Picnic like a local at these Athens County hidden gems

Sunrise at The Ridges in Athens, Ohio.

Sunrise at The Ridges in Athens, Ohio.

There’s no better way to start off a month of celebrating local foods than by filling your basket with area goodies and heading off into the hills to enjoy a picnic. When it’s too hot to whip something up in your own kitchen, fill your picnic basket with handmade delights from one of Athens County’s food trucks, then check out these favorite local picnic spots.

Radar Hill at The Ridges. Stroll along a short, one-mile trail at The Ridges and you’ll see why Radar Hill is a beloved place among locals, students and visitors alike. It’s is the highest point in Athens and the well-maintained trail features a forested area that opens up to a sweeping field of trees, shrubs and grasses. The trail is seconded only to the view once you get to the top. Start your day with an early morning hike to Radar Hill followed by a picnic breakfast, and the whole rest of your day will thank you.

Dow Lake at Stroud’s Run State Park. Rent a boat or a kayak to work up an appetite, then picnic along Dow Lake and watch the water lap the shore. This state park is open until 10:00 pm, making it a great place for dinner and stargazing.

Ohio University’s College Green. Spread your blanket under one of the many trees along this historic college green. Or find a seat at the Soldier’s and Sailor’s Monument, a favorite spot of the university’s student and faculty. When you’re done, take a stroll along Uptown Athens to make room for some dessert.

 Gifford State Forest. Although it’s Ohio’s smallest state forest, Gifford is filled with richly wooded areas and a manageable trail system. In short, it’s the perfect destination a picnic and an easy post-lunch hike.

Robbin’s Crossing Historical Village. This resorted 1850s-era village is located on the campus of Hocking College in Nelsonville. If you go there on the weekends, you may find the Natural and Historical Interpretation students and volunteers in period dress, sharing historical information.

Discover your own beloved picnic place during your next visit or get a few more of our suggestions. Tag your photos of your favorite picnic moments using #AthensOhio and #Athens30MM and we may feature you.