeping them in the USA.

Upon learning that the Archaeological Division was at Piccadilly Circus instead of in the main museum, the Olde Forester asked directions from a London Bobby. Appearing skeptical, which indeed he was, of ever getting to Piccadilly by himself on a London double-decker bus, the bobby said, “Just remember, as long as you ‘ave a tongue in your ‘ead in London, you won’t get lost.”

Leaving wife and daughter at the British Museum I soon arrived at Picadilly and found the archaeological museum.  The biggest surprise was the response from the receptionist when I mentioned that I lived near Chillicothe, Ohio. She knew immediately where it was and appeared envious. Unfortunately, the Hopewell artifacts had recently been on display and were then back in their drawers. I mention this to show how widespread the knowledge about Hopewell is around the world.

For information on the Hopewell, visit the HOPEWELL CULTURE NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK, located at the Mound City Earthworks near Chillicothe, Ohio. They have a web page called Hopewell Culture National Historical Park.

The Hopewell Indians had extensive earthworks at the mouth of the Muskingum River in present Washington County, Ohio, some one hundred miles to the east of Chillicothe.

Without a doubt a well worn trail existed between the Chillicothe and Marietta major earthworks. It would have been the most direct route, the shortest and would have existed long, long before the Hopewell Culture rose to dominance. It would have represented the main characteristics of Ancient Footpaths, the world around, as stated by Paul A.W Wallace, 1965, Indian Paths of Pennsylvania, The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission as being simply DRY, LEVEL AND DIRECT.

The Marietta Road as shown on  the 1820 Bourne Map of Ohio would have been the principal and shortest road of the Hopewell. Only in  Ross County is any portion of this road still called "The Marietta Road."  Even there it terminates at Hallsville by the cemetery west of the old village. Here the Marietta Road joins State Route 180 which replaces it in name only as far as Adelphia.

When the modern Marietta Road is mentioned to people in Ross County, they say that it is one of the most crooked roads in the county. IT WASN'T THAT WAY WHEN THE HOPEWELL'S, SETTLERS, AND EARLIER PEOPLE AND ANIMALS FIRST USED IT.  The  rectangular system of land subdivision of the United States created boundary lines on cardinal directions. Ownership boundaries, most often, follow these cardinal directions. Land Survey records exist which show where the section lines and other survey lines crossed the Ancient Roads. For example a record in the Ross County Engineer's office reads, "South between Sections 23 & 24, 42.00 chains to a road opened by Gregory, by order of Mr. Gallatin, from Chillicothe to the Little Falls of the Hockhocking River " (Logan, Ohio).

Ross County farmers along the original trace soon petitioned the county commissioners for moving the ancient right-of-way to their boundary lines on the cardinal directions. Thus we have the present Marietta Road in Ross County running with the ancient trail in pieces and with the section lines in others. This practice has happened to every ancient trail in the United States where the rectangular system of land subdivision has been instituted.

The Olde Forester recognized the secret of finding ancient footpaths before settlement about 1966 when he found Original Survey Records in Jackson County Engineer's office. One read "The Road from Gallipolis to the Salt Springs on Salt Lick Creek".  He walked in through fields and woods to a ridge on the Cooper Wildlife Area and, to his surprise, found an old trail, on a ridge pointing in the direction of Gallipolis and Jackson, the site of the very Ancient Salt Springs on Salt Lick Creek.

His lifetime thrill was heightened after finding the long-abandoned road and thinking that Chief Cornstalk and his some 1,500 warriors might have walked this trail on his way to attack General Andrew Lewis's army at Point Pleasant, West Virginia, on October 10, 1774. In a field nearby, he picked up a flint arrowhead. The Jackson County Commissioners abandoned this ancient road about 1815 -- politics again.

The South Central Ohio Preservation Society (SCOPS) traveled the Marietta Road and its extension into Hocking County for its November 2, 1998, meeting. Two busloads of members seemed to enjoy to the max this beautiful fall day and a look back into the Ancient Footpaths.  We could only cover the portion from Chillicothe to a point on Chapel Ridge between State Route 56 and Cedar Falls on Queer Creek. The group dropped down to beautiful Ash Cave for refreshments and a walk in the failing light to the most beautiful rock shelter in Ohio.  It was a most impressive day.

 SCOPS members also enjoyed The Olde Forester’s narration about the c1815 Indian Trading Post in the rock shelter opposite the Cedar Falls Park which was called “Saltpeter Cave” by the first settler who lived just above Cedar Falls as told to him by Homer Kalklaus in 1950. They have this on video tape by Professor Robin Lacy, Athens, Ohio.

In 1950 the Olde Forester--far, far younger then, about 34 years of age, was making an inventory of all the Ohio state forests for the Division of Forestry as a research project. My one helper, compass man, head chain man and measurer of the trees on sample plots was Homer Kalklaus, a local employee reared near Cedar Falls. The best part of our day was eating lunch and shooting the breeze with Homer in some shady spot.

