10 Alternative Athens Activities

Every Bobcat knows that there are many activities one should accomplish during their time in Athens, Ohio. Among the more popular are participating in a Court Street Shuffle, attend a Fest, steal an Athens Brick, and hike the infamous Bong Hill. These are just a few on the massive bucket list of things to do in Athens before impending graduation starts to loom over little Bobcat’s heads. However, part of what makes Athens so unique is all of its hidden gems. Here are 10 alternative activities to accomplish in Athens before graduation:

10. Visit the Athens Farmers Market

One of the great things about Athens being in the middle of nowhere is that it is surrounded by farmland. With farmland comes awesome fresh produce! Every Saturday from 9 am – 12 pm in the parking lot of 1000 E State St, Athens Farmers Market takes place. At the Farmers Market you will find a variety of fresh produce, locally made food and crafts. There is everything from raw meat to sprouting flowers to some yummy salsa. Attending the Athens Farmers Market is a must before graduating.

9. Have a brew at Little Fish

Picture of Little Fish’s beer selection

Athens is well known for the local brewery, Jackie O’s but not many are aware of another delightful brewery Athens has to offer. Little Fish Brewery is a charming brewery overlooking the Hocking River. It has outdoor seating, play toys for children, a wide selection of delicious brews, and there is even giant Jenga. What more could you want in a local brewery? Little Fish is located at 8675 Armitage Road, Athens, OH and is open Mon-Thurs: 3 pm-1opm, Fri: 3 pm-11 pm, Sat: 12 pm-11 pm, and Sun: 12 pm- 8 pm.

8. Boogie on the Bricks

Picture of me at Boogie on the Bricks 2015

Another popular activity for Bobcats are the fests and HallOUween block party (all of which are fun) but those are not the only street parties Athens has. Every year in June, Athens City Council shuts down Court Street for one day for Boogie on the Bricks. Boogie on the Bricks is a free Music and Arts Festival featuring local artists and vendors. This year’s Boogie on the Bricks takes place on June 17, 2017 from 12 pm-11 pm. If you are a fan of live music, the arts, good food and free things, then put on your dancin’ shoes because Boogie on the Bricks is the place for you.

7. Hike up Witch’s Peak

 

Nestled in the hills of Appalachia, Athens as a variety of wonderful hiking trails. Bobcats tend to favor the famous Bong Hill due to its spectacular view of Ohio University. Although Bong Hill has a nice view, located right across the street is its lesser known sister, Witch’s Peak; which has the beauty. Witch’s Peak is an enchanting forest with boulders to climb, a cave for burrowing and breathe taking surroundings. All hiker enthusiasts should wonder their way up to Witch’s Peak before leaving Athens.

6. Sleep on a porch couch

SnapChat of Annie Powell after a nap on her porch couch

Why sleep in your warm, cozy bed when you can sleep on a booze covered porch couch?! There are many off-campus houses with lovely porches, many of which are inhabited by college students. When choosing what furniture to place on said lovely porch, many students select used couches from Goodwill. Throughout the year these couches get pretty grimy, but this doesn’t stop students from sleeping on them! After a long night out on the town, the booze (and other questionable substances) covered porch couch doesn’t sound so bad. Don’t knock it til you try it Bobcats.

5. Trek through Moonville Tunnel

Me sitting on top of Moonville Tunnel

All Athens residents know of the local haunted asylum, the Ridges; but for those who like a good scare or even a pleasant hike, Moonville Tunnel is definitely worth checking out. Located about 30 minutes outside of Athens, Moonville Tunnel is an old mining trail that was boosting in the 1800s. The tunnel and trail are rumored to be haunted by a ghost in a white robe, carrying a lantern. Many visitors claim to see a ghostly figure and flashing lights shining through the tunnel at night. This is a beautiful trail to hike with a little spook.

4. Hear jammin’ music at the DIY Local House Shows

Picture from DIY House Show at the Pink Mistress

Athens may be a small town, but the music scene continues to thrive. We have #NumbersFest as the biggest college music festival in the nation, an array of concerts and dance parties at The Union and Casa Nueva, as well as DIY Local House Shows. There is so much passion and support for music and local artists here in Athens. To support local artists, students will turn their houses into venues to host house shows. These shows feature a variety of music genres and are usually a small donation or free to get in. Shows happen a few times a week and are posted on the Athens DIY Community Facebook page. If you’re into great music and cool people, these house shows are the place to be.

