ATHENS, HOCKING VALLEY
The Plains is a village immediately to the northwest of Athens containing the remnants of the Wolfes Plains Mounds and Earthworks, a major Adena era complex. Reach The Plains via SR-33, or hike or bike there on the Hocking Adena Bike Trail, which also extends northward all the way to Nelsonville.
The Plains occupies an unusual, flat platform above the Hocking River, among abruptly-rising hills. Once called “Wolfes Plains,” this distinctive land-form has been, since about 300 BC, a spectacular sacred place. Squier and Davis recorded as many as 30 earthen circles and mounds, covering the terrace. There is no evidence of ancient dwelling sites, suggesting the people lived in the surrounding hills (where there are more mounds), and descended to the plain for ceremonies and rituals among these earthen forms.
Today, two large mounds remain to be seen in the town, named Hartman and Woodruff-Connett. More low mounds and circles can be detected in the area, though barely, in fields, or beneath buildings. The old Indian trail that bisected the terrace has become SR 682, around which the town clusters.