The Baker Tract is owned by the family of Dr. John Calhoun Baker, past president of Ohio University, but is largely managed by the Athens Conservancy as a nature preserve under a conservation and trail easement. This 269-acre preserve is at the corner of US-50 and OH-690, with frontage on the Hocking River. The Hocking River Commission has a river recreational access point on the property along County Road 24A (South Canaan Road), under an agreement with the Conservancy.
The Conservancy maintains a five-mile trail system (see map below), on which visitors can enjoy scenic bluffs surrounded by woods. Much of the forest is close to 100 years old and is home to a diverse flora and fauna. We particularly recommend a 1.7-mile loop on the Mythical Tree and Liar’s Ridge Trails, in the northeastern part of the preserve.
Hikers should wear bright orange during deer-hunting season. Hunters must have written permission, and deer are the only animals that may be hunted.
Access to this property is primarily via a trailhead off Ohio State Route 690. To reach this trailhead from Athens, take US-50 east from US-33 5.1 miles to OH-690. Turn left on OH-690 and go 0.5 mile to the gravel parking area on the left. Carsonite signs and paint blazes guide visitors on the trails.
More information can be found in this PDF version of the Baker Preserve Brochure.