3. Vegan Cooking Workshop

Busy schedules and small budgets can make cooking healthy meals a bit of a challenge for college students. But every Tuesday night students and Athens residents come together to chow down on some delicious vegan food. Starting at 7 pm, people begin cooking then food is served at 9 pm. Helping to cook the food is not required but it is a great way to learn how to make yummy health food. For those who do not cook there is just a $2 donation for the meal to help fund the cost of food and rent. Athens Vegan Cooking Workshop takes place in the basement of United Campus Ministries (UCM) at 18 N College Street. This is a fantastic place to eat a delicious healthy home cooked meal and hang with lots of friendly hippies.

2. Get on the roof of Pawpurrs

Chilling on rooftops is another popular activity that Bobcats frequently engage in. There are some Bobcats who like to take this to the next level. The roof of Pawpurr’s is the ultimate rooftop chill spot. The view of Court Street is breath taking and it’s an awesome spot for watching drunk Bobkitties stumble down the bricks. However, getting on top of Pawpurr’s roof is illegal so climb at your own risk!

  1. Rope Swing on Mound Street

The rope swing on Mound Street is Athens ultimate hidden gem. Behind one of the houses is a massive tree and a large cliff-like-pit, looking over the woods. Tied to one of the tree’s branches is a heavy-duty rope with a milk crate attached to it. You sit on top of the crate, jump off the top of the cliff and hold on for your dear life. You swing over the pit, flying around the brush below. It literally feels like flying. Rope swing is fun during the day but is best at night because the view of the stars and moon is unreal. This may seem unsafe but no one has died (yet) from falling off. Take a swing on Athen’s greatest gem; it’s worth the risk.

Bobcats take over SXSW

South by South West (SXSW) is the largest media conference and festival in the world. It takes place in Austin, TX during the second and third weeks of March, annually. The conference entails every portion of media from film, music, gaming, app development, interactive media and everything in between.

 Every year, 26 students are selected to attend SXSW with Ohio University’s media program. This year, I was lucky enough to be one of them. Here is a quick look at what our group experienced at SXSW during this past week.

Cincinnati Zoo babies

There is a large amount of controversy over the idea of zoos and if they really are a safe place for animals. There are some zoos that definitely are not open in their animal’s favor; however, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is ranked #3 on USA Today’s 10 Best zoos zoos in the country for their extensive care for their animals, hospitality, and visitor attractions. One thing that the Cincinnati Zoo is also highly accredited for is their animal breeding program, which means lots of zoo babies. And if there one thing that most people can agree on, it’s that baby animals are absolutely adorable. Here is an update on the Cincinnati Zoo’s latest zoo babies:

3 Malayan tiger cubs being cared for in the nursery at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens

Born on Friday, February 3, 2017 are these three sweet, little Malaysian tiger cubs. The babies are in extensive care in the Zoo’s nursery and are expected to be moved to their outdoor habitat in Cat Canyon in early spring. Check out the Cincinnati Zoo’s blog for the full story.

Daily updates on baby Fiona from the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens

Born six weeks early, baby hippopotamus, Fiona was born on January 24, 2017.  Being premature, she only weighed 29 lbs when she first came out, which is about 25 lbs less than the average new born hippo. However, she has been on around the clock care in the Zoo’s nursery and is gaining the weight and strength that she needs.

 

Next are the twelve painted dog pups! Born on Oct. 16, 2016 from their mother Imara (ee-MAH-rah). These twelve little rascals seem like they would be a handful, however, Imara raised ten pups back in 2015, so she is used to puppy shenanigans by now!

Then there are these two adorable baby giraffes, Cora and Zoey! Born just two months apart, Zoey was born on Sept. 13, 2016 from her mother Jambo and Cora was born on July 27, 2016 from her mother Cece.

Finally, there are the premature cheetah cubs, Redd, Willow, and Cathryn. These three were born in a literal of five on March 8, 2016. The babies were born prematurely and were receiving round the clock critical care for months. After months of staying in the nursery, they have finally been moved into Cat Canyon and are being trained to join the Zoo’s Cat Ambassador program!

The Cincinnati Zoo is highly recognized for their animal care and breeding program. For more updates on their wildlife and zoo babies, visit http://cincinnatizoo.org/. This is a bi-monthly newsletter, featuring updates on births of new babies and updates on growth and wellness of current babies.

