Carleton College's student newspaper since 1877

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Arb Notes: Enjoying Winter!


Our Northfield winters are so very cold, and it can be difficult to find any reason to brave the outdoors. However, I’m here to share a few of the things that motivate me to don an alarming number of layers and step into the crunchy snow, so that you, too, might find small ways to enjoy the bitter cold.

First, consider building an igloo or snow fort of any kind; the bigger, the better and the more, the merrier! If you’re brave enough, spend a night in said snow house with a warm sleeping bag. See photo for inspiration and contact CANOE to borrow gear and get advice on cold weather camping! Another great option is snowshoeing, which is less scary than it sounds and best with lots of snow. Snowshoes (and also skis, for those who might be interested) are easy to pick up at the Rec, and all that’s left is strapping them onto your shoes and going for a walk with friends.

I especially enjoy venturing out to the river to look for tracks because the snow makes spotting little footprints easier. Commonly found tracks might come from racoons, deer, squirrels and rabbits, but I’ve also seen some from beavers, minks, otters, foxes and various birds! A nice guide to animal tracks can be found on the Arb’s website if you want help identifying what you find. While you’re out in the Arb, visiting one of the bodies of water that have frozen over (retention pond across from Arb office, Oxbow pond, Turtle pond, Kettle Hole Marsh, etc.) can be really cool; the snow is flat and beautiful, and if the ice is thick enough to walk on, the views are stunning. However, don’t venture out on the river ice—enjoy it from the banks because it is seldom thick enough to be safe.

Yet another winter activity many Carls have enjoyed is sledding, although this