If spring is your favorite season, make plans to visit Athens County and indulge your floral fantasies.
Without a doubt, the most popular spring spectacle is the Ohio University’s cherry blossom trees, which attracts thousands of visitors each year. When in bloom, the trees create a magical canopy of pink and white flowers along the banks of the Hocking River, inviting you to walk amongst them. The trees represent a 49-year partnership between Ohio University and its sister college, Chubu University. In 2019, National Geographic recognized Athens, Ohio as one of the best locations in the country to see cherry blossoms.
Currently, the trees’ buds are opening and conditions indicate that peak viewing will occur within a week of this post. Stay up-to-date on all things cherry blossom through Ohio University’s dedicated web page here.
The best way to enjoy the cherry blossoms? Bring a blanket and lunch to share with a friend beneath the trees where specks of light filter through the blooms. Or spend an afternoon simply walking amongst them or besides them on the paved bikeway which runs adjacent to the trees. Visitors can park at metered parking near Peden Stadium and the Convocation Center on campus (or for free on weekends).
Want more blooms?
Bring your bike! After visiting the cherry blossoms, continue along the bikeway to the Athens Conservancy Bluebell Preserve located at mile marker 12. The preserve showcases wild Virginia bluebells, blue-eyed Mary, and brilliant trilliums. The wildflowers peak around mid-April which may place you at the tail-end of the cherry blossom season. The preserve is perfectly situated for a bike ride, but can also be accessed from nearby parking.
Don’t miss it
Athens County is about to be in full bloom and like all beautiful things, it won’t last forever. Make plans to visit these special springtime spots.