Muskingum Recreational Trail

Muskingum Recreational Trail

Dresden, Ohio 43821

Official Website
Muskingum Recreational Trail (TrailLink) map

Tips for Birding

A roughly six-mile trail stretching between Dresden and Ellis Dam in Muskingum County. It can be accessed from the north in Dresden, off Main Street, and at the midpoint off Rock Cut Road. From the south, it can be accessed off Ellis Dam Road. The northern end of the trail is a mature forest, bordered on one side by the Muskingum River and the other by railroad tracks. The south end, starting from Rock Cut Road south to Ellis Dam, is only partially paved but still an easy walk or bike ride. This end features wider views of farmlands, wetlands, and a lake. The Muskingum Valley Park District, which operates the trail, is building a wildlife observation deck on the south end, overlooking a wetland. The extreme south end of the trail, near Ellis Dam, features a bridge over the Muskingum, affording fine views. As the trail comes to the bridge, the river bank descends toward the river but the trail stays level, affording near-treetop level views of mature riverside trees.

About this Location

The Muskingum Recreational Trail is approximately six miles of asphalt trail connecting the Village of Dresden in Jefferson Township to Rock Cut Road in Muskingum Township. Much of the trail follows the Muskingum River and offers exceptional views of huge rock formations and myriad wildlife watching opportunities for bald eagles, turkey, beaver, and more. Funding for the construction of the first four miles of the trail came from the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Transportation Enhancement Program. In December 2011 new trail was opened through the Village of Dresden. The new trail was built with a grant from the Clean Ohio Trails Fund which is administered by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

A second section of the trail is open on Rock Cut Road and Ellis Dam Road. This piece connects to a short section south of Ellis Dam Road and includes a restored railroad bridge that overlooks the Muskingum River and historic Lock 11 at Ellis Dam State Park.

No restroom facilities. There are public restrooms in the Village of Dresden.
The asphalt section of the trail from Dresden to Rock Cut Road is wheelchair accessible.

Notable Trails

Muskingum Recreational Trail
Hike from any of the Muskingum Recreational Trail trailheads. The total trail length is about 6 miles. Out and back hikes of various lengths are possible.

The TrailLink website has a description and map of a hike on the Muskingum Recreational Trail.


  • Restrooms on site

Content from Official Website and Chris Crook

Map adapted from TrailLink website