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Athens, Texas Area Attractions & Information

Athens, Texas, county seat of Henderson County, Texas, is often referred to as the Gateway to East Texas, just one of its many titles which include The Black-Eyed Pea Capital and Home of the Hamburger.

Athens lies within an easy drive from three interstate highways; 20, 35 and 45, and is ideally located 75 miles southeast of Dallas, 189 miles north of Houston, 35 miles from Tyler, Corsicana and Palestine and 26 miles from Canton. The city of Athens covers 13 square miles and has a population of 11,297. Henderson County covers 943 square miles and has a population of 62,000. Area lakes include Lake Athens (1,520 surface acres), home of the Texas Fresh Water Fisheries Center, Cedar Creek Lake (38,000 surface acres), Lake Palestine (25,500 surface acres) and Richland-Chambers Lake (45,000 surface acres).

A progressive town blessed for years with caring citizens and good leadership, Athens boasts amenities, programs and features much larger towns only wish for. Some of these include:

The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center. A state-of-the-art hatchery, opened in 1997, which concentrates on genetic research, spawning and production of millions of Florida largemouth bass for restocking Texas rivers and reservoirs. The Visitors Center features aquaria of fish in their freshwater environments which allow visitors to learn about fish behavior, life cycles and the importance of catch and release programs.. The Center’s focus on education and conservation includes a 150 seat auditorium, a Texas Freshwater Hall of Fame, a museum which explains the historical perspective of fishing and a catch and release pond for scheduled group activities. For information call 903.676.2277.

The Henderson County Fairpark Complex. Located 3 miles east of Athens, The Henderson County Fairground is one of the finest fairgrounds and has one of the finest covered arenas in the State. The fairground houses a 4,500 seat coliseum, a multipurpose building, three barns and a second covered arena. Competitors come from across the country to compete at the various horse shows and rodeos hosted here, in addition to the varied expositions, auctions and other events. 903.677.6354

The Athens Country Club. Members enjoy the clubhouse, restaurant, 18 hole golf course, tennis courts and swimming pool. Accommodations for parties of up to 800 are available. For information call 903.675.8594.

Canton First Monday Trade Days. Canton, located 25 miles north of Athens is home to First Monday Trade Days, the first Monday weekend of each month. Thousand of dealers set up shop on over 100 acres, with every thing from antiques, arts and crafts and decorative items to tools, plants, dogs, farm and exotic animals. One of the largest tourist attractions in the state. 903.567.6556.

Trinity Valley Community College. A two year comprehensive community college serving a five county area. With an enrollment of 4,000 Trinity Valley is fully accredited. The Associate in Arts degree, Associate in Science degree and the Associate in Applied Science degree are all granted by the institution as well as certificates in child development, cosmetology, vocational nursing and welding. For more information call 903.675.6200.

UT Health East Texas Hospital. Affiliated with the UT Health Regional Health Care System in Athens, UT Health East Texas serves as the areas leading healthcare facility. The 115 bed state-of-the-art hospital was opened in 1985, rising above the waters of the 4 acre lake it is situated next to. The peaceful environment is brought indoors by means of a 32 foot atrium featuring waterfalls and tropical plants. Comprehensive medical care, including the latest diagnostic, therapeutic and rehabilitation services are offered on both an in and outpatient basis. The hospital’s emergency and trauma center has 24-hour physician coverage. 903.676.1000.

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