Kenyon Community and Recreation

The Community

Since John Crowe Ransom first edited The Kenyon Review in 1939, Kenyon College has been a national center for the literary arts, attracting celebrated writers and encouraging the work of younger poets, essayists, fiction writers, and playwrights. Robert Lowell, Randall Jarrell, Peter Taylor, Anthony Hecht, E.L. Doctorow, and William Gass, among others, all studied or taught at Kenyon. The tradition continues today with such acclaimed writers as Laura Hillenbrand, John Green, Lewis Hyde, and Simon Ortiz.

Kenyon is located in Knox County, a rural county of rolling farmland, deciduous forests, and small cities in central Ohio. The college campus, with its striking Gothic architecture, shady lawns, and gravel pathways, reflects its status as the oldest private college in Ohio. Writers Workshop participants enjoy the historic charm of the Village of Gambier while living in campus housing with ample space to work and access to the latest computer technology. Kenyon’s recreational facilities are open to participants.

Please note that living on the Kenyon campus entails a good deal of walking. If walking or using stairs poses problems, please call the program office.

The Village of Gambier and nearby Mount Vernon

Within the village of Gambier, you’ll find a bookstore, small grocery store, hair salon, women’s clothing retailer, post office, bank, and several restaurants. Just four miles from campus is Mount Vernon, the county seat, boasting plentiful shopping—antiques, crafts, local art, and more—as well as a range of local attractions (including a children’s garden and historical museum), a variety of lodging and dining options, and an excellent public library.

Recreation, Fitness, and the Countryside

Kokosing RiverNestled in the rolling hills of the Kokosing River Valley, Kenyon is surrounded by splendid country for hiking, canoeing, cycling, and exploring nature. Beyond a full range of on-campus recreational facilities available to workshop participants, Kenyon’s Brown Family Environmental Center extends opportunities for natural observation and discovery. The Kokosing Gap Trail, a beautiful paved 14-mile trail built on a former Pennsylvania Railroad bed, is considered one of the larger volunteer-maintained bicycling trails in the nation; walkers, strollers, runners, and rollerbladers also welcome. As a designated Ohio Scenic River, the Kokosing affords opportunities for fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and tubing.

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