6 reasons why aliens won’t invade planet Earth

There is no doubt that there are other life forms chillin’ out somewhere in the universe. But it is often up for debate as to if our little alien friends would ever pay a visit to planet Earth. The answer is no; aliens want nothing to do with us “earthlings”. Not only do they not want to get involved in the hot mess that is the current political climate, but aliens just have better sh*t to do.

AXGJXF Alien Encounter
  1. Meet Gringo, Sid, and Lucii. Here is a photograph of them doing research on pine trees on their home planet, HerbDerb. Our three little botantist alien friends are tree lovers. They despise the people of Earth for destroying so many trees and ecosystems. Gringo, Sid, and Lucii would much rather spend time working on their favorite hobby than visit a place that treats nature so horribly.
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1000+ images about ALIEN NATION -《》- on Pinterest

2. Next meet Lenny, Grr, and their child Babel. Lenny and Grr are far too busy raising a child to even think about invading another planet. And little Babel is still wearing a seat belt, so clearly he won’t be participating in any planet takeovers anytime soon.

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transparent aliens

3. Fonny and Nonny are cat sitting this weekend so no alien invasions for them. =/

1000+ ideas about Aliens on Pinterest

4. Booppy prefers to mess with planet Earth at her local arcade. With this UFO gaming device, she can abduct cows and any other creatures that she pleases, without setting a foot on Earth.

Pizza, Aliens and Love on Pinterest

5. This picture is pretty self explanatory. Dingy has pizza. Why invade another planet when you have pizza??

alien aliens

6. Finally, we have Neep, Nop, Lurb, and Eek. They find joy in token up and making fun of the idiots that inhabit planet Earth.

“Can you really believe that they ACTUALLY elected a giant cheeto to run a country?! Smh.” Eek exclaims as he passes his intergalactic bong to Neep.

No need to visit such a horrific place when you can laugh about it with your pals in your peaceful homeland.

So there you have it. Aliens don’t need to waste their time trying to takeover a planet that is already self destructing. They would rather just sit back and watch the show.

Magic in the hills

Athens, Ohio is what I personally consider to be hippy heaven on Earth. This lovely little college town is filled with spunky free spirits, some of the best food on the planet, and a brilliant institution. But what really makes Athens so special is all of its hidden gems. I could go on and on about all of the fascinating nooks and crannies around this town, but for now I am going to focus on one of my personal favorites; Witches Peak (also known as Witches Hill and Witches Tit).

Being in the middle of Appalachia, Athens has a variety of rolling hills that are great for hiking. There is the ever so popular, Strouds Run. Then you have Radar Hill, with the spooky Ridges planted on top. And we can’t forget the most famous, Bong Hill. However, just across the street from Bong Hill is its lesser known sister hill, Witches Peak.

All of the hills in the Athens area are wonderful hiking spots, but Witches Peak is more than just a hiking trail to me. Bong Hill may have a nice view and Strouds has a lake, but Witches Peak has the beauty. The hill is enclosed in a grove of trees that makes you feel like you are in a completely different world. It’s enchanting.

View from the far side of Witches Peak

I love Witches Peak because I feel at peace when I am up there. For one, it is always less crowded than Bong Hill. You may see fellow hikers up on Witches Peak, but it is never as packed as Bong Hill. It is also quiet at the top of Witches. You can hear the breeze whistle through the trees up there; I love being able to hear that sound.

Green encompasses the top of the hill, even during the coldest months of the year. There is also a copious amount of boulders and rock formations scattered throughout the hill, that are great for climbing. To top it off, there is even a little cave like structure to burrow under. Witches Peak is like my playground. I can climb trees, run around in the leaves, and scale giant rocks all while taking in Mother Nature’s beauty surrounding me.

Witches Peak in the summer

Now, I’m sure you are wondering where the name “Witches Peak” came from. Rumor has it that there was a Satanic worshiping witch cult that did rituals on top of the hill in the 70’s. However, there is no confirmation of this rumor being true. Chances are it was just made up to scare freshman but hey, anything is possible right?

Call me crazy, but I am someone who likes to believe in magic. Witches Peak is one of my favorite hidden gems in Athens because it’s a place where I feel like magic could exist. Not the kind of dark, Satan worshiping magic that may have gotten the hill its name; but a playful, warmhearted magic. I often say that if I was a mythical creature, I would be a woodland faerie. I think if I was, that Witches Peak would be my faerie wonderland.

Witches Peak in the fall

*Note: Pictures do not do Witches Peak justice.

The view of campus from Witches Hill from athensohio