Athens Asylum, “The Ridges”, 2016 Walking Tours


The Athens Asylum – also known as The Ridges – is a highly historical and cherished part of Southeastern Ohio. The Athens Historical Society has announced the 2016 walking tour dates! This is a popular interpretive walking tour that always fills up quickly – so be sure to reserve your spot right away!


Tours start from the main steps of the Kennedy center located at the top of North Ridge Drive, 100 Ridges Circle is the address for Garmin and navigation tools.

Tickets are $10.00 with an ACHS&M membership or $15.00 each for 12 and over. This is a walking tour and will cover the entire outside loop of the grounds so if you have small children, bring a stroller!

For more information or to purchase tickets, call ACHS&M at 740-592-2280

The new 2016 tour dates are:

January 17th

February 21st

March 20th

April 17th

May 15th

June 19th

July 17th

August 21st

September 18th

October 10th  (Extra tours will be added this month, dates to be determined)

November 20th

December 18th

George Eberts, an expert on the history of the Athens Asylum or “The Ridges,” will lead an outdoor walking tour of the asylum grounds. The tour will last approximately two hours. Eberts, a former employee of the Athens Asylum, has been giving these tours for several years. George will captivate you with his depth of knowledge as well as tell you the real stories of what life was like for the residents, as well as the employed, at the Asylum.
Hear about the resident Alligator, look at the names left carved into the woodwork and hear the sad tale of the “lost lady.” Your tour guide will fascinate you with how the “Lunatic” Asylum began as well as educate you on the history of mental health and psychiatry that made the Athens Asylum one of the largest in Ohio.

“The Athens Asylum was the largest employer in Athens County for nearly a century,” said ACHS&M member Lynne Newell. “Much of Athens County history is connected to the Athens Asylum. The history of the Athens Asylum – particularly as George tells it – is interesting and exciting.”

11 Comments Add yours

  1. Kathy says:

    Do they ever do tours of the inside?

    1. acaton says:

      Hi Kathy, I don’t believe tours of the private sections of the interior are being offered at this time due to renovations and preservation. However, if you’d like to learn more and have other specific questions, the Athens County Historical Society & Museum would be able to assist you better than I can. I would reach out to them! Thanks!

  2. Shaylie says:

    So you pay $15 and you don’t get to go in the building?…

    1. acaton says:

      Currently the Athens Historical Society is offering these private interpretive tours to tell the history of the Ridges. This particular tour does not go into the private sections of the Asylum and the proceeds benefit the Athens County Historical Society & Museum! Thanks for your question, Shaylie!

      1. Shaylie says:

        Is there ever any tours of the inside? By them or other organizations?

      2. acaton says:

        At this time I don’t believe they offer tours of the private sections inside because of restoration projects. However, I would encourage you to reach out to the Athens County Historical Society. They organize the tours and would be able to answer your question better than I am able to.

    2. Anonymouse says:

      The main building is home to the Kennedy Museum of Art, and open to the public at regular hours.

  3. Julie Wasowski says:

    How do you see “carved names in the woodwork” if it’s only an outside tour…?

    1. acaton says:

      This would be a good question for the Athens County Historical Society & Museum!

  4. Shirley Harper says:

    Lots of heartache and forgotten souls behind those walls and on those grounds.

  5. Sammi Urbanowicz says:

    Do they have inside tours? My interest is the building itself.

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