Ora Anderson Trail


The Ora Anderson Trail is located at The Dairy Barn Arts Center; 8000 Dairy Lane, Athens. 


Trail Background

In 1912, land on Dairy Lane was purchased for pasture and to build a dairy operation to support the Athens Asylum.  The dairy barn was completed in 1914, and provided dairy products to the patients, workers, and staff at the Athens Asylum.  In the 1970s, the dairy operations ceased at the Dairy Barn.  Upon hearing that the Dairy Barn was going to be torn down, a group of citizens lead by Harriet and her husband, Ora Anderson, members of the Hocking Valley Arts Council, along with members of the community, saved the Dairy Barn for an Arts Center.  In 1978, The State of Ohio and the County Board of Mental Health donated the dairy barn to the Hocking Valley Arts Council to be the home of the Dairy Barn Arts Center.

Years later, the Dairy Barn received the deed to the property , the dairy barn and the 32 acres was deeded to the Dairy Barn Arts Center by the State of Ohio.  Over the last 40 years, the 32 acres of pasture have since turned into a wooded area.  There is a beautiful ridge at the back of the acreage and a beautiful hillside. On October 19th, 2018, the wooded area will open with the Ora Anderson Trail at the Dairy Barn Arts Center for the community to engage in healthy experiences in the outdoors.


Rules and Regulations

The Ora Anderson Nature Trail is private property and is owned by The Dairy Barn Arts Center.  Visitors are welcome to hike the trail and are asked to follow our rules:


  • Trail is open from dawn to dusk.
  • Trails are for human foot traffic only.
  • Stay on trails.
  • Keep noise down, so you can hear the birds.
  • Carry out what you carry in.


  • No pets leashed, carried, or otherwise.
  • No weapons, firearms, dangerous ordinance, fireworks, or air guns permitted.
  • No collection of any plant, animal, or other substance permitted.
  • No defacing, injuring, disturbing, or destroying any property permitted.

Groups of 10 or more are allowed with prior permission for special meetings and events.

Thank you and enjoy your visit!

Honoring Ora Anderson

Ora E. Anderson (1911-2006) was one of the founders of the Dairy Barn Arts Center and played many roles throughout his life including artist, author, journalist, nature conservationist, devoted father, and community leader.  He was known for his wood carving, creating more than 1,000 bird carvings. He and his wife, Harriet Jacoby Anderson, spearheaded the movement to save the Dairy Barn from demolition in 1977 and are directly responsible for laying the ground work for what the Barn has grown to become today.

In 2014, the Dairy Barn Arts Center developed a plan to do an expansion of the Dairy Barn, rebrick the parking lot, and to create the Ora Anderson Trail.  Due to his dedication to saving the Dairy Barn, his love of birds, land and animal conservation, the Board of the Dairy Barn Arts Center decided to honor him by developing a nature trail in his name on the 32 acres of woods behind the Barn.

Goals of Trail:

The Ora Anderson Trail at the Dairy Barn Arts Center is a place for the community to engage in  experiences in The Dairy Barn Arts Center and outdoors on the trail.  Goals of the trail include: engagement in naturearts, and wellness as holistic experiences for the mind, body, and spirit while in the outdoors.

We offer monthly programming in each of these areas, as well as one monthly offering that can be self-guided.  These programs range from a variety of activities, such as yoga, art workshops, nature bathing, and bird walks just to name a few.

Deepening one’s connection to nature can bring well being, healing and peace to the mind, body, and spirit as well as form a deeper connection to the environment.  Through taking arts onto our trail, one can find a place of connective expression, through the sensory, mindful nature of being in the outdoors.