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The joys of walking: journeys on campus and around town, ranked by a local walking enthusiast

  1. The Quad

Anywhere on the Quad: a beautiful scenic view to gaze upon as you move between classes. Get your education with a view. A view of wonderful trees that should have bloomed three weeks ago and some grass that is struggling to live in the hell that is a Midwestern climate. Cons include dodging tour groups, seeing a couple do something unholy in an Adirondack chair, and a slow decline into the monotony of daily life that leaves man incapable of appreciating anything which is common.

  1. New Hall and Back

Pro: The stairs behind Rolvaag make you feel like you’re engaging in an Olympic athletic feat.

Con: You are not an Olympian.

  1. The Natural Lands, Hilleboe side

It’s slightly depressing before the deciduous trees have come in green, and beset by sin after dark, but Norway Valley still has its charms. This is a great walk for the elevation-inclined and features classic St. Olaf landmarks including the Obelisk and the lovingly vandalized Berlin Wall.

  1. Natural Lands, Skog side

Blessed. Edenic. Paradise on Earth. Go by the lake and feel a fleeting sense of peace upon this earth. Maybe if you lived there you would be happy. Doesn’t the water look seductive? To be a mer-student. Then walk the rest of the trail and feel like a frontiersman upon the prairie. Just watch out for runners.

  1. Walking downtown

Walking to Northfield is the best walk on earth, losers. I live in the farthest possible dorm from downtown Northfield, and I love it. It is a pretty neighborhood, a beautiful day, and you get to savor the walk over the Cannon. Why Oles constantly consider a car a necessity for coming into town is beyond me. It is a wonderful, wonderful walk and the cause of many of my best memories. Plus, it doesn’t take half as long as you think — time yourself sometime and you’ll see it’s well under a half-hour with a little pep in your step. I’ve won more than a few free drinks from people who claim there’s no chance we’ll be at the Cow in less than 45 minutes. Show some hustle and meet me on Division Street.

John Emmons is from Seattle, Wash..

His majors are Chinese and political science.

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