Guided or solo, these tours won't disappoint. With 5 tours to choose from, you're sure to find the perfect tour of Athens County for you and your family. Check out the tours and let us know if you have any questions! Enjoy your adventure in the hills!
Quilt Barn Tour - a self-guided driving or cycling tour open all year round. There’s no better way to tour the hills of Athens County than the Quilt Barn Tour. Your mission: to see over twenty historic quilt barns. Your reward: spectacular views of the Appalachian hill country. While on the lookout for the next historic Quilt Barn, you’ll discover winding creeks, fields of wildflowers, spectacular overlooks, and covered bridges. Pack a picnic and don’t forget your camera. Choose between the 45-mile Applique Loop, the 45-mile Stitch Loop, or the 55-mile Quilter's Loop.
Athens County has a rich history. 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. There are nine Ohio Historical Society Historical Markers and several privately erected markers in Athens County. This driving tour will take you to all of them. We hope you enjoy discovering the unique history of Athens County.
Route 33 Audio Tour - This audio tour audio tour highlights the history along Ohio's Route 33 from Lancaster to Athens. The Back In Time Audio Tour is a free, downloadable MP3 that spur-of-the-moment travelers can download and play as they drive. The tour is about the history that lines the route. Through interviews with geographers, historians, naturalists, and local residents, the stories that line the road are told.
Route 550 Audio Tour - Listen to the history of Route 550 as you travel down one of the oldest and earliest routes in Ohio. Local residents give you a first hand account of the area's history as Cultural Geographer Hubert Wilhelm discusses the architecture along the way. Download this audio tour to your mp3 player, and hit the road! Download a map of the route here.
Greenhouses & Gardens Tour - a self-guided tour taking you through a botanist's dream.
Covered Bridge Tour - This self-guided driving tour takes you to the three remaining historic covered bridges in Athens County. Popular in the late 1800s, covered bridges served two purposes: their barn-like appearance made it easier to transport cattle across them; and builders discovered that protecting a bridge’s underpinnings with a roof meant the bridge could stand for seventy to eighty years, as opposed to an uncovered bridge's lifespan of ten to fifteen years.
Start in the north and see the Kidwell and Palos Bridges, then head southeast to the Blackwood Bridge. If you are feeling extra adventurous, head west from the Blackwood Bridge into Vinton County, home to five covered bridges, including one of the last remaining "humpback" bridges in the world, the Ponn Bridge. Learn more about Vinton County's covered bridges by clicking here.
Some of the area's history has been recorded on Historical Markers. These markers tell us stories from the past. Take the self guided tour and learn about the region.
Don't forget your camera when you head out for the beautiful Quilt Barn Tour. No matter the season, the Quilt Barn Tour makes the perfect afternoon getaway. You'll see historic barns with quilt blocks painted by area artists and community groups, and all while driving on the scenic back roads of Athens County.