This area is so rich in cultural, historic, natural and educational resources, there wouldn’t be room here to give you a proper accounting of all you can experience. But here are some highlights. For more information, head to
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A Look at Athens' Past
Athens County Historical Society & Museum
Revisit the past at the Athens County Historical Society and Museum. Permanent displays at the museum include replicas of a schoolroom, a general store, and a 1930s kitchen, as well as a Victorian parlor, bedroom, and kitchen. Located at 65 North Court Street in Athens, the museum also features changing exhibits focusing on the history of Athens County and its people.
Burr Oak State Park
Burr Oak State Park is a natural choice for nature lovers. There's swimming, boating, paddle-boarding and fishing on Burr Oak Lake. The state park features 28 miles of hiking trails and eight miles of bridle trails. Hunting is permitted in designated areas of the park and adjacent Wayne National Forest. Also available are campsites, cabins, and a lodge. Call for reservation information.
Dairy Barn Arts Center
The Dairy Barn, located at 8000 Dairy Lane in Athens, has become one of Ohio's premiere arts facilities since its founding in 1977. With more than 7,000 square feet of exhibition space and growing, it is home to a number of special events, such as the first and world’s most renown juried art quilt show, the biennial Quilt National; a changing mix of unique juried shows, such as Transcending the Figure: Contemporary Ceramics; a rich art auction; professional-grade art classes and events; and so much more.
Hocking Valley Scenic Railway
http://www.hvsry.org 937-335-0382 (Monday-Friday)
The Hocking Valley Scenic Railway offers a leisurely ride through beautiful southeastern Ohio. This rail line once carried 138 steam locomotives, 70 passenger cars, and 15,000 freight cars along its 340 miles of track. Today, it carries two passenger trains, with departures each Saturday and Sunday from Memorial Day weekend through November. There are also "Santa Specials" the first three weeks in December. You'll see a number of interesting sites in and around Nelsonville during the ride, including the Nelsonville Yards, the old Nelsonville brick kilns, the historic Dew Hotel, Stuart's Opera House, old canal locks, the Rocky Boot Outlet and more.
Hockhocking Adena Bikeway
hockhocking adena bikeway
The 21-mile HockhockingAdena Bikeway is located on the old Columbus and Hocking Valley Railroad bed and offers a scenic connection between Athens and Nelsonville. High cliffs, rock outcrops, and outstanding displays of spring wildflowers can be found along the bikeway. The trail begins just east of Athens and passes such points of interest as Ohio University, Wayne National Forest, Robbins' Crossing, and Hocking College. You can explore the bikeway's history and beauty by bike, foot, wheelchair, roller blades or other forms of non-motorized transportation. No horseback riding is permitted.
Kennedy Museum of Art
An elegant Victorian building located at The Ridges at Ohio University is home to an eclectic and expanding collection of American art. The Kennedy Southwest Native American Collection is the most extensive assemblage of classic and modern Native American art in the country. Valued in the millions, the collection includes masterpieces of weaving, silverwork, and jewelry. The Contemporary American Print Collection includes works by such artists as Roy Lichtenstein, Jim Dine, Yvonne Jacquette, Jasper Johns, and Dorothea Rockbourne. Two of the new collections at the Kennedy Museum are The American Photography Collections, featuring works by Clarence White and Herman Leonard, and the Foster and Martha Harmon Collection of American Art, a multi-million dollar exhibit of late modern American paintings and sculpture. The museum also hosts a number of touring exhibitions throughout the year.
Ohio University Tours
Take in more than a100 years of architectural history on the Ohio University Tour, either in person or virtually. Among the buildings you'll see are the Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium, sundial, Soldier's Monument, Wilson Hall, Cutler Hall, and McGuffey Hall. This three-quarter-mile tour takes less than an hour to complete. If trees and plants are more your liking, the Ohio University Tree Tour showcases more than 50 species of trees, from as far away as China, Japan, and Siberia. The self-guided tour also includes stops at the university's botanical gardens, which features more than 600 plants, and the greenhouse, with plant specimens from every continent.
The National Timber & Outdoor Show
Held annually in the fall on the grounds of Hocking College in Nelsonville, The National Timber & Outdoor Show is a forestry trades show with something for everyone. More than 50,000 people attend the event, which features lumberjack competitions, forestry equipment demonstrations & displays, chain saw carving, activities at Robbins Crossing, music, educational hikes, lumber felling demos, training classes, and much more.
The sights and sounds of woodworking, the clang of the blacksmith's hammer, and the aroma of an old-fashioned herb garden are yours to discover at Robbins' Crossing on the campus of Hocking College in Nelsonville. This special visitors center serves as a unique lab for students studying interpretive services at the college. Each weekend during the summer and fall, costumed students recreate the people and setting of a 19th-century Southeastern Ohio community. Robbins' Crossing is open Saturday and Sunday afternoons from Memorial Day weekend through Christmas.
Strouds Run State Park
Located on State Park Road in Athens, hikers will find 15 miles of trails that wind through the wooded hills of Strouds Run State Park. For equestrians, there are 8.5 miles of bridle trails. Another star attraction at Strouds Run is Dow Lake, where you can swim, boat, or fish. The park also offers tent and trailer campsites. Call for reservation information.
Sell's Park in Athens offers visitors a respite from city life. This picturesque, out-of-the-way place offers a peaceful pond and wooded trails that connect to areas beyond the park's boundaries. Sell's Park is located at the end of Avon Place on Athens' east side.
Stuart's Opera House
The carefully restored Stuart's Opera House, located in Nelsonville's Public Square since 1879, now hosts a variety of arts events throughout the year. Featured are performances by the Berean Community Playes and the Athenian Players Theatre. The Victorian Theatre, which is listed on the Nation Register of Historic Buildings, may also be toured by appointment.
Wayne National Forest
The Wayne National Forest covers more than a quarter million acres of Appalachian foothills. Covered with hardwood and pine, the rugged hills of the Wayne also feature several rock shelters, natural springs, and abundant wildlife. Visitors can hike, camp, canoe, picnic, boat, hunt and fish. There are even three trails for off road vehicles.