Great Ohio Adventure Trail

The first route developed for adventure motorcycle and overland travel to span the Buckeye State from the Ohio River to Lake Erie.

  • Route Length: 1,111 miles
  • Sections: 10
  • Average Section Length: 110 miles
  • Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate

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About the Route

The Great Ohio Adventure Trail (GOAT) is a scenic ride for adventure motorcycle and overland travel that uses dirt, gravel and paved roads to travel through remote and less visited parts of Ohio, passing through small towns, state parks and the Wayne National Forest. This 1,100+ mile route primarily uses forest roads and rural country byways to lead riders through the western Appalachian
plateau, state forests and reclaimed land.

The mission of the Great Ohio Adventure Trail is to promote adventure tourism and responsible outdoor recreation throughout Ohio’s Appalachia. The route was designed for a beginner to intermediate skill level because adventure travel was made for everyone.

The GOAT passes through twenty-nine Counties, twelve State Parks & Forests, and all three units of Wayne National Forest. Along the way, you’ll encounter many sites of significance that make up Ohio’s storied history and esteemed culture including the John P. Parker House in Ripley, an important site on the Underground Railroad which marks the start of the trail. Historic Iron Furnaces, rural Amish communities, and so much more await.

Infirmary Road | Section 4

Overview Map

Route Sections

1/27/2024: This section is currently in the process of being built. Thanks for your patience as we work to piece together the online route guide. 8/10 sections are completed so far.

The Ohio River and the Underground Railroad

Section 1 of the Great Ohio Adventure Trail begins in front of the John P. Parker House on the banks of the Ohio River in Ripley. Heading east out of town, Howard Hill Road offers an exciting stretch of gravel to start the trip off right. Towards the end of the section you’ll find 3 water crossings before you head into Ohio’s largest public land, Shawnee State Forest. Make a stop at Picnic Point to catch a great view of Portsmouth and the river below before making your way into camp. The fun is just beginning!

Gas/Fuel

Shawnee State Forest and the "Little Smokies"

Section 2 of the GOAT begins in Ohio’s largest state-owned public land, the Shawnee State Forest. Make sure to stop by the oldest fire tower in the state on Forest Road 6! After the route crosses the Scioto River valley and State Route 823, the most expensive highway project in Ohio history, the town of Minford offers a few places to stop for lunch.

As you pass into the hanging rock region of Ohio, enjoy some great forest road riding through Wayne National Forest and Dean State Forest. For those looking for a little more challenge, the OHV trails are fantastic, just make sure you have a pass! Lake Vesuvius marks the end of the trail but there are plenty of dispersed camping options in this section of the Wayne. The Vesuvius Furnace is a must see at the end of section 2. Head down to Ironton for hotels and restaurants, about 10 miles away.

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The historic Hanging Rock region

Experience many of the wonderful forest roads found in the Ironton unit of Wayne National Forest. Section 3 sees the trail head north out of the forest and through some open rural farmland. The best part is saved for last, as Tar Hollow State Forest’s South Ridge Road offers some fantastic gravel roads. Check out the fire tower before you descend into Tar Hollow State Park for the night.

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Into the Hocking Hills Region

As you leave Tar Hollow, be sure to stop in Laurelville for breakfast and to fuel up. The route now heads east through Vinton County and into Zaleski State Forest. Ohio’s 2nd largest State Forest offers some wonderful gravel roads to ride. Make sure you stop by the Moonville and King’s Hollow Tunnels! From here the route enters Athens County. Nelsonville is a great town to explore as the gateway to the Athens unit of Wayne National Forest. Check out Tinker’s Cave before making your way to Burr Oak for the night.

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The Big Muskie Bucket and Historic Marietta

Enjoy the reclaimed lands in and around Morgan County on Section 5 of the GOAT. Endless miles of smooth gravel and places to see await as you leave Burr Oak. Swing by the Ohio Miner’s Memorial and learn about the history of mining in Ohio as you take in the Big Muskie Bucket, the remining piece of the world’s largest dragline. You’ll then traverse some of the reclaimed land in the area before making your way down to Marietta, the first permanent settlement in the Northwest Territory. Enjoy this historic town which was the first tourist destination in the newly formed United States.

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Wayne National Forest's Marietta Unit

The Marietta Unit of Wayne National Forest is the smallest of the three units of the Wayne. The forest roads you’ll come across on this section are amongst the best you’ll find on the route. Stop by a few of the old homesteads that dot the rugged landscape. Section 6 ends at Ohio’s largest State Park, Salt Fork.

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Scenic Wildlife Areas and Mohican State Park

From Salt Fork, the trail takes a northwest bearing towards Ohio’s Amish Country. Entering Coshocton County, you’ll travel through the Woodbury Wildlife Area and emerge from the forest into more open skies as you enter rural farmland. You’ll be back amongst the trees soon as you get close to Mohican State Park. Mohican is one of the most scenic state parks in all of Ohio. Make sure to check out the covered bridge and the gorge overlook as you make your way to the campground.

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Ohio's Amish Country

Section 8 is the shortest, but far from the least exciting, on the GOAT. Welcome to Ohio’s Amish Country. Take in the open scenery and rural farmland as you travel through Holmes County. Stop by the charming small town of Killbuck as the trail takes an eastern direction. The route crosses I-77 once more as one of the top views on the trail is just ahead. End the day in New Philadelphia.

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Welcome to Ohio!

Section 1 of the Great Ohio Adventure Trail begins in front of the John P. Parker House on the banks of the Ohio River in Ripley. Heading east out of town, Howard Hill Road offers an exciting stretch of gravel to start the trip off right. Towards the end of the section you’ll find 3 water crossings before you head into Ohio’s largest public land, Shawnee State Forest. Make a stop at Picnic Point to catch a great view of Portsmouth and the river below before making your way into camp. The fun is just beginning!

Gas/Fuel

Welcome to Ohio!

Section 1 of the Great Ohio Adventure Trail begins in front of the John P. Parker House on the banks of the Ohio River in Ripley. Heading east out of town, Howard Hill Road offers an exciting stretch of gravel to start the trip off right. Towards the end of the section you’ll find 3 water crossings before you head into Ohio’s largest public land, Shawnee State Forest. Make a stop at Picnic Point to catch a great view of Portsmouth and the river below before making your way into camp. The fun is just beginning!

Gas/Fuel

GPX Files

The latest version of the Great Ohio Adventure Trail is Version 5, dated 11/12/2023. The files for each section are available for download below: