“Sundown Trail treats riders to a twisty traverse along the eastern side of Dow Lake.”
— Meredith Erlewine
Please do not ride when wet. You may wish to avoid the park during hunting season. Refer to ODNR hunting calendars for gun season dates (hunting is allowed in Strouds Run State Park).
So named because it offers excellent views of the sunset over Dow Lake, Sundown Trail is accessible from the small parking area immediately on your left after turning off of Strouds Run Road into Strouds Run State Park's beach area. Pedal into the pine trees and it's a short steep climb up the ridge a bit until the trail begins a long, twisty run along the entire length of Dow Lake.
There are many intersections with other trails (hiking trails closer to the beach end of Sundown Trail, then hiking and equestrian trails closer to the Dow Lake Dam end of the trail). Extensive trail markings are placed at each intersection by the Friends of Strouds Run State Park, so be sure to take the time to read the signage and stay on Sundown if you are not familiar with the trail.
Around the 2-mile mark, Sundown merges into the Lakeview Trail (hiking only) and intersects with some horse trails at Whitesel Junction, before crossing a creek and then turning left up into the woods. Take care through this short series of signed turns and intersections to continue to follow Sundown Trail. The next four miles feature fun, fast riding and many intersections with horse trails. The final mile of the trail features (comparatively) a lot of descending and quite a few tricky/technical features, so on your first time through it's a good idea to approach things with caution until you see what's around each corner.
For the 2015 season, keep in mind that the Dow Lake Dam has been under construction and now a slip has occurred on the new roadway accessing the dam. Sundown Trail currently intersects this damaged roadway, and the park is likely to be re-routing the trail and signage may not be clear for some time. The goal is to find your way down to the dam and then either ride across the dam to access Hickory Trail
on the other side of the lake or to ride down to the Dow Lake Dam parking lot and access State Route 50 to Della Drive and then the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway back to Athens.