Students search for socially distant fall activities

Students bundle up and head outside to enjoy the fall weather.

by Meg Bishop

Fall is one of the best times of the year in Minnesota to get outside and enjoy the weather with a plethora of seasonal activities. Farms, orchards and hiking trails are all at the top of the list of places to go during the fall season, but now with the novel coronavirus looming over everything, students are trying to figure out the best ways to enjoy fall while still being safe.

University of Minnesota fourth-year retail merchandising student Kiara Dahmus, and her friends wanted to celebrate their friend’s 21st birthday.

“We decided with COVID-19 and everything, we weren’t going to do the normal U of M bar tour like [Kollege Klub], Sal’s — it’s not really smart to do that right now,” Dahmus said. Combining the autumn season with her friend’s birthday festivities, Dahmus and her group headed out to Aamodt’s Apple Farm in Stillwater for a cider tour.

Since the beginning of the fall semester, Dahmus has been missing the university bar scene and trying to find safer alternatives.

“We were looking for fall things to do that also included alcohol,” Dahmus said.

Maddie Stumbaugh, a University of Minnesota third-year art student, visited Minnesota’s largest corn maze, the Twin Cities Maze. Located in Brooklyn park, the maze spans 20-acres and stands alongside a pumpkin patch.

According to Stumbaugh, there was no maximum capacity for the corn maze and many people were not wearing masks, which made for overcrowding in certain areas, increasing the possibility for the spread of COVID-19.

“It was definitely fuller than I would’ve liked it to be,” she said.

Stumbaugh and her friend went through the maze trying their best to distance themselves from others. They also took home pumpkins from the patch, which they later carved faces into, scooping out the seeds to throw in the oven with cinnamon and sugar for a fun fall snack.

Izzy Teitelbaum, a University of Minnesota fourth-year journalism student, said she and her boyfriend went out to Pine Tree Apple Orchard located in White Bear Lake. The orchard’s bakery sells homemade pies, cider and other farm fresh treats, which Teitelbaum says she took full advantage of.

The moment oranges and reds begin popping up in the trees, Teitelbaum plans out her seasonal hiking trip on trails along the Lake Superior shoreline. Hikes allow her to get out and experience the season while also staying socially distant from others. Some of her daily hikes include walks around campus to check out the scenery along the riverfront.

“Walking down by the river the other day was gorgeous, when all the leaves are changing in the pathway down by the river,” Teitelbaum said.

Here’s to hoping the snow melts and winter weather stays away so everyone can enjoy their favorite fall activities.