Get out on the trails

Foil the Freshman 15

Staying fit in the face of temptation.

by Jessica Tuttle

“What should I do with my free time in between work and classes? Where should I eat? What should I do on the weekends?” Your first semester of college isn’t just about choosing a major and the perfect schedule. Not only are you overwhelmed with meeting new people, starting classes, having roommates, and trying to navigate a campus and a new town, you’re trying to not lose sight of who you are and where you came from. In the first few months of all things new and different, it is important to stay mentally and physically well-balanced.

Dinning halls, dorm room snacks, downtown food trucks, late night pizza, BEER, house parties, tailgating, etc…there are endless ways to pack on the infamous “Freshman 15.” Luckily, Bozeman is one of the best places to stay in shape outside and all of it is so easily accessible from campus.

Finding time to incorporate exercise into your new routine can be tough. With more freedom than you’re used to, you’ll have to discipline yourself to take a break from the books and put the partying on hold if you allow some time for a quick walk, hike, run, or bike around town. Here is a list of some favorite nearby trails that are a short bike ride or car ride away:

Peets Hill
Sourdough Trail
The “M” Trail
Drinking Horse
Triple Tree Loop
Main Street to the Mountains Trail System.

Access Peets Hill at the east end of College Street toward downtown. This is the easiest to get to and a quick jaunt to the top. I recommend this at sunset to catch the golden fall glow on the Bridgers. Both Sourdough and Triple Tree trailheads begin about five miles outside of town and offer great views of Gallatin Valley. The College “M” trail and Drinking Horse are on the north side of town as you head up Bridger Canyon. It will take 15-20 minuets to get there and they’re each roughly three miles round-trip. Main Street to the Mountains is a whole network of local trails that connect from one end of town to the other and go through several scenic parks.

The view from Peets Hill never disappoints.

The view from Peets Hill never disappoints.

Even on the busiest of days, make time to hit these trails. You can be out anywhere from 30 minuets to a couple of hours on them. You might find that most trails are shared with mountain bikers, strollers, and dogs. You never know who you’re going to meet but it can be refreshing to see people other than your classmates. Sometimes you may be alone  and this could be the quiet time you need to yourself that you just can’t seem to find in all the buzz of campus life.

Sunset over Gallatin Valley from the Triple Tree trail

Sunset over Gallatin Valley from the Triple Tree trail

Spending time on the trails can rejuvenate your spirit, clear your head, and give you a good look around your favorite college town. Think of your runs as mental re-charges as well as calorie burners. One of the best things about living in Bozeman is the enthusiasm for outdoor adventure and the appreciation everyone has for living in such a beautiful place. Make some time to get off campus and explore the wide network of trail systems that the community has worked hard to create and maintain for us all. This is an amazing place to spend the next adventurous chapter of your life.