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My Favorite Ways To Get Outside at FSU

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

As a college student, it can be hard to find room in my schedule to get outside. Luckily, there are tons of easy and fun ways to incorporate the outdoors into day-to-day life here at FSU and around Tallahassee! Here are some of my favorite places for when I need a little fresh air.  

Seminole Organic Gardens 

The Seminole Organic Gardens are located next to the circus lot between Wildwood Halls and Doak Campell Stadium. There are gardening plots available for all students to rent, picnic tables, and a small pavilion. When the weather is nice but you don’t want to go too far from campus, this is a great place to hang out. The gardens are on the quieter side of campus, making it a great place to study, eat, or read. FSU Sustainable Campus and Environmental Service Program have weekly garden hours where you can learn about North Florida native plants and pollinators. 

The Rez 

Though a little further from campus at about a 15 minute drive, The Rez is a cost-effective and fun outdoor option for FSU students. You get free entry with an FSU student ID, which gives you access to the ropes course, kayaks, canoes, swimming, paddle boards, beach volleyball courts, and more. Whether you prefer a chill day sitting on the beach or an active one playing sports on land and in the water, The Rez has something for everyone. 

Wakulla Springs State Park 

A popular choice for students during warmer months, Wakulla’s freshwater springs are a great way to cool off. It’s a bit far (around a 30 minute drive from campus), but in my opinion, it’s worth it. There’s an entrance fee of just $6 per car. In designated areas, visitors can snorkel, jump off a diving platform, or just swim. Those who are SCUBA certified can dive at Cherokee Sink.

If the water’s not for you, there are also nine miles of nature trails at the park, ranging from easy to moderate in difficulty. There are tons of wildlife to see, including manatees, white-tail deer, gators, and other cool creatures. 

St. Marks Wildlife Refuge 

If you’re willing to make the 40-minute drive, St. Marks Wildlife Refuge is a fantastic option for a day hike. There’s an entrance fee of $5 per car, a $25 annual refuge pass, or a Federal Recreation Pass. The visitor center has exhibits and information about the plants and wildlife at the refuge. At the center, there’s also a gift shop and a small viewing platform overlooking a marsh.

You can take a car to St. Marks Lighthouse at the edge of the refuge or start at the trailheads closer to the visitor center. There are hikes for several different experience levels, with the longest being the nearly eight-mile Otter Lake Trail and the shortest being the 0.05-mile Shepherd Spring Trail. While camping is not available to the public at the refuge, there are picnic areas throughout.

There are so many ways to get outdoors no matter how much time you have. Take advantage of the pockets of nature in and around campus. It’s so worth the time it takes to find them. 

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Cate Dudley is a Freshman at FSU. She is a staff writer for Her Campus. She is working towards an English Literature, Media, and Culture degree on a Pre-Law track.  In the past, Cate served on her high school newspaper for two years, as a staff reporter for one year and editor-in-chief for the other. As editor-in-chief, she oversaw the production of a quarterly news magazine, weekly web articles, and social media posts. She wrote news articles covering on-campus events and profiles on students, designed pages and graphics for the magazine, and photographed athletics events. She was also a member of the sports broadcast club, live streaming sporting events to the internet.   When she is not writing, you can find her hanging out at the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority house or enjoying the outdoors around Tallahassee.