Students should explore nature trails

Although UNA has a beautiful campus, sometimes it is nice to escape.

While going downtown or to the mall always makes a fun alternative to on-campus activities, one of the best things I found about living in Florence is driving 10-30 minutes in any direction and seeing something absolutely breathtaking.

There are so many places to hike around the Florence area, such as the TVA trails and the Shoals Creek Preserve Tract. Not only do you get a great view, but hiking is also great exercise. As you burn calories, the different layouts of the land can help increase stamina, as well.

Exploring what nature has to offer results in surprising discoveries.

Having friends join the adventure makes the trip that much better as they get to enjoy the experience along with you. Feeling at one with nature, you can enjoy the peaceful serenity of its existence.

A few weekends ago, I went hiking with friends at the Shoals Creek Preserve Tract. There are two trails around the creek and a few field openings through both the trails that seem perfect for stopping and having a little picnic.

After walking a while, we reached the creek and crossed it using a natural bridge. The creek bottom was flat and contained little waterfalls. During the summer, it would be a perfect place to dip your toes.

Veering off the trail a bit and following the creek, we discovered an old rope course with a little place to hammock. We had no idea it was there. That was a great ending to our trip, and we agreed we would definitely be coming back.

Whether friends accompany you, joking and snapping pictures in the woods to enjoy the sun, or you are going jogging solo, getting out and enjoying nature at its finest is a wonderful experience.