Kaitlin Thorne

A crisp breeze was in the air last Saturday when my husband and laced up our hiking shoes and headed out for the afternoon.

We were headed for the Ridges, wanting to explore the area a bit more.

Since moving to Athens County in January, the Ridges area has become one of my favorite spots to spend an afternoon, however, there are so many trails in the complex, that I have yet to see all of it.

With this goal in mind, we took off on a section of the trail previously unknown to us. Within two minutes of walking, we were out of sight of the road and the world surrounded only by nature and the occasional hiker.

It was perfect.

Leaves crunched and twigs snapped underfoot. At one point my husband noted that he loved that sound. I couldn’t agree more.

This was the Athens I had been looking for. I love the feeling of being in the woods, the serenity that comes with being surrounded by dirt, trees, and leaves is unmatched. The colors are rich, the scents are heady and the visuals of a walk through the woods can open up one’s mind to countless ideas and meditations.

Hiking upwards we followed a small path that took us up a hill. At the top a beautiful vista awaited us. I’m sure many in Athens are familiar with this site, but for me, it was new and surprising. Atop the overlook, I kept coming back to a singular thought... “I live here.”

I live in a country that is varied enough that by moving one state over I’m welcomed by unknown sights and different terrains. For that, I am grateful.

I’m so glad to be living in Athens County, where I can enjoy and share a beautiful connection with nature.

This weekend I’m planning on heading back out and seeing what else I can discover in this amazing county. As always, if you have any suggestions for places I should go, or topics I should write about, email me at kthorne@athensmessenger.com.

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