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Spring into the Outdoors

By Travis Dill

Nearly a month of subzero temperatures has only amplified students’ longing for springtime activities.

These outdoor activities are cheap ways for students to relieve the stress of academia and break their cabin fever.

“I want to get back into my summertime mode, going long-boarding and biking,? UMD senior Rob Lodge said.

Lodge said his usual long-board route, Wallace Street to Fourth St., is great because it will bring you right into downtown, and if you take the right residential streets the trip is shorter than the walk back up to Wallace Street.

If Lodge doesn’t want to deal with the downtime of walking uphill then he grabs his mountain bike and heads off to hit some trails.

“I usually just drive over to Spirit Mountain or Hartley Park,? said Lodge. “I really don’t have much cost to go out and long-board or bike either; I use a little gas getting around to the trails, but that’s about it.?

Lodge said that anyone looking to get into long-boarding can expect to pay $150-$200 for a new board. “Go to Freestyle of Duluth or Zumies at the mall to get a new board or for better deals check auction sites like Ebay,? he said.

“Decent bikes will be a little more expensive, maybe around $400,? Lodge said. “The initial costs are substantial for college students on a budget, but luckily there aren’t many recurring costs.?

Not all springtime activities require cash to buy equipment. The trails that Lodge uses for biking are also available for students looking to get back into the outdoors and do some hiking.

“I don’t know of all the trails in Duluth, but I enjoy walking around up at Enger Tower in the spring,? said UMD Senior Tyler Billig.

Enger tower, which can be seen in Duluth’s skyline, is a short drive from UMD atop the hills west of downtown, next to the Enger Park public golf course.

“The trails aren’t too long and have a great view of downtown Duluth and the lake,? said Billig. “I like that if I want to take a short break and go over to Enger Park it won’t take up the whole day.?

If students are looking to get out of Duluth there are some state parks in the area. “There is Gooseberry Falls if people are looking for a day trip, where you can see the outdoors everyone claims surround Duluth,? Billig said.

According to exploreminnesota.com, Gooseberry Falls state park has 18 miles of hiking trails just off the Lake Superior shoreline. The main attraction of the park is the three waterfalls that carry extra water to Lake Superior in the springtime.

“Its amazing to see the falls after a few feet of snow has just melted,? said Billig.

Gooseberry is located just north of Two Harbors on Highway 61; it is about a 30- minute drive from campus to the park. The park is free to the public for those of you concerned about money, but the gift shop prices are a little steep.

If students find themselves without a car there are still options available around the city.

“I always like going down to the Lakewalk and Leif Erickson Park when it warms up,? UMD Senior Amanda Lowe said.

The Lakewalk runs from Canal Park all the way up past 21st Ave. E. along Lake Superior, and Leif Erickson Park is just past the Fitgers complex on the Lakewalk.

“It’s nice to get outside and not have to spend money,? Lowe said. “The Lakewalk can get congested with people biking, rollerblading, and running.? While making her way down the lakewalk Lowe makes a stop at Leif Erickson Park to smell the roses.

Duluth’s rose garden is part of Leif Erickson Park and has a large array of flowers blooming every spring and summer.

“The flowers smell amazing. The rose garden is a great place for a date too,? Lowe said.