Classic Roads: Appalachian Byway of Ohio

Classic Roads: Appalachian Byway of Ohio

This 105-mile scenic byway was added to Ohio’s roster of 27 state-designated scenic byways in September 2019. The Appalachian Byway of Ohio follows SR 78 from Clarington to Nelsonville, OH. The region’s natural and cultural heritage are on abundant display throughout the route, and some of its rich history is profiled at the four highlighted points of interest.

Southern Ohio may not have snow-capped peaks, but this route makes up for it with a seemingly never-ending progression of sweeping curves and elevation changes through a lush landscape. The area is probably lesser known to riders in the Midwest and West, but among East Coast riders Southeast Ohio is known for its challenging routes. The two-lane road is generally in good condition, but don’t let your wrist get too twisty, because forested areas can spring surprises on riders in the form of sudden road hazards.

A collection of some of Ohio’s best routes is known as the Windy 9 (that’s Windy as in curvy roads, not roads buffeted by strong winds). RoadRUNNER published an article about four of those routes in our January/February 2019 issue. The “Rim of the World” ride described in the article contains segments of the Appalachian Byway of Ohio (aka SR 78).

Points of Interest

Hollister-Parry House Museum

Constructed in 1858, this house is the anchor of three on-site historical structures, which include a late 1890s German-Swiss–style dairy barn and a historic stone schoolhouse that was in use from 1895 to 1919. All three buildings are home to a collection of locally themed displays and artifacts. 217 Eastern Ave, Woodfield, OH, (740) 472-1933

Caldwell Historic Jail & Museum

If this jail (circa 1882) looks more like a house than a penal facility, that’s because this structure was built to house both inmates and the sheriff’s family in the same building. Four large holes in the wall allowed communication between the sheriff and his . . . ahem . . . guests. 419 West St, Caldwell, OH, (740) 732-5288

Big Muskie’s Bucket

Miner’s Memorial Park is home to a 230-ton coal strip-mining bucket that was a component of a massive machine that once stood 22 stories high. It weighed over a million pounds when fully loaded. Big Muskie had to be assembled on-site over a two-year period. The machine was dismantled (except for the bucket) for scrap in 1999. 4470 SR 78, McConnelsville, OH

Nelsonville Historic Public Square

The Nelsonville Public Square, centered around a circa 1904 fountain, is home to a collection of shops, galleries, and restaurants. It’s within walking distance of the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway. Off Route 33 in Nelsonville, OH, (740) 753-1011