The Ridges118 Ridges Cir
Athens , Ohio 45701
740-592-2280 | Athenshistory.org
The Ridges is a district of Ohio University centered around the former Athens Insane Asylum.
The Ridges is a district of Ohio University centered around the former Athens Insane Asylum. Built in 1874 by the State of Ohio, the asylum housed mental patients until it was closed in 1993. After being purchased by Ohio University, the site is now called The Ridges and is the location of the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs.
Many of the asylum buildings still stand, but are not open to the public. Even still, the main building towers over the landscape and The Ridges provides a hilltop view of the city of Athens. There are hiking trails located on site. The Cemetery Trail takes you alongside the asylum cemetery containing numerous marked and unmarked graves. Between the three cemeteries, 1,930 people are buried here. The Ridges Trail takes you up to Radar Hill alongside OH-682, providing a view of Athens’ west side.
The Southeast Ohio History Center provides monthly tours of the district for $15. Tours are scheduled for the third Sunday each month between March and December.
Notes for Travelers
Due to their close proximity, consider visiting the Kennedy Museum of Art and the Dairy Barn Cultural Arts Center during your visit. If you’re thinking about taking a tour, the Southeast Ohio History Center strongly suggests pre-registering via phone call.