Emeriti Park is Athens’ finest gem

 

Rolling hills, valleys and scenic landscapes are staples all throughout the Appalachian plateau in beautiful Southeast Ohio.

Emeriti Park in Athens is no exception.

The four-acre plot situated along South Green Drive, merely minutes from uptown Athens, contains many of the features that make this region of America great.

At the center of the park is a pond with two beautiful water fountains which bring Emeriti to life. Sprinkled around and facing the pond are sturdy wooden benches, each dedicated to important people who made Athens and Ohio University what it is today. A gazebo overlooks the entire park across from a bridge which separates the road from the park. Of course, the pathways in Emeriti are paved with the iconic bricks which define Athens, Ohio.

Emeriti in January.

However, beyond just being a pretty sight, Emeriti Park is my favorite place in Athens because it is the one place on campus where I can go to truly relax.

Being able to get away from life’s stresses and achieving tranquility, no matter how brief, is something everyone should be able to do when necessary. Emeriti Park is the place for me to be able to unwind.

I vividly remember a time last semester where I was particularly stressed out over a few midterms. I took a walk and stumbled upon an empty Emeriti at twilight. It was easily one of the most beautiful and serene backdrops I had ever seen.

I sat there for almost two hours. I turned my phone off, put it in my pocket, lit a Marlboro and just sat and relaxed, isolating myself from the troubles and stress of life.

The next two hours, time seemed to stand still. It was almost a psychedelic experience.

I did not notice the many college students walking by the rows of oak and maple trees on the outskirts of the park. I did not care the wind was increasing in speed as the sun set, making it a bit chilly outside. I did not worry about the homework and studying that eventually awaited me when I got back home.

It was just me, my thoughts (or lack thereof, in this context) and the gorgeous scenery around me.  

It is almost hard to describe a situation in which one reaches pure tranquility and ease of mind. It just simply does not happen very often, if it all, in today’s hectic hustle-and-bustle lifestyle.

I fell in love with Emeriti Park that fall night.

After those two hours, I stood up and walked back home, conscious of the work that was still looming over me.
I didn’t care. I got to work.  

 

Check out Ohio University’s release about Emeriti’s 2014 renovation

A guide to Instagram: Athens edition

Nestled in the foothills of Appalachia, Ohio University and the city that hosts it are a mix of bricks, hills and green spaces you’re unlikely to find anywhere else. Athens provides students with a bevy of beautiful photos.

And like most college students, Bobcats love their Instagram feeds. The following is a collection of some of the most Instagram-worthy spots in Athens.

Campus Gateway

Just a little excited to be home ?? #athens #bobcats #alumniproblems #ohiouniversity #becauseshebeatme

A photo posted by Alyssa Marie Wilson (@alyssawilson628) on

One of two spots on campus known by some as the campus gates. The other is currently getting a facelift.

Getting there

This spot sits at the northwest corner of College Green. In other words, it’s on the corner of Union St. and Court St.

Tips and Tricks

If there aren’t many people around the gates when you walk by, take advantage of the moment and get your picture — most days at least one campus organization will be handing out flyers here.

Bong Hill

 

Just hanging OUt ??☀️ #BongHill #OhioU #Athens #Hiking

A photo posted by Calvin Holloway (@calhollow) on

Despite the name, I’ve never walked in on people doing illegal things here. Wear comfortable shoes because it’s going to be quite the walk.

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 2.25.14 PMGetting There

The most physically ambitious spot on this list, a trip to Bong Hill is not for the faint of heart. Enlarge the map to the right to see how to get there on foot. It’ll be about a two-mile trek by foot. The final ascent is a steep couple hundred feet.

Tips and Tricks

If you’re lucky enough to have a friend with a car, have that person drive you there. It’ll shorten the journey by a tremendous amount. If you’re going by foot, be careful walking along the side of the road. You’ll be on a state route for a few minutes.

It’s important to note it’s unclear how legal this OU tradition is. The land isn’t clearly marked as private property, but there appears to be a residence somewhat close to the vantage point.

Emeriti Park

The springtime lunch times ???? #OUpics #athensohio #ohiouniversity

A photo posted by Emily (@svveetdisposition) on

You might’ve already seen this park on a visit to OU. It’s a good place to study on a sunny day.

Getting there

The park is situated between Baker University Center, Clippinger Laboratories and the Ping Center.  You can’t miss it.

Tips and Tricks

The pond is pretty in the spring and fall, but walk here in the winter after a light snow. It’s a wonderland.

Bike Path

The bike path on the edge of campus is part of the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway, a 21-mile bike path that stretches all the way to Nelsonville. Our slice of the path plays host to Sakura blossoms in the spring and a frozen Hocking River in the Winter.

Getting there

The bike path hugs the Hocking River on the outskirts of campus. Popular spots for entering the bike trail are the bridge on Richland Ave., South Green and Union Street. You should be able to get there in five minutes or less from just about anywhere on campus.

Tips and Tricks

The path is a favorite for runners, dog walkers and cyclists. Part of the path is lit by streetlamps, but I wouldn’t advise spending time here after dark. It’s relatively secluded compared to the rest of campus.

College Green

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 2.59.21 PMThe heart of OU is also the oldest area of the campus. According to OU’s website, Cutler Hall, the building in the middle of the above photo, was built in 1816 and currently houses some administrators, including the president.

Getting there

Most of the photos of College Green are taken from in front of the campus gateway, denoted by the little gray point on the map to the right.

Tips and Tricks

If you work up an appetite taking this picture, there are usually several food trucks stationed along Union St., including the famed Burrito Buggy.

Court Street

Many would call Court Street the true heart of OU. Well over 10 bars call this half-mile stretch home, which only adds to OU’s reputation as a party school. But beyond the bars, Court Street’s bricks are iconic, and many of the buildings have maintained their historic facades.

Getting there

From the top floor of Baker University Center, you can get to Court Street by walking straight out of the doors and down the street between Scripps Hall and the Alpha Delta Pi sorority house.

Tips and Tricks

Employers are increasingly checking out your online identity before hiring you. While Court Street can make for some artful pictures, you might want to hold off on posting that picture of you and your friends having a little too much fun at the bar, even when you’re of age.

The Ridges

#TheRidges #AthensOhio #KeepAthensWeird

A photo posted by Cameron Price (@akidnamedcam) on

Formerly known as the Athens Lunatic Asylum, a walk to The Ridges is a Halloween tradition for many OU students. Some of the buildings are now used by the University in various capacities, but they once were home to Billy Milligan — a serial killer who will be portrayed by Leo DiCaprio in an upcoming movie.

Getting there

You can see the ridges from most places on campus, but to walk there you’ll need to cross the bridge near Peden Stadium on Richland Ave. There are sidewalks and crosswalks. Once you cross the roundabout after the bridge, walk up the brick path on your right, and you’re there.

Tips and Tricks

It is possible to go inside the abandoned buildings. Some students do it at night for a cheap thrill — but it might not be so cheap after all, because it’s illegal, and if caught you’ll be paying a hefty fine.