As finals week quickly encroaches upon our post-Thanksgiving and pre-winter break euphoria, your favorite crazy outdoor peeps want to wish you good luck but also remind you of all the benefits of getting outside during this, the most stressful time of the year.
In April of 2016, Business Insider published an article about the benefits of spending time outside. The authors listed things such as sharper thinking abilities, increased concentration, and, of course stress relief. Of course, all of these benefits can translate directly to helping you survive the week of hell we so fondly call “finals week.” Times Higher Education also published an article listing ways to escape the stress of exams, and the top two methods of reducing stress were listed as getting outside (!!!) and scheduling fun things to look forward to. Planning a quick trip to Dale’s Ridge with with friends, an impromptu snowball fight on the quad (as soon as we get some snow), or even just a walking loop around campus will provide a nice break from studying and give you some time to recharge. Plus, none of these will take too much time away from your dedicated studying beforehand and afterwards.
Want to get out there, but don’t know where to go? Look no further, dear reader! Here are some awesome places that are super close to campus:
Dale’s Ridge: This two-mile trail is barely five minutes from campus, and has the whole enchilada; fields, wooded trails, and even a few nice views! To get there, head north on 15, take a left onto 192 and then a right onto Strawbridge Road. The parking lot for the trailhead will be on the left just before you cross Buffalo Creek.
Turtle Creek: This trail of rolling hills is perfect for a quick hike or a cross country ski trip that’s close to campus. While you’re there, you may even get to see some dogs at the dog park! To get there, head south on 15 to Supple Mill Road, and take a right. Follow Supple Mill until you reach the park on your left, at the corner of Supple Mill and Furnace Road.
R. B. Winter’s State Park: This state park’s got it all: an abundance of trails, a beach, a small lake for ice skating (make sure it’s frozen first!), and even picnic areas perfect for your cold weather snacks. To get there, head north on 15, take a left onto 192, and drive until you see the signs for the parking area, which will be on your right. There are several places to pull off and explore before you get to the actual park, so feel free to make a Saturday of it!