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Last updateThu, 20 Apr 2017 10am

Lifestyles

Avoid Early Hibernation: Last Minute Outdoor Activies

horsebackIt's about that time of year where we all break out the warm soft sweaters, start brewing hot chocolate, and find a permanent little spot where we can escape the harsh winter. But before you get too cozy in your fuzzy socks and start a new series on Netflix, take advantage of the cool fall weather.

There is plenty of decent weather to take advantage of in November, and with the fall foliage there's no reason to stay inside. It's going to be a long cold winter; there will be plenty of time to get cozy later.

When someone says fall, one of the first words that comes to people's minds is pumpkin. Halloween may be over, so there's no need to acquire pumpkins for carving, but Thanksgiving is approaching soon and pumpkins will be needed for dinner. Many farms stay open till mid November so there is plenty of time to go pumpkin picking. Or, if apple pie is your favorite, apples are still ripe and ready to be picked.

Get a group of friends together and take a ride out to the countryside of New Jersey to get these apples and pumpkins. If you have to travel a little farther that's all right, fall is the best time of the year to drive.

Fall foliage is beautiful. Travel to South Jersey farms and revel at the plains littered with colorful leaves, or, head up to North Jersey farms and gaze in wonder at the mountains and hills painted the prettiest fall colors you can imagine. The trees on campus are pretty, but nothing beats a fall drive through the countryside.

If pumpkin picking seems like a waste of time, then make the drive worth it by heading to one of New Jersey's many vineyards. Laurita Winery in New Egypt offers daily tours of the vineyard as well as wine tastings with 7-8 different types of wines. Grapes are harvested in the fall for wine making so the farm will smell amazing. Combine that with gorgeous views of foliage and vineyards and fall may become your favorite season.

Since the weather is not too cold yet, hiking an enjoyable way to get in a little exercise. Cheesequake, Allaire, Hartshorne are all local state parks that offer a great place to escape for an hour or two.

Krystal Wilson, a senior finance major, loves to go hiking, especially during the fall. She said, "The weather is just too perfect not to be outside, it's not too hot and it's not too cold. Plus, the leaves changing colors is so unique and makes everything that much better. It's just all around perfect in the fall."

If you are feeling even more adventurous, there are dozens of other state parks located throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania as well as New York. Nothing beats listening to the crunch of the leaves under your feet.

William Reynolds, an adjunct professor of computer science and software engineering, is a frequent hiker, as the Outdoors Club's advisor. "Hiking is good exercise, with good scenery and always great company," he said.

Horseback riding is also a special fall activity. Beautiful scenery and getting to ride on the back of a massive animal is an unforgettable fall memory.

Allaire State Park offers horseback riding at a very reasonable price. If you want to travel a little farther, Sheeder Mill Farm in Spring City, PA also offers an amazing 90 minute ride through streams, wooded areas and through parts of the farm.

Shannon Otten, a sophomore health studies major, recently went horseback riding at Sheeder Mill Farm with the Outdoors Club.

"Horseback riding was an incredible experience with the beautiful scenery of Pennsylvania!" Otten said.

If you still want to extend the fun of Halloween a little farther Paranormal Books NJ offers a Ghost Hunters Tour of Asbury Park. The next time this "investigation" runs is November 15. Asbury Park is so close and so full of history, now is a perfect time to go explore it. There is apparently a Native American chief who is seen walking down one of the streets.

Rachel Fox, a senior English major with an endorsement in special education recently took this ghost tour. She recommended everyone experience the ghost tour. She said, "The tour was awesome because while you were hearing about ghost stories, you were learning historical facts about Asbury Park. The tour guide knows so much and tells the story with so much enthusiasm."

If you're seeking an adrenaline rush, there is still plenty of time to go skydiving! There are many places located throughout New Jersey, one location is only about an hour away. It's not too cold and it's not too hot. Plus the view of the autumn leaves will be unlike any other!

Hot Air balloons are a unique experience that fall weather only enhances. Skydiving may seem a little too risky for some, so hot air balloons offer some thrill with a little more safety. The weather is crisp, the scenery is beautiful and so are the balloons. The closest location to school is in Pittstown, NJ a little over an hour away to a cool experience.

Winter is a great time to lay back and stay indoors, but for now we still have beautiful fall weather to take advantage of and plenty of activities to do in it. Movies will always be there for you, but the weather will only be bearable for a few more weeks.

PHOTO TAKEN by Kyle O'Grady

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