by Kristen Botas, Contributing Writer
Imagine: it’s the end of a busy week of homework, class and exams; the weather is a beautiful sweater-weather type and you just want to get off campus to explore the place you currently call home away from home or you just want to do something for free. I know the place made just for you.
Well if you have a thirst for adventure outside or you just want to go out for that perfect picture to post, Dartmouth Natural Resource Trust or DNRT is conveniently located right up the street.
DNRT is a non-profit, accredited land trust organization in the town of Dartmouth that preserves nature and protects more than 5,000 acres of land and over 35 miles of hiking trails.
DNRT offers several different trails available free to the public to explore. The trails are not only beautiful but they are a ton of fun for everyone.
One of the most well-known trails is Cornell Farm. Located just east side of Smith Neck Road, and just north of Round Hill Beach.
Cornell Farm is a 140-acre beautifully preserved spot features four different scenic trails founded in 1983.
Also, Cornell Farm features several well-constructed boardwalks that allow hikers to access the wooded wetlands without the hassle of getting their feet wet.
The main attraction is the suspension bridge where walkers can be safety suspended roughly about 50 feet off the ground onto an observation platform connecting to another trail.
Cornell Farm is a great spot for local photographers to use as a natural backdrop for their models to pose or just to capture the perfect moment of nature.
Another beautiful spot to visit during your time here at UMass Dartmouth is Parsons Reserve. It is may also be known as the daffodil fields.
A breath-taking sight in the spring as you can view its 32 acres of daffodils and learn of a quick history of the land and how it became to be.
Parsons Reserve is located at 50 Horseneck Road, Dartmouth, Mass. with an access point just south of Russell’s Mills Village.
Destruction Brook, another hidden gem, located between Fisher Rd. and Slade’s Corner Rd., near Russell’s Mills Village, overlaps through the property on its way to Slocum’s River that offers many different sights to see.
A vernal pool provides habitat for a variety of common and rare species such as salamanders, wood frogs and rare plants that call the place home. But, watch out for the wild turkeys that prefer to camp out in the oaks along the edge of the pool.
The beautiful beech grove nearby provides shelter for picnickers; so don’t forget to pack a lunch. Enjoy, as you eat your lunch, while the deer are wandering on the hiking paths, munching on the beautiful foliage around you.
If there is anything you should do at your time here at UMass Dartmouth, it should be to create a bucket list and put to visit one of these hidden gems right at the top.
We, as college students, know that we are very active people. We have the constant feeling as if we are always on the go and sometimes it’s nice to take a break from this and get out, but we don’t always have the funds to do so.
The trials are a free and easy way of exploring some aspects of the town of Dartmouth while getting your steps in. So take a Saturday off, while the weather is still nice, and go explore.