As summer vacation draws near its end, note pads, pencils and textbooks are fast approaching. Sadly, classrooms cause the illusion that the suns not shining, but students know very well the rays are beating down on the other side of the walls.

Good thing they’re in luck.

Forest Grove is surrounded by places to escape to, especially when the weather is tempting.

Aside from the nearby coastal range, hikes and mountains, Pacific University is 20 minutes from Hagg Lake Park, a Washington County Park offering many options for outdoor activities.

“If you were to ask the vast majority of students if they have been to Hagg or have even heard of it, I bet most would answer with no,” senior Tristen Nolasco, who is an employee at Outdoor Pursuits said. “I believe it is absolutely vital to a student’s success to get away from campus every so often and go adventure.”

Hagg Lake provides a bit of fun for everyone. With over 15 miles of hiking trails, Hagg Lake offers swimming, boat-launching areas, places to picnic, fishing and a disc golf course. Another activity students should be aware of is paddleboarding and OP has equipment at a discounted price for Pacific students.

“OP offers stand up paddleboard trips as well as canoeing trips, which will sometimes utilize Hagg as its destination,” Nolasco said. “It’s fun to paddle around the flatwater if it’s your first time and if you’re feeling up to it, I like to throw in some stand up paddleboard yoga or tai chi in the trips I lead.”

And OP, located a block off campus by Maggies Buns, is exactly where Nolasco found out about Hagg Lake his freshman year. He remembers his younger brother originally being under the assumption that Hagg Lake was far, but he wants to make it clear that it is not.

“Once students are exposed to Hagg’s close proximity and cheap recreational fees then it is a goldmine for relaxation and escaping the hum drum of school,” he said.

Also, with Hagg Lake only charging $6 for a daily parking pass, a full-car driving 20 minutes will not break a college student’s bank account. If doing recreational activities is not appealing,

Hagg Lake is a nice place for students to escape the pressures of school for an hour or two to eat some food and enjoy the view.

“When students are able to take breaks from their studies and spend some much needed time in nature, they are able to recuperate and come back to their studies with a fresh mind and less stress,” Nolasco said. “Nature is neat like that.”

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