How to enjoy the great outdoors this spring

Joy Wessels

Spring is upon us. Soon, grass will be green and dry enough to sit on, skies will be blue and 30-degree temperatures will be a thing of the past. After having spent a solid three months scurrying indoors, most people are ready to get outside and enjoy some beautiful weather.

Though sitting on Central Campus between classes might suffice for some, there are many activities and resources on campus students should take advantage of.

The Outdoor Recreation Program for example, offers rental equipment to ISU students. The program has several different kinds of camping gear, said Jarrad Moore, junior in anthropology and Outdoor Recreation employee.

“Students can rent tents and sleeping bags if they want to do some camping,” Moore said. If you’re not sure where to camp, try Ledges State Park in Ames. The park offers 95 campsites as well as 13 miles of good hiking.

The Outdoor Recreation Program also offers different styles of watercraft, including recreational kayaks and canoes.

“Kayaks and canoes can be rented for just 10 dollars a day,” said Moore. With areas like the Des Moines River, Squaw Creek and Peterson’s Pit to choose from, students can get a lot of experience on the water for a pretty low price.

Students can also find field sport equipment at the Outdoor Recreation office.

“We rent out flag football and disc golf sets,” Moore said. “As well as individual volleyballs, basketballs and soccer balls.”

If you’re looking for a good place to play disc golf, try the course on Gateway Hills Drive. And if you want a quick pick up game of flag football, Central Campus is the perfect place for convenience.

Moore also recommends biking as a good springtime activity.

“It’s easy to hop on your road bike and go discover some different trails around Ames,” Moore said.

Some of these trails are located south of the stadium and run past the skate park on 6th Street. These trails are popular for joggers and walkers too. Brookside Park, which is also on 6th Street, has some trails for use. The park offers grills, shelters and sand volleyball courts as well.

If you have a mountain bike, there are trails out at Seven Oaks in Boone that are more of a challenge. For something a little easier, McFarland Park and Peterson’s Pit are other places to check out.

There are also a vast amount of clubs centered on the outdoors that students have can join. Some traditional clubs include fishing, golf, ultimate Frisbee, lacrosse and running. If you want to experience something new and unique, maybe give the ISU Quidditch or Longboarding Club a try.

But you don’t have to join a club or travel far to enjoy the great outdoors. With a beautiful campus at your disposal, just grab some friends and webbing and set up a slack line between two trees on campus. Or grab a football or Frisbee from your room and toss that around in front of Curtiss Hall. Either way, it’s that time of year to get outside, soak up some vitamin D, and enjoy the beauty of spring.