As we all have seen, fall weather has clearly made its appearance here at RIT. As days get shorter and nights grow cooler, there is still time to take advantage of the nature trails surrounding our beloved campus. Whether you’re interested in bundling up and taking a jog, or taking a nice, slow-paced walk filled with warm-toned trees, there’s something for you.
If you wish to partake in a colorful autumnal run, there are various jogging routes that vary in length (2, 3, 4, 5, 6 mile routes). All of these routes (except for the 2 mile route) begin and end at Parking Lot D, which resides next to the loop surrounding campus. The 2 mile route ends outside of the Gordon Field House. While each of the routes incorporate some of the campus loop (if not all), many of them comprise of non-campus areas such as John Street and East River Road. The longer routes that do happen to go on the neighboring roads of RIT allow for a wonderful way to experience Henrietta, as well as take a break from campus. The preservation and enjoyment of nature is something that RIT has held to the highest standard since the campus’s establishment in the late 1960s. This standard has allowed for a comprehensive jogging route to be created, and you can see a map below. Because all of these jogging routes are on the sidewalks of busy streets, reflective clothing is suggested during the day, and should definitely be worn at night. Another general tip that we have all heard before, is make sure you are running/jogging toward traffic so you and drivers can clearly see each other.
While something titled “jogging trail” may not sound too appealing to some of us, there are other relaxing routes available to enjoy the outdoors during its most colorful season. Various nature trails have been maintaned for students and any member of the RIT community to become one with the great outdoors. Much like the jogging routes, the nature trails come in different lengths (.5 and 1.2 miles). Unlike the jogging routes, these trails go through the wooded areas of our campus and are not paved. If you’re adventurous enough, you’ll receive a firsthand look at the changing colors of the season, and gain a different perspective of RIT’s campus. The two nature trails and the one wildflower trail that reside on our campus all begin next to the tennis courts, adjacent to the RIT ambulance entrance to the Student Life Center. There is an opening in the wooded area, and a few picnic tables are scattered within (shouldn’t be too hard to find). The nature trail that is .5 miles in length does not cross any trails, while the other crosses multiple times. Regardless of which trail you decide to take, it’s always recommended that you stroll with a friend. Not interested in a trail that long? Well, the wildflower trail is a great alternative. The Wildflower trail starts where the others do, but it lets out next to Grace Watson Hall, and is a great alternative if you don’t want to walk on the Quarter Mile. It is a straight, simple route that many individuals prefer to take.
Regardless if you are an experienced hiker, jogger, sprinter or nature enthusiast, there are a few safety tips that should be practiced by everyone at all times. Having been fall for quite some time now, the cool air may have caused you to forget the importance of drinking plenty of water. Drink some before, and during your excursion. Wearing proper running/hiking shoes and dressing for the weather conditions is imperative (you don’t want to be a mile off campus with freezing toes!). Lastly, be sure to always be aware of your surroundings, even if you are out adventuring with a buddy or two. Now that you are informed of the proper mapped trails and safety precautions, go out and experience the changing leaves before they’re all gone!