If you are an Athens local you would know that the beginning of Spring means nice weather and blooming plants. I’m luckily able to be living in Athens to take advantage of the warm weather by going outside and adventuring. However, if you aren’t an Athens local or can’t be here to witness the Spring, don’t fret--here are my top 4 favorite Spring spots in Athens (so far!)
- The Cherry Blossom Trees
I’ve heard stories about the cherry blossom trees in Spring but I’ve never witnessed the trees firsthand. Luckily, my friend and I were able to adventure to witness them during the sunset. There are many cherry blossom trees throughout Ohio University’s campus. However, there is a specific pathway that is parallel to Hocking River. On that path off to the side, there are rows of cherry blossom trees with lights that illuminate them at night. I highly recommend checking them out while the sun is setting due to crowds and traffic on the bike path.
- Strouds Run
If you’re an OU student you may be familiar with Strouds. If you aren't familiar with it, it’s a small park located a little outside of the main campus in Athens. During the day, you should exert caution as the beach is typically filled with crowds of people who are not typically socially distancing. However, you can stay covid-safe by checking out the Strouds’ trails and nature spots. There are many hidden trails throughout the park, but beware, sometimes they can be physically rigorous trails.
- Richland Avenue Bikepath
Maybe I’m biased because I live on Richland Avenue, but from personal experience, the bike path that leads up to the asylum here in Athens is the place to be during the spring. Not only are there hardly ever any crowds, but the path emerges in nature at one point. There’s a split second where the path leads up into the trees, hiding the path from local traffic and noise. Lately, I haven’t been wanting to go to public gyms due to the coronavirus and this path is the perfect solution. It’s very steep to start out but once it connects to The Ridges, it starts to flatten out and you feel like you’re stepping into a new side of Athens. I highly recommend dedicating a warm spring day to taking a hike on the path--you won’t regret it.
- "Dirty South"
If you have ever lived on South Green you are probably aware of its beauty and simplicity. South Green encompasses the southern part of OU's campus (also known as the area of campus where Ping is located). However before they build what we students refer to as “New South,” there first was “Dirty South” (also known as old south where the original buildings were built). Even though Dirty South has older dorms, the scenery surrounding the dorms is breathtaking. There is a path that runs along with the dorm buildings, eventually connecting to the dining hall located behind it. I chose dirty south as one of my favorite spring spots simply because it’s a hidden gem. Oftentimes, there can be a lot of people outside when it gets warm which is nice but recently, due to the pandemic, there have not been many people outside. Not a lot of students nor townies visit Dirty South, making it the perfect place to pop a squat on a bench to get some quiet time in nature.
Even though I just listed four of my top favorite spots, that doesn’t mean there aren’t more cool places on campus to check out during the Spring season. Take advantage of the nice weather and explore Athens and discover the many hidden gems it has to offer!