It’s the New Year and many of us are thinking about the resolutions we’re making for 2016. Of course one resolution is easy to keep: spending more time in Athens, Ohio! Read on for our suggestions:
- Try Athens’ 3 Craft Breweries. Athenians love keeping it local and that special feeling extends to local brews. Jackie O’s has long been a favorite and now Little Fish and Devil’s Kettle are adding their own flavors to our growing libations scene. If part of your New Year’s Resolution includes more physical activity, then you’re in luck: all three breweries are easily accessible from the bike path.
2. Take a Guided Tour of The Ridges. If you’ve ever driven to the City of Athens via State Route 682 you’ve seen it: The towering administrative building that was once part of the Athens Lunatic Asylum. The site’s impressive buildings and well-maintained grounds have always drawn locals and visitors to the site. What makes visiting The Ridges great now is that now you can take a tour of the grounds with George Eberts, a former employee of the asylum and volunteer of the Athens County Historical Society. Tours typically take place once a month year round.
3. Bike the Entire Length of the Hockhocking Bikeway. This may seem like a daunting task, as the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway runs 21 miles and connects Athens and Nelsonville. But in an area known for its hilly terrain, the bike path actually is one of the few places in the county that’s relatively flat. Plus, throw in great places to stop like Eclipse Company Town and your ride just got a whole lot easier.
4. Attend the Nelsonville Music Festival. The Nelsonville Music Festival is a big event with an intimate feel. True, there are the headliners who appear on the main stage, but two other stages: the low-fi cabin and the porch stage, plus a plethora of local foods and goods give this festival a warm, neighborly vibe. Current performers include Randy Newman, The Tallest Man on Earth, Mac Demarco, BADBDADNOTGOOD and Angel Olsen with more to be announced soon. The 2016 fest runs June 2-5.
5. Shop the Athens Farmers Market. Thanks to the dedicated farmers of Athens County, this is one resolution you can keep any time of the year. The Athens Farmers Market is open every Saturday from 9 a.m.-noon. During the winter months, vendors head indoors to the Market on State. As the weather improves, the hours of operation increase to include a Wednesday market from April-December and a Thursday market from May-September.
6. Ride the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway. One of the most beloved ways to explore the hills of Southeast Ohio is on the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway. It’s the perfect way to create some solid family fun. The train depot is just a few blocks away from the shops and restaurants of Nelsonville’s Historic Public Square, making it the perfect afternoon activity.
7. Have a picnic at Strouds Run. Work up an appetite before your picnic by swimming or paddling Dow Lake or by taking a hike though one of its many trails. Maybe you could sit at quietly on a picnic bench during your lunch break. However you do it, just make sure you head out to Strouds this year for some time in nature.
There’s more resolutions that can be completed in one day, so make a weekend of it! Until then, travel safely and we’ll see you in Athens soon!