How to get outside in between seasons

It’s now that perfect time, when the sun stays out longer and seems to shine a little brighter. Everyone has started dressing for themselves again rather than to not get frostbite, and everyone’s mood seems to be better. With the transition into spring happening, getting outside and appreciating the weather is essential, both for your health and in order to soak up what we have before a potential return of winter (which we all have to remind ourselves CAN and probably will happen).


Going outside to walk or hammock just around campus is one of the best ways to get some fresh air if you don’t have the time to commit to going somewhere far away. Horton park is a short walk East of campus, and Newell Park is a short walk West. Both parks are easy to get to, and have great trees for hanging up a hammock, or laying out a blanket beneath. Keep in mind that while light clothing is perfect for the walk, you may get cold laying in a hammock or sitting on the ground since you won’t be moving. Bring an extra layer in case to ensure the chills won’t force you to walk back home.


If you’re looking to commit to a further away location for more of a hike, or again just a spot to relax on a blanket or in a hammock, Minnehaha Falls and Shadow Falls are two great places accessible by public transit in about a half hour. Minnehaha Falls, a classic during winter because of the frozen waterfall and interesting terrain, is a great place if you’re looking to explore. Keep in mind that there are warning signs about where it is safe to go during colder months. Shadow Falls is right on the Mississippi, along with other great trails. With all of the snow and ice melting, the trails can be tackled with minimal slipping. With this area, there is always the great view of the Mississippi River, and the occasional waterfall as a surprise.


For both of these locations, and any other place in the area to hike, keep in mind how wet the areas may be. Make sure to wear waterproof shoes so your trip isn’t restricted. It’s no fun to be a quarter of the way into a hike and have to decide between soaking your shoes and dealing with it, or having to turn around. Avoid this all together by wearing waterproof shoes as well as clothing that can get muddy or wet.


This is where the fun really kicks in. Getting down and dirty and not having to worry for a little bit is one of the best parts of the in-between seasons. The weather is delightful, and the trails, sidewalks, etc. are wet, muddy, and maybe still icy, but they allow for the child-like freedom to just enjoy the outdoors without consequences. Being outside and being active are proven to be good for your mental and physical health, so taking advantage of the warmer weather while you can is essential.