Class can start to drive you crazy in the winter if you let it. Take some advice from a seasoned Stoutie, and heed my words: get outside. Even though winter can seem dreary and frustrating when all you want to do is finish your homework and attain a modest amount of sleep, but taking an hour or so every few days to enjoy the brisk air will do you all kinds of good. Fortunately, if you go to Stout you have the opportunity to explore the outdoors in places like the Devil’s Punch Bowl and Trip Falls.
So, I’ve talked about Trip Falls before. Its across the road from the Red Cedar River and only a few miles away from the university. Basically, its this big crack in the ground and a brook runs through at the bottom. You can hike through the bottom of the ravine, following the brook up a few waterfalls and into the woods. The best part are the icicles. While hiking, you will be below ground level, and all of the moisture from the trees above drips off of the ravine walls, forming huge ice formations.
Depending on what the weather has been like, Tripp Falls has a tendency to be mildly treacherous. Keep in mind that when it gets above freezing, water seeps down from the walls and smooths everything over, re-freezing at night or when the temperature drops again. Making it over the first waterfall can be difficult in these kinds of situations, but its always worth a try.
If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can hike up onto the sides of the ravine. Just be careful not to fall on the way back down.
You can also drive another mile or so down the road, and hit the Devil’s Punchbowl a definite Menomonie Must. There are less trails, but the water fall is bigger.
Whenever you’re finished with your hike, you may want to run to Aldi’s for the best value of take n’ bake pizza in town! Only $7! Don’t forget to grab a treat for dessert.
So, take a break from the books and they gym, throw on some boots and explore Menomonie’s wilderness! It will keep you healthy, happy, and most importantly it will keep you sane in the hectic months to come.