As it gets closer to November, two new situations arise. One thing people may or may not be looking forward to is a drop in temperature. With this change, many people find they acquire an inherent desire to stay inside. Although this weather may seem discouraging to anyone trying to enjoy the outdoors or become a nature lover, there is still time to fall in love with all that Rolla has to offer when we simply take the time to step outside (and I don’t just mean while walking to class). If you don’t already love the outdoors, you may be wondering how you can suddenly become an “outdoors person” in the worsening weather. No need to fret, because I am here to guide you through numerous outdoor locations and activities.
The great thing about the outdoors is that some locations worth seeing require a short, leisurely drive to find them, meaning nature can be enjoyed without strenuous effort. One of these locations, Little Prairie Lake, is less than a fifteen-minute drive from campus. This simple spot is perfect for anyone trying to take part in stand-up paddle boarding or kayaking; the water is calm and the lake itself is a perfect size for beginners. While most people will not be rushing to kayak in this weather, this area still offers a beautiful view. There is a cleared path that follows the perimeter of the lake for anyone looking to take a relaxing stroll. They also have perfect spots to set up an Autumn picnic with friends. No matter what someone chooses to do at Little Prairie Lake, it will be difficult to be disappointed.
Another fun activity that is perfect for this weather is hammocking. This is a relaxing way for people to start appreciating the environment around them, and it only requires a hammock and a location containing trees. One simple destination for this is Schuman Park; many students know that Schuman is only a short walk from campus, and it is the perfect place to learn the ropes of the hammocking experience. For anyone looking to hammock in or explore an area a little further away, the Bray Conservation Area offers a peaceful experience that is only a fifteen-minute drive from campus. Just outside of town, the area offers sights of a pond and stream as well as miles of forested hiking trails.
One of the greatest ways to enjoy nature is through hiking different trails and enjoying new sights. Twenty minutes north of Highway 63 near Vichy, Missouri, there is the Spring Creek Gap Conservation Area. Visitors can find the Spring Creek Gap Glade Trail which contains a total distance of over five miles. This trail allows anyone wanting to hike ample time to fall in love with nature. Another beautiful destination with foot trails is Maramec Springs Trout Park. This particular park is about a thirty-minute drive from campus. The scenery at this location is one people won’t want to miss, and they offer many interesting amenities such as a picnic area, museums, and trout pools.
These are only a few outdoor locations of many that are sure to transition anyone into a nature fan, regardless of the season.