Historic Sites & Attractions

Don’t Miss These Historic Sites!
There are so many stories to tell about the history of Athens County, and thanks to community members’ passion for preservation and restoration, many of those stories are still with us.

Beyond the Hocking Hills Guide

Millions of visitors flock to the Hocking Hills each year to see the glorious natural beauty of the parks. Perhaps the best part of a trip to the region is to extend your trip to the eclectic surrounding areas of Athens, Nelsonville and beyond. Enjoy a truly original experience with live local music, amazing art, View

Dairy Barn Arts Center

Respected regionally, nationally, and internationally, The Dairy Barn Arts Center is a must-see for any visitor to Athens County.

Hocking Valley Scenic Railway

The Hocking Valley Scenic Railway transports passengers back to a simpler time when the locomotive was the most efficient form of transportation.

Stuart’s Opera House

Stuart’s Opera House in Nelsonville is excited to offer a brand new, grand reception area with seating and table service for up to 250 people, including a new catering kitchen and full bar.

The Historic College Green at Ohio University

Just visiting Ohio University? Whether you’re in for a quick stop or a longer stay you’ll find plenty to see and do on the historic campus known by any who’ve walked its hallowed grounds as one of the most beautiful universities in the nation.

Hockhocking Adena Bikeway

The Hockhocking Adena Bikeway is such an incredible experience that people drive from all over Ohio and the region just to ride it. The Bikeway’s low grade makes for an easy, relaxing 21-mile ride and the scenery is unforgettable.

Robbins Crossing

This completely restored 1850s-era Ohio village is not only a historical destination for visitors and history buffs, but a living lab for Hocking College students learning interpretive services.

The Ridges Trails

Trail options include a Ridges Cemeteries Nature Walk, developed by the local chapter of the National Alliance for Mental Illness, which winds through several cemeteries located on the grounds of the former asylum.

Historical Marker Tour

Formed in 1805 from part of Washington County, Athens County has experienced coal mining, pioneering education and so much more. Some of this history has been recorded on Historical Markers. These markers tell us stories from the past. They commemorate specific sites, events and sometimes even people.

Moonville Tunnel Trail

Located deep in Zaleski Forest in Ohio near Lake Hope State Park, the Moonville Tunnel is all that remains from a small mining town that existed in the late 1850s. The Moonville Tunnel lies just across Raccoon Creek.

Nelsonville’s Historic Public Square

Nelsonville’s Historic Public Square was once the center of activity for Nelsonville and its surrounding coal mining communities. In recent years the square has come back to life and is now a popular shopping destination.

Ohio University

Established in 1804, Ohio University is the oldest institution of higher learning in Ohio and the Northwest Territory. The 1,740-acre campus is divided into five greens – East, West, North, South and College. The East, West, North and South green house most of the student dormitories while the College green serves as the center of it all.

The Ridges Cemeteries & State Mental Hospital

On January 9, 1874, a state-of-the-art psychiatric hospital opened on the Ridges in Athens. Originally named The Athens Lunatic Asylum, the institution featured grandiose buildings surrounded by elaborate landscaping with ponds, fountains, and parks.

Indian Mounds

Between 1,000 B.C. and 200 A.D., Athens County was home to the Adena Indians, a hunter gatherer society that preceded the Hopewells and other Native American cultures.

Eclipse Company Town

In 1997 Eclipse, Ltd., was formed by five friends who decided to take on restoration of the company town because of their interest in local preservation, history and the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway. In February 2009, renovations of the Eclipse Company General Store were completed.

Covered Bridges

America’s covered bridges are one of the nation’s most treasured architectural achievements, and Athens County is proud to claim three of the eighteen covered bridges in the Hocking Hills region.

Athens County History Geotrail

Inspire your taste for adventure, give Athens County History Geotrail a try. You’ll have the opportunity to see the hidden parts of Athens County. Unfortunately, there are no more coins left for the Geotrail, but you can still try it for fun.