Students recommend local outdoors sports to utilize spring weather

It is that time of year again. The days are getting longer; the weather is getting warmer; and the sun is shining more and more often. Now is the time when students can begin venturing out of their residence halls between classes for some much needed exercise. What better way to work out and enjoy the beautiful weather at the same time than through some outdoor sports?

Cycling is likely one of the most common forms of recreational sports on campus. Many students have access to a bicycle. There are many biking trails in the area surrounding Eastern University’s campus.

Brandon Hoover, a senior theological studies major, is an avid cyclist. “I enjoy just getting out with friends,” he said. “I enjoy the breeze on a nice day, and I enjoy experiencing what God has given us.”

As far as local bike trails go, Hoover recommends the trails in McKaig Park in King of Prussia and the Perkiomen Trail, which runs from nearby Valley Forge National Park all the way to Philadelphia or northwest to Deep Creek Park in Green Lane. There are also multiple paved and unpaved trails in Valley Forge, as well as the development of Chesterbrook, which borders the park.

Although it may seem unlikely, sailing is also an option for students who enjoy the water. Marsh Creek State Park, located in nearby Downingtown, Pa., offers low-cost water sports such as paddleboating, canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing and sailing. All necessary equipment is included with each rental, including oars and life jackets.

Rock climbing is a good choice for students looking for something a bit more out of the ordinary. While it is indoors, the Philadelphia Rock Climbing Gym in Oaks, Pa., offers dozens of different courses for climbers of all skill levels, from steep inclines to vertical cliff faces to reverse overhangs. The gym rents all of the necessary equipment and provides safety briefings for first-time climbers.

If biking, sailing or even rock climbing seem too tame for you, than you should probably try the nonstop action of paintball. Junior Seth Thomas, a biology major, is the head of Eastern’s Paintball Club and plays about 20 times each year.

“It’s a very fast-paced game,” Thomas said. “It’s probably one of the most thrilling things I can do.”

There are several different fields in the area, including Lehigh Valley Paintball in Hatfield, Paintball on the Fly in Collegeville and Poco Loco in Pottstown. Students without their own equipment can rent guns and buy ammo from all of the area fields. While all fields require players to wear facemasks while playing, it is also a good idea to wear some sort of hat or bandanna as well. Headshots can really hurt!

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