Homers’ true life story as recounted to me one day sounds like one by the legendary Homer. The Hocking State Parks, Ash Cave, Cedar Falls, Old Man’s Cave, Rock House and Cantwell Cliffs are as popular now to modern Americans as they were to Native Americans. Ash Cave, the grandest overhanging rock shelter in Ohio was called that because of the thick layer of ashes from centuries of Indian fires. Scenic rock formations exist in the conglomerate rocks. Narrow gorges, jumbled giant rock falls and overhangs combine to attract a unique flora common hundreds of miles north of here.  The gorges were prime wintering grounds for the Native Americans. Bear, deer, bison, elk and smaller game were likely plentiful.

Homer Kalklaus said to me that he was working one Sunday as the Park Ranger at Cedar Falls Park. The time must have been in the Thirties or Forties.  His job was to keep an eye on the park and help visitors.

 A car with a Pennsylvania licence pulled into the park and an elderly man got out assisted by a woman. He immediately asked to be taken to the Saltpeter Cave.  Homer explained that the rock shelter now known as Saltpeter Cave was in another part of the park, Pine Run.  The elderly man disagreed and proceeded with his old narration to which Homer listened.

With conviction the man from Pennsylvania said that his grandfather was the first settler above Cedar Falls and had built a grist mill there. This was about 1805. For a period of about fifteen years the Native Americans and settlers coexisted in the area.   The grandfather settler  lived to tell the man Homer was talking to about his days when the Indians still came to their wintering grounds near Cedar Falls..

Continuing Homer’s narration which I listened to with rapt attention, Homer told me that he agreed with the man that there was a rock shelter on the north side of the ravine which might be the one referred to. The old man said, “Lead me to it."

From the stream bed the rock shelter in question is difficult to perceive because of a large talus slope shielding the dry area behind. As soon as they entered the dry area of the rock shelter Homer said the old man exclaimed, “This is it. This is it!" His grandfather had described the shelter as it was when the Indians were using it as a Trading Post in the winter season.
The Pennsylvanian then proceeded to point out the details as left behind by the Native Americans in their use of them.

These are the features which had been in use:
1. A Rock about 4 ft. square and seat that had an Indian mortor or hominy hole in it. It has since been damaged.

2. Right behind the hominy hole in the cliff face, Homer showed me where the man said the Indians baked their corn pone in a pothole at the base of the cliff, getting it hot and placing their pone inside.

3.Another feature was where the Indians sharpened their axes of granite or steel.  Groves in rocks where one would sit.

4. The Pennsylvania man looked for crystals of saltpeter on the walks--used for gun powder.

Modern park management  tries to restrict the use of the shelter -- wisely.

The principal characteristics of Ancient Footpaths are illustrated on The Hopewell-Chillicothe-Marietta Road.  These are listed below:

 1. Travel on a terrace on the west side of Mt. Logan Hills.

 2.  A LOWGAP OR SADDLE  for going over a ridge. Sugarloaf Mountain Lowgap is a perfect example and the remnants of the ancient road are to be found in the gap.  Further, the gap is the sighting point for the trail from near the Hallsville Cemetery.

 3.  A ridge or terrace is represented by the glacial morraine from Hallsville to Adelphia. The trail followed this low ridge as shown by other surveyor's notes.

 4. A fording probably existed on Salt Creek below Laurelville and at the Narrows Road.

 5.  A RIDGE IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION is Chapel Ridge, encountered just about an eighth mile on State Route 56 east of South Bloomingville.  An ascent to the ridge top takes you on a long course eastward toward Athens and Marietta--the right direction.

The day's biggest thrill with the SCOPS group was finding and walking along a short remnant of the ancient trail  left when the moderns diverted the present road around a low point.  The ancient path continued over the point. It is about eight feet wide and up to six feet deep. We parked there and EVERYONE walked through the greenbriars and downed trees to experience the thrill of experiencing a trail where bison, mastodons, elk and mammoths might have walked--straight ahead, up and over--compass straight.

The Route of  the Marietta Road
The entire Marietta Road is shown on the Hough Map of 1815 (portion in the OU Archives) and the Bourne Map of 1820.  According to Walker's History of Athens County people traveling from Marietta to the legislature in Chillicothe used this road. I also read one reference of his that the Marietta people sometimes took the Salt Lick Road to Chillicothe because it was better--probably for more use.

Bourne map

From Chillicothe
It went on Chapel Ridge, Hocking County, between present SR. 56 and Queer Creek valley.  From the intersection of Chapel Ridge Road with the SR from Ash Cave to Cedar Falls, the trail would have gone on  minor county roads which take you on east to Mt. Pleasant on SR 93 north of SR 56 crossroads. A road continues easterly from Mt. Pleasant, then I lost it. I feel certain that it must have gone past Asbury Church on SR 278 just north of SR 56.

Major Doolittle, who set out the trees on Carbondale Forest, told me in the Fifties that he and wife would walk from their home in Carbondale to the church. Their stone is in the cemetery there.

