Tag Archives: outdoor activities

Spring Break in Vegas

Paige Preske

Paige Preske,
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 7 March 2016

This spring break I traveled all the way out west! I spent two days in Las Vegas enjoying what the city had to offer. The second part of my vacation was spent climbing and hiking through national parks in Utah and Nevada.

Spring Break

I was lucky enough to have weather in the high 70s and sunny the entire week. The biggest difference I noticed between Ohio and Nevada, besides the obvious temperature difference, was the dry air. It made me very thirsty!

One of the parks I explored in Utah was Snow Canyon State Park. This park has amazing views of red and white Navajo sandstone. The park also has lava tubes throughout the park. I have a very big fear of heights but this park had very simple and beginner trails I could walk.

Another park that I visited was Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada. This park has lizards everywhere and in all sizes. The park is rich in history with 3,000 year-old Indian petroglyphs on the sandstone. I really enjoyed looking at the petroglyphs because it is so amazing how they got on these rocks 50 feet in the air.

Spring Break

The last major thing I did over my spring break was go golfing. The golf courses out in Nevada are beautiful with mountains surrounding every part of the course.

Winter Outdoor Recreation Opportunities

Jordan Sapp

Jordan Sapp,
Senior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 22 February 2016

“What is there to do on the weekends when you go to Ohio University” you may ask? Well, that is a great question. It is quite often that the weekends call for some time away from the books, spent outside in nature. Ohio University offers some of the best outdoor activities that are not often found at a university.

A few weeks ago, we were hit with an intense blizzard bringing down close to eight inches of snow. Some were snowed in, but my friend Jake and I had different plans. We decided to drive two hours south of campus to ski slopes at a place called Winter Place. We spent the entire day riding up ski lifts and dropping down some great slopes.

Chair Lift

Whenever I get the chance to break out the snowboard, I do not hesitate, but go straight for it. It is really awesome to have a friend like Jake who is so willing to spontaneously hop in the car and head for the hills, literally.

This past weekend, the exact opposite happened with the weather, it was 70 degrees on Friday and Saturday. So, once again I had to take advantage of the awesomeness Ohio University offers in its outdoor options.

My friend Steven and I drove over to Strouds Run State Park, about a five minute drive from campus, and enjoyed the glorious sunshine. We went for a four mile run and then chilled out in our hammocks. The greatest part of the day was while we were walking back from our run, we spotted a Bald Eagle fishing in the lake.

Bald Eagle

It was the first time I have ever seen an eagle in its natural environment. It was such an awesome experience that isn’t offered at any typical university.

Taking time away from studies is one of the most important things to a healthy student lifestyle, it just so happens that Athens has some of my favorite things to do during my breaks!

Alexa Hoynacke

Alexa Hoynacke,
Junior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 22 February 2016

An activity that I have been very involved in at Ohio University since coming here as a freshman 2-1/2 years ago is Ohio University Outdoor Pursuits (OUOP).

Two weeks before starting freshman year I participated in the OUOP New Adventures program. Along with 7 other freshmen, I went on a 4-day rock climbing trip in the Red River Gorge. I had rock climbed a little bit in high school, but this was my first time on real rock. This experience was absolutely amazing and I met one of my best friends in college on this trip. I recommend that every freshman look into this program.

In this picture I am belaying my friend Charlie on a route in the Red River Gorge. This was a trip we took last summer.

Rock Climbing

Since participating in New Adventures I have had some awesome experience with OUOP. I have gone on kayaking, backpacking and caving trips. I currently am an OUOP rock wall supervisor. I am very lucky that I found a job doing something that I love.

This past weekend was the Spring Climbing Competition. About 40 people from around the state participated which was an awesome turnout. I worked the competition so I help judge our intermediate division and helped run the event. OUOP offers something for every student and I am so happy I got involved my freshman year.

Athens Bike Path

Paige Preske

Paige Preske,
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 3 November 2015

During the fall (and every other month, really), my favorite spot at Ohio University is the bike path. Running right along the Hocking, it’s a beautiful spot for all seasons. This time of year with the changing leaves and a cool breeze, it really is the perfect place.

I initially fell in love with this spot during my freshman year. I lived in Johnson Hall, and the bike path was my favorite spot to walk, run, or catch some quiet time. At the time I kept to the section by South Green and didn’t venture very far past O’Bleness Hospital. This part of the bike path is beautiful–it’s right against the river and you can look across it to see the hilly landscape and changing leaves.

Now, as a senior, I really enjoy the portion of the bike path that runs through West State Street Park. It’s a little quieter and farther removed from the river but it is just as pretty. While I’m on this portion, I find myself at different times:

  • under canopies of trees
  • crossing a bridge over the Hocking River, and
  • passing a small local farm.

Overall, there isn’t a bad place to be find on the bike path and after four years it’s still my favorite spot at Ohio University.

