Sep 30, 2008

Finding the inner outdoorsman (or woman) inside you

by Jake Peterson

In the past two years I’ve been a student here at Liberty, I’ve always heard people say things like, “Lynchburg is soooo boring” and “There’s nothing to do here.” Granted, Lynchburg is not really a booming metropolis, but maybe you haven’t done a whole lot of searching. Maybe you need to stop pounding snacks at the East Campus Club House or stalking people on Facebook in your dorm room and get out and enjoy God’s wonderful creation he has given us. I’m writing this to reach out to you, Facebook stalker, to encourage you to get outdoors and get active. In this column, I will highlight five fun things to do in Lynchburg, or the surrounding areas, that involve actual physical activity. I hope this will open your eyes to what is available in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and that you can enjoy your time here at Liberty while you still can. After all, you only live once, right?

5. Hunting anyone?

Whether or not you agree with hunting, it is still a great way to spend time in the outdoors. Many of my favorite memories growing up in Pennsylvania’s rolling countryside were spent sitting in a deer stand with my dad watching the sun come up at first light. Even though we weren’t too successful (I did harvest an eight-pointer when I was 16), it was those special father-son times that cannot be replaced. Even if you do not want to kill anything or wake up at 4:30 a.m. to sit in the freezing cold in a tree stand, there are plenty of shooting ranges in the area to hone your skills — just make sure you know how to safely handle a firearm. Safety always comes first.

4. Fishermen Galore

Fishing is a great way to pass those long, boring afternoons chock full of potential Facebook stalking. Grab a friend and your fishing rod and head to the mighty James River or Smith Mountain Lake, both of which are stocked with smallmouth and largemouth bass, sunfish, rock bass and catfish. Smith Mountain Lake is also filled with monster striped bass, crappies, bluegills and walleyes. If you want a little more privacy, find a local pond or lake in the Lynchburg area and spend the day there. Always receive landowner’s permission beforehand to avoid trespassing.

3. Climb the Peaks of Otter

The Peaks of Otter offer breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and its surrounding foothills. Comprised of Sharp Top, Flat Top and Harkening Hill, the Peaks of Otter attract countless numbers of hiking enthusiasts each year looking to catch a glimpse of the beautiful Virginia countryside from above. Less than an hour away from campus, hiking to the Peaks of Otter is a great way to kill a Saturday.

 

2. Take advantage of  “Ultimate LU” Opportunities

Anything you want to do is right at your fingertips with the creation of Ultimate LU. Hiking trips, fishing trips, horseback riding — even white water rafting — have Liberty students abuzz as Ultimate LU has made a successful debut in its semester of existence. With the new SnowFlex ski and snowboard mountain set to open in February, physical activity will be at a premium here on Liberty Mountain. Check out www.ultimatelu.com for upcoming activities.

1. Spend a day at panther falls

Looking for a way to have some fun in the sun? Look no further than just a short drive up 29 North at Panther Falls, a quaint swimming hole getaway located in the backwoods of Buena Vista. The upper pool consists of deeper water for swimming and jumping off the two rocks above. It also boasts a small natural whirlpool area suited for those not wanting to particpate in the jumping festivities. The lower pool is a nice place to take in the scenery while working on those tan lines.

So there you have it — five ways to make your experience here at Liberty more fun-filled. I can only hope you take advantage of the beauty that Virginia has to offer by participating in at least one of these activities. Be safe!

 


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