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Favorite Outside Places

birch trees
December 23, 2020

UMD students share amazing Northland adventures.

Picture of Drake Best and a friend

Drake Best

Drake is from Linwood, Minnesota, and is a biology major with a focus in evolution, ecology, and animal behavior. He is expected to graduate in 2022. "The first time we went there, my friends and I took a rather "unusual" route to get to the top. The path that we thought was a shortcut ended up taking twice as long to complete, but it definitely gave us some interesting memories. There's a lot to take in at Ely's Peak. Seeing the powerful St. Louis River pour into Lake Superior is always neat. The tunnel that runs through the Ely's Peak is really stylish. It makes for a nice hideout when you need to cool down. Also, the junction between the Willard Munger Trail and Lake Superior Hiking Trail makes for an interesting rollerblading (or biking)/hiking trip!" Zach described. In the photo is Drake with a friend at Ely's Peak.

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Lexi Bruno

Lexi Bruno

Lexi is a student in the Masters program in Environmental Education. She often takes a hike down Tischer Creek all the way to Lake Superior. Lexi said, "I love the bridges that crisscross the creek. The waterfalls are so dramatic." She works at a nature playschool. "The kids play outside all day. They learn so much about the world, and they are so creative... It's amazing." In 2016, Lexi and Erin Denny (also a UMD student) became the first women to circumnavigate Lake Superior.

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Baz Jecha

Baz Jecha

Baz is a junior and a double major in Psychology and Public Health. "I'm on the hospitality staff at Glensheen. I'm always discovering something new or learning form guests." Baz says. "There are trails, and paths to explore... vegetable gardens, formal gardens, the lake shore, wildlife, and birds."

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Picture of Stine Myrah

Stine Myrah

Stine is from Spring Grove, Minnesota. She's an anthropology major and graduates spring 2021. "Enger has always been a place that I would take late night drives whenever I was feeling overwhelmed or stressed with school and work. I appreciate the view it offers of Duluth, both for the beauty and for the perspective it gives me on my place in this community. I am a dual citizen in the United States and Norway, and my Norwegian heritage has always been very important to me. My mother is a Norwegian citizen, and I was raised in a town that celebrates its Norwegian heritage as the first Norwegian settlement in Minnesota. Enger Tower is special to me as it is a symbol of Norwegian heritage in the region. Several Norwegian royalty have even visited Enger, including the current King Harald V and Queen Sonja. There is a plaque on the inside of the tower highlighting these visits." Stine said.

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Picture of Mahsa Soufineyestani

Mahsa Soufineyestani

Mahsa is from Iran. She's a teaching assistant and masters degree student in computer science and graduates in December 2020. "I remember we went to Chester Park with one of my Iranian friends to see the ski hill and have some fun." Mahsa said. "Once I joined UMD students to clean up trash in the park."

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Picture of Megan Sundstrom

Megan Sundstrom

Megan was born and raised in Proctor, Minnesota, and is a graduate student in the Psychology department, working toward a masters in clinical counseling psychology. She expects to graduate in May 2021. Megan used to go to Jay Cooke often in middle and high school. Some of her favorite memories include cliff jumping into deep pools and exploring many trails. 

"Jay Cooke State Park is one of my favorite places to hike. Not only are there tons of hikes, some of which link up to the Superior Hiking Trail, but there’s also camping, and four wheeling and snowmobiling trails." The infamous ‘swinging bridge’ and countless waterfalls are pretty hard to beat. Since it’s only 10 miles out of Duluth, it’s a great spot to do a day hike or get away for a weekend of camping without getting too far away. "I enjoy hiking because it’s a mix of multiple things that I enjoy: being active, experiencing nature, and going on adventures with my friends," she says.

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