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.

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.

Stuart’s Opera House & Gallery 1879

We envision Stuart’s Opera House as the cultural anchor and a center of expression on Nelsonville’s bustling and dynamic Public Square. It is a historic venue sought out by people of all ages, from all walks of life, and from near and far. Its well-earned reputation as an intimate, casual setting for continuous offerings of both familiar and innovative artistic performances and community events brings people back time and again.

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.

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.

Dairy Barn Arts Center

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

Final Fridays

On the final Friday of each month (with a break in December), galleries and retail shops on Nelsonville’s Historic Public Square stay open late to feature special art events.

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.

Athens County Historical Society & Museum

Located in Uptown Athens, The Athens County Historical Society & Museum showcases its vast collection and breadth of local history knowledge via walk-in, hands-on exhibits that immerse visitors in the stories that make Athens County so unique.