My Athens Bucket List

Nicole Sova

Nicole Sova,
Senior, Chemical and Biomolecular


Athens, OH 2 November 2015

Amidst the hustle of classes and conferences, it could be easy to forget to step back and enjoy the little things. In order to make sure we didn’t miss out on any of the fun Athens has to offer, my roommate and I made a bucket list for our last fall in Athens, with many of them complete (X).

  • Bike the Hocking Adena Bike Path (X)
  • Enjoy Breakfast at the Catalyst Café (X)
  • Experience the Pawpaw Festival (X)
  • Buy Apples at the Farmer’s Market (X)
  • Walk the Ridges Nature Trails (X)
  • Visit the Kennedy Art Museum (X)
  • Watch One of the Performing Art Series Concerts (X)
  • Cheer on the Hockey Team (X)
  • Watch the Sunset from Bong Hill
  • Hike Radar Hill
  • Sing along to the Marching 110 (X)
  • Go to a Football Game (X)
  • Watch the Homecoming Parade
  • Eat the Local Cuisine on Court Street (X)
  • Go Bowling at the Rollerbowl
  • Take a Sunday Drive through Town (X)
  • Enjoy the Colors of Fall on College Green (X)
  • Watch a Movie at the Fun Barn
  • Dress up with Friends and Enjoy the Halloween Block Party (X)

While I’m still working on crossing a few of these things off of the list, so many memories accompany each of these bullet points. One of my favorite memories on the list is singing and dancing along with the Marching 110 at the football game halftime shows. Their spirit and energy are infectious! This video is of one of the songs they played during this year’s parents’ weekend game, but nothing beats watching them live.

Being from New York, I had never heard of a pawpaw (a sweet, slightly mushy, but delicious fruit). My freshman year I was happy to discover this interesting fruit and the festival that celebrates it. This year I was more than excited to introduce my freshman sister to it all. We listened to local bands, ate pawpaw-flavored foods, browsed the local crafts, and sported some stylish balloon hats. Below is a picture of me (far left), my roommates, and my sister (far right) at the Pawpaw Festival.

Pawpaw Festival

Another Athens Fall favorite is the HallOUween Block Party. It is always so much fun to see all of the interesting costumes and this year I thought we might have had a chance at winning the costume contest. Unfortunately, we lost to the Sanderson sisters. Below is a picture of my friends and me (the Mad Hatter, second from the right) as the cast of Alice in Wonderland.


Athens has so much to offer and so many incredible people to experience it all with. I’m so glad I chose a school with so much character and friends to remind me to slow down and enjoy all that Athens has to offer.

Fundamentals of Rock Climbing

Wilson Taylor

Wilson Taylor,
Junior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 5 April 2015

Something I have learned to truly appreciate at Ohio University is the wide variety of classes available outside of the Russ College. Every semester I make a conscious effort to add something I both have a personal interest in and is outside of my major into my class schedule.

One of the most enjoyable classes I have taken was on the fundamentals of rock climbing. The class covered basic climbing techniques, safety, and general practices. We learned how to tie key climbing knots and set up tethers for varying situations one might encounter at different climbing locations. One thing I really valued about the class was the truly hands on element it offered.

After four in-class meetings learning about the proper techniques and knots used on climb sites we had three days dedicated to applying what we learned. Our instructor took us to two different climbing locations and one nifty bouldering location in areas surrounding Athens. We had the opportunity to climb natural rocks using equipment we set up as a class. Additionally, we were responsible for each other’s safety as we each took turns belaying while other classmates climbed.

I enjoy exploring Athens and taking advantage of the many recreational activities the surrounding area has to offer. The rock-climbing course enabled me to do this and more. I continue to search for recreational classes as I find them to be a great way to just relax and enjoy myself.

Fishing at Stroud’s Run

Ali McCormick

Ali McCormick,
Junior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 14 October 2014

While Ohio University has an abundance of places to spend your free time, my favorite is Strouds Run State Park. Strouds is located approximately 5 miles away from campus. You have the ability to go camping for the weekend, hiking on nature trails, mountain biking through the woods, canoeing on Dow Lake, or my preferred choice, fishing.

Strouds run

If you knew me a few months ago, your jaw would have dropped in disbelief after hearing that. I’m generally not the outdoorsy type, but once I started fishing this summer, I haven’t been able to stop. At first I was borrowing a pole from my friend, but I made the step to purchase my first fishing pole.

Strouds run

Although it’s small in size, I swear it’s an adult pole (at one point I did consider purchasing a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pole for children, though). This pole is meant for dock fishing, which is mainly what I do at Strouds. I have been successful with using no bait, just a lure.

My one confession, though, is that I won’t take the fish off the hook myself. I’m starting with baby steps first, then maybe I’ll graduate to actually touching the fish. After all my work is done for the day, my friends and I will head over to Strouds to fish and grill out until sundown. It’s a great way to relieve my stress and enjoy the company of my close friends.

Strouds run