By Caitlin Raye Contributing Writer
There are many options for outdoor activities in Farmington, such as participating in Mainely Outdoors events, going on hikes and walks, or checking out the local downtown shops.
Grace McNally, a Mainely Outdoors employee, said in an email interview, “All of our trips are organized, and ran by our hard working student crew members. We usually plan local excursions within an hour from campus, but sometimes they can be as far as two.”
Mainely Outdoors, is a program at UMF, which creates and plans events that allow for students, and occasionally the public, to enjoy outdoor activities and adventures. Mainely Outdoors offers a variety of Springtime activities such as tubing, hiking, biking, canoeing, and various clinics. Most of the trips put on by the group run during the weekends, with at least one trip planned each weekend.
There are few or no prerequisites for going on the trips. “The only requirement is that you seek the opportunity to be in the outdoors and to recreate,” said McNally. “On each trip, at least one of our leading crew members knows the location well and likes to share a little knowledge of the local fauna, natural history, or just some general fun facts.”
McNally said that most of the trips put on by Mainely Outdoors are free but sometimes, “the
re will be a small fee if the venue we are going to requires it. Often times we work with student life and get some, if not all of the charges covered.”
For students or residents of the area looking for springtime activities, there are things to do within walking distance of town. “One activity I enjoy doing in the spring is taking my dogs to go swimming in the Sandy River or just walk around the river,” said Kelsey Brann, a sophomore at UMF. “The water is usually pretty high and cold but the scenery is pretty, especially when the flower buds are just starting to come through.”
Prescott Field, a common recreational site in Farmington, is a great place to walk to see the landscape in the springtime. “On a nice day, the scenery around Prescott Field is pretty and is a great place to take a walk and let animals run free if the field is not super wet,” said Brann. “It is also a great place to just walk around without any pets because it is a quiet area.” Kim Day, a junior at UMF, agreed by saying, “On days when it’s sunny, it’s a nice place to hang out and get some fresh air.”
For those seeking an outdoor adventure a little further from the UMF campus, the observatory is a great place to visit. “The observatory is about a ten minute drive from campus and is very pretty on clear night when you can watch the sun set behind the trees,” said Brann. The observatory sits on top of a large hill that looks over the beautiful mountains in the distance.
Downtown Farmington is also a nice place to walk around with stores lining the streets, waiting for customers to come in and browse. “Once the weather warms up, even taking walks downtown is a great way to get outside and enjoy some fresh air,” said Day.
For more information on Mainely Outdoors, you can search for MainelyOutdoorsUMF on Facebook.