Fun in the Winter Sun
Miss the days when you used to race outside and dive into the fresh snow with no thoughts of essays and exams? Snow angels, snowball fights, sledding - you're all grown up now and have to leave them in the past, right? Not necessarily.
With looming deadlines and the cold, students may not venture outside of their dorms except to eat and attend class, but if that's the case, they are missing out on a lot of fun waiting outdoors. Going outside is the perfect antidote to a stressful week and a great way to make memories with friends. Colby-Sawyer students have the advantage of living in a winter wonderland and can get involved in various activities on and near campus. These fun adventures include skiing or snowboarding, snowshoeing, ice skating or snow tubing and while many are free, all can be done for under $50.
For those who enjoy skiing or snowboarding, Mt. Sunapee is just 15 minutes away in the town of Newbury. Colby-Sawyer students get free passes to the mountain by presenting their student I.D. at the service desk. For those who are new to the sport, afree lesson and a free rental are part of the package, so what are you waiting for? There's no excuse not to try skiing. If you do try it and get hooked but do not own all the gear, you can rent skis, boots and poles ($33 half day, $40 full day). Visit Mt. Sunapee's web site for more information and snow conditions. Other ski areas within half an hour of campus are Ragged Mountain in Danbury, Whaleback in Enfield and Pats Peak in Henniker (Pats Peak has night skiing, too).
If fresh air and beautiful views appeal to you, there are lots of options. Our own Hogan Sports Center provides snowshoes free of charge to all students, and there are numerous places to hike both on campus and off. Trails on campus include Kelsey Fields and the surrounding woods, and there are loads of off-campus trails to explore. The Ester Currier Wetlands, for example, are just five minutes away off Route 11. Knights Hill Nature Park on Country Road is a good option, too. See this map of trails in New London there are so many you might have trouble deciding which to choose!
There are also special events available for people who love to snowshoe, such as Moonlight Madness hikes where you hike in the dark with your friends and a flashlight. More information on these free almost-weekly hikes is available through the Chamber of Commerce.
You don't have to go far for ice-skating - there's a rink right on Main Street next to New London Inn. The rink is free and open to all. If you want to play a good old fashioned game of hockey there are goalie nets available. Find that excitement you once had about winter as you skate away your stress with friends. Skates can be rented at Village Sports on Main Street (next to Subway) for about $6.
Another popular attraction for those who seek thrills and chills is snow tubing. About 30 minutes down I-89 is Pat's Peak, a ski area which also provides snow tubing rentals (four hours, $18). There are manmade trails that will provide you and your friends with laughs and that much needed spark of adventure. The tubes at the park are made specifically for going fast, allowing you to completely forget that test you just had, and remember what it was like to be a kid. For more information visit their web site.
No matter what you choose to do, there are always plenty of options to go outside and enjoy the snow. College isn't just about making the grade, but also about spending quality time with your friends and creating memories that will last a lifetime. After a day of fun in the snow you can relax with some hot chocolate and a movie, a fantastic end to your day. So, get out there and have some fun!
-Lisa Stanulonis '13