When graduate student Freddy Newing went to Hawk Island Loop for the first time, he knew he wanted to go back. Not just because seeing the foliage and the changing leaves is “awesome” but also because this place was able to calm him down.
“So my first time I was super freaked out about everything ... but looking at all trees and the leaves change, I was just like ‘Okay I feel fine now,’” Newing said.
Hawk Island Loop, like the name suggests, is a two-and-a-half trail that surrounds a lake near Lansing.
Newing is just one of many students who like to go there to escape the stress of school. Computer engineering senior Angela Wang said she enjoys the trail that she found through the AllTrails app.
Wang said she loves going to Hawk Island Loop to longboard and goes there pretty often.
“I feel like not many people know about it,” Wang said. “It's very, very beautiful scenery.”
While there are other places to go hiking, like Fenner Nature Center, which biosystems engineering senior Ian Chesla said he likes to hike through, the most popular place students go for walks is around campus.
Medical laboratory science senior Adrianna Kirby said her favorite thing about fall is just spending time with friends outside in nature, which she is able to do at the nature walks near Farm Lane.
Graduate student Arvav Jain said he likes to walk around and explore the campus. He said his favorite area of campus is the Red Cedar River just behind the International Center. He spends so much time in that area that he has even created his own little project using one of the trees.
“I have been documenting this one tree for the past few weeks and just seeing how it’s transitioning,” Jain said.
For the students who prefer something else over hiking and enjoying campus, Uncle John’s Cider Mill is a popular fall destination.
Psychology senior Lori Carbone described it as a place with “a lot of good food, a lot of things to do and good social gathering.”
Uncle John’s Cider Mill, located in St. Johns, is popular among MSU students because of the fall activities it offers. While known for their cider and donuts, this family business also has every fall activity you can imagine.
Among the many activities at Uncle John's Cider Mill is a farm trail, to hike or cycle; a taproom, where you can enjoy a hard cider and other spirits; a corn maze; and pumpkin patch and hayrides, which is human biology junior Gabby Garrett’s favorite thing to do in the fall.
Apple picking is another favorite among MSU students, like graphic design sophomore Caitlyn Metohu. While Metohu said she hasn’t had a chance to visit Uncle John’s Cider Mill, she plans to go one day.
“There’s just a lot of memories behind it,” Metohu said about apple picking. “It’s just like a core memory, so I just associate it with fall.”
Biomedical laboratory science freshman Kennedy Barnes enjoys apple picking as well. Being a freshman, she said hasn’t had the chance to look into the activity yet but, just like Metohu, she also thinks there is a possibility she will soon.
Environmental studies and sustainability junior Sue Berns hasn’t been able to go anywhere to enjoy fall activities yet this semester, just like Metohu and Barnes. However, she said she has many things planned for when she finds the time to enjoy the fall weather.
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“I would like to go get some pumpkins, get some cider; I haven’t done it yet but I want to,” Berns said.
There are also many other things to do in or around the Lansing area.
If you are looking for something similar to Uncle John's, Country Orchard and Cider Mill, located in Charlotte, is only a 20-minute car ride away. There is also the Bestmaze Corn Maze in Williamston and Brimley’s Pumpkin Farm, located in Mason, if you are just looking for those two activities. If you are looking for a scare, Awaken Haunted Attractions is only 20 minutes away in Leslie.
Some alternate fall activities include going for some seasonal food and drinks. Blue Owl Coffee Co. located on Ann Street offers fun coffee cocktails such as the Dublin'er, which is espresso, brown sugar, cinnamon and cold brew cream, and seasonal drinks like the Great Pumpkin or Grandma's Goat, certain to put you in a cozy mood.
Local bakery Mitten Raised offers delicious themed desserts such as Great Pumpkin and Caramel Apple cookies, Cider Mill cookie sandwich, Pumpkin Cheesecake Cup and more.
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