Mr. Doolittle conducted some friends and me on a tour of the forest explaining how Col. Enderlin wanted the fields planted like they did in Germany. Enderlins lived in Chillicothe and still run Union Coal Company which now sells beer instead of coal.  Melvin Doolittle's heart was in the best for the people of Carbondale. He kept the mine going another 21 years when the owners wanted to shut it down. He said it helped to raise another generation. When we knocked on his door, he said he wasn't well enough to take us. Then he rallied and said, "Come on".  He told us that as a boy he was hired to help in the company store. Someone left something of value behind which he turned in to the manager. Because of the trust they had in him he worked his way up through the company. His point, he said, was that a person is always being judged. (I thought I would work that in).

Into Athens
From Carbondale it is an easy matter to ascend the ridge and follow the present road  to
Five Points.  Then you go on along Vore Ridge to the BIG JUNCTION on the west side of the Hockhocking where West State Street meets the river. There are places along Vore Ridge Road where you can see remnants of the old narrower road.

A junction of major proportions was the intersection of five major roads, probably ancient trails, on the west side of the Hockhocking opposite where State Street meets the river.  It would have been one of the busiest hubs in Ohio.

To look now at the area where the present roads come together, one would not have the least idea of the prehistoric traffic which must have gone through there.

I would think it would have some archaeological remains left behind, but the only thing I know of is a small mound  west of the junction on the north side of Margaret Creek, I believe. It is on a small circumvallation, I believe, or remnant above the surrounding valley level. Undoubtedly, no one has done any research here.

Whether or not the people crossed the river at a fording on the west end of State Street or crossed at the rock outcrop by the mill, I can't answer. Walker mentions several records of ferry service. One was called Miller's Ferry. The place was called "Middletown" before Athens was established.


    1.  Trail to the Plains

    2.  Marietta Road up Vore Ridge.

    3.   Hunting and Wintering Road to Chillicothe.

Up Lavelle Road, New Marshfield,  Mineral, Moonville, Coalmont Hollow, Brushy Fork Watergap, Crossing SR. 93 by Johnson's filling station, west on Rosser Road, passing Charlie Greys old farm and over the ridge on "The Olde Buffalo Trace" on Daft's farm (virgin trail), down Mt. Olive Rd to N. Fork Salt Creek, down to Allensville and on to Chillicothe along present U.S. 50. (But may have cut over a ridge for a way after passing Mt. Olive Church).  This trail would have taken the Indians into prime hunting and wintering ground along Raccoon Creek, like at Moonville.
 I believe that this ancient "Buffalo Trace," as the old people in Vinton County named it to me, was abandoned after McArthurtown was established, c1815.  Walker gives a record of the Athens County Commissioners appointing a commission to lay out a new road from Athens to McArthurtown by way of the headwaters of Wheelabout Creek.  This would be known now as "Old U.S. 50 " on Union Ridge.  The trace down to the fording just above Moonville was very steep on both sides of Raccoon Creek. We know where the trail is on the north but haven't found it on the south side as it goes over the ridge and down to Pinney Hollow. This passed north of McArthur which wasn't there and is just a common example of "improvements".


This was probably the most used trail. Walker has several references to commissioners orders to improve the Road to The Salt Licks. I believe it went up Margaret Creek and then up County Rd. 10 and through the Tennessee Gas Transmission Pumping Station, continuing over the ridges through Wellston and into Jackson.


I think this went up past the Redmen's Lodge, crossing Rt. 50 at the top of the rise west of U.S. 33. I have followed this through Harrisonville, I believe, and Rutland to Kyger Creek, where I believe it joined the Ohio River Trail.  School kids at Kyger Creek School have done some archaeological digs near their school and earned an award from the Ohio Archaeological Society.

FROM THE IMP0RTANT INDIAN CENTER WHICH ATHENS SEEMED TO HAVE BEEN the MARIETTA ROAD, I believe, continued up modern State Street over the low gap (good example) and angled past the reported village site where the Children's Home used to be.  This was where US 33 meets State Street or thereabouts.  It was on a terrace above the river as was the village site opposite the cemetery on West Union Street. Murphy dug in here and called it The McCune Site for the people whose back yard he was digging.

The Old State Road as shown in surveying records went over the ridge north of the East State Street shopping center.   I have walked this old road in two stages.  From Krogers Store you can see the road on the bench coming from behind the funny concrete office building (the USFS was in there once.) Get onto the trail behind this building and follow it around the point and up into the head of the hollow.  It eases up onto the ridge turning northerly.  Here you need a TRAIL SIGNAL TREE, because there are many ways to go wrong.

I solved this puzzle by having walked from the shelterhouse at the head of Dow Lake, up past the little family cemetery and gradually up to the ridge. Along the way there are remnants of the Old State Road, as it was called in some survey notes and officially known. I saw one culvert, I believe. Near the ridge off to the south or east is a large white oak which, I think, was a witness tree to "a point in the State Road". A little further on you hit the ridge trails. MARK THIS SP0T. Here there would have been a good reason for a TRAIL SIGNAL TREE.  This is where the two ends join.

From Athens to Marietta
From the head of Dow Lake, the trail continued with the present road northeast and continued through the woods--not turning at right angles to the state road from Canaanville.  I think it hit old U.S 50 and went through Amesville. From there it went up on the ridge and not up the Sharpsburg hill. There was an old road up this hill straight ahead. Then it probably followed the present 550 on the upland into Marietta.

image hiking boots

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