Spring weather brings more outdoor adventure opportunities in, around Manhattan

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(Maddy Daniels | Collegian Media Group)

The view atop of Konza Prairie Nature Trail’s highest point is worth the uphill climb, but sometimes the adventure is more memorable than the destination. Hiking through the terrain of golden tallgrass-carved paths and dusty stones while feeling the vitamin D soak into your skin is one must-have experience on a warm, spring day in Kansas.

With temperatures reaching as high as 70, the winter gloom seems to be behind us for another year. Longer days of sunshine create more possibilities for outside activities, and areas in and around Manhattan offer many adventures.

Konza Prairie Nature Trail

The Konza trail, located south of Manhattan, provides miles of hiking trails fit for an enjoyable afternoon walk. The path climbs up and over hills and features a noteworthy scenic overlook midway through the journey. With chances of seeing wildlife such as white-tailed deer or turkeys, the trail offers possibilities for a memorable outing.

Spring is approaching and wildflowers are sure to be popping up soon, adding to the already impressive landscape.

There is an abundance of other hiking trails in the area like Fancy Creek State Park, Linear Trail and Tuttle Creek State Park, just to name a few, all varying in length, scenery and difficulty.

Manhattan and “KS” Hill

Another hotspot for great views is visiting Manhattan Hill or “KS” Hill. Both boast pride of the city and state with the words spelled out in large white lettering, but they’re not just an enjoyable sight from below. Driving up to either and sitting at the top grants you the birds-eye view of the city. Taking picnic supplies or drive-through ice cream along with some friends to enjoy the sunshine should help take your minds off of any stressful tasks.

Sunset Zoo

Sunset Zoo is an inexpensive outdoor activity where animal-lovers can get their dose of serotonin for the day. With warm weather, the animals are sure to be out sunbathing as well.

The zoo is home to over 300 animals, from insects to tigers. Its summer hours will begin soon, and feeding and encounter times with otters, wolves and many more will start, too. Spending a day walking around watching wildlife in a beautifully landscaped area is sure to be an enjoyable outing.

Hammocking

If homework is getting in the way of traveling and taking advantage of these warm days, a hammock could be the solution. Hammocking with your laptop and books will provide an environment of productivity while still being outside. If getting away from the mundane is all you can do to find an outdoor experience, taking your hammock to City Park, CiCo Park, a peaceful spot on campus or even a sturdy tree along a trail will certainly give space for appreciating nature.

Maddy Daniels is freshman in journalism.The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.

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