By Innes Herdan, Assistant Editor

   With nearly a month until finals, I find myself becoming a bit stir-crazy. Not only has homework had me bound to my bedroom, the library, and the computer center but the snow has been a trapping factor as well.

     This winter has been by far one of the worse Maine has seen in a few years, with the snow banks reaching twice my height! I know I do not speak just for myself when I say I am sick on the cold, the snow and the harsh winds.  However, snow has been melting and spots of green and yellow grass have been peaking themselves to the spring sun.

     Though the leaves have yet to grow on the bare branches of the Oak and Maple trees, spring is definitely making its presence known. Now is the time to take advantage of the beautiful Maine landscape. With a plethora of mountains, rivers, lakes, and trails, Maine makes way for plenty of outdoor opportunities. Though winter allows skiing; I know I can only withstand the cold for so long.

  Instead of letting all the stresses daily life eat you up inside, figuratively and literally; go outside and take a breath of fresh air. Also, a change of scenery is nice for the mind and for the college student who doesn’t leave campus often.

   According to scout.me, there are two greats hiking trails right outside Farmington. Rated number 1 on the website, the Whistle Stop Trail is “14 miles in length and crosses the scenic western hills of Maine.” For those students at the University of Maine Farmington (UMF) who do not have access to a car, this trail could be ideal since its starting point is in Farmington.

   The beautiful mountain of Mt. Blue that can be seen from Farmington is also highly rated on scout.me, with its standing being number 3. Mt. Blue State Park can be more than just a day trip for those wanting a mini-vacation close to home. This state park can be ideal for camping, swimming, or just an afternoon hike. Mt. Blue is one of the largest state parks in Maine and offers many trails.

   The two aforementioned hiking destinations are just a small number compared to all that western Maine has to offer. The nice thing about hiking is how it really can fit you needs. Hiking can isolate you or bring you close with friends. It can be a short jaunt or a long exploration. Whatever the reason you hike, just make sure you enjoy the adventure and the coming Spring.