Top 3 Places to Watch Sunsets in Athens

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Ben Lindner

There’s no better way to wrap up a long day than watching the sunset. The day can get admittedly full of studying and stress, but taking a break to watch the sunset is a sight that is worth it every time. That is, if you can find a good spot to watch it. Without a good spot, watching the sunset can really feel like waste of time, which is why it’s helpful to know the best places in Athens to watch the sunset. 

Radar Hill

Although it may be a long walk away, this place is well worth it. Being the highest point in Athens, the walk to Radar Hill takes you past the Ridges and up over 100 feet to the top. The hike is long and steep at some points but ends with a tremendous full view of downtown Athens and the nature surrounding it, as well as a great sunset spot if you time it right. Judd Walker, assistant director of outdoor pursuits at OU, agrees that Radar Hill is a great place to watch the sunset.

“It’s beautiful up there,” Walker says. “It’s nice and open.”

Bong and Witches Hill

Crossing to the other side of the Hocking River will get you to two more great sunset locations: Bong Hill and Witches Hill. Located on opposite sides of the street just on the other side of the interstate, both spots provide an excellent view of the sun going down behind campus. Bong Hill is the slightly more well known of the two, but Witches Hill provides just as good, if not a better view of campus and Athens as a whole. Unfortunately, the hike up to these locations is even steeper than up to Radar Hill and are also not as well-maintained, so it important to be safe hiking here. Walker says he would not be worried about the hike but more the environment when it comes to safety.

“I would be more concerned about [the fact] that it’s pretty littered,” he says.

That being said, there is no better place to get a view of the university and the sunset all in one.

Athens City Parking Garage

Yes, a parking garage. While not exactly the first place you would think of, the view of the sunset going down behind the Athens County Clerk of Courts is actually a surprisingly good one. It is also by far the easiest to get to. Being right off of Court Street and with an elevator, it eliminates the need for a hike like the other locations require. Sometimes, it is enough to be around nature and take a moment to take it all and doesn’t require a huge trip out to nature. 

“It doesn’t need to be remote [with] no buildings in sight and this big trek away from everything,” Walker says “I think if people have that concept of what it means to be in nature then they’re missing a lot of that are right in front of them”

Although unconventional, the Athens City Parking Garage is a great place right on campus to still catch the sun going down.

These are not the only places nearby to watch the sunset in Athens. Strouds Run, North Blackburn Road and the Frum Road turnaround are all popular sunset spots. However, all of those are bit far away and would probably require a car to get to. If you’re looking for a sunset spot to walk to, these spots will certainly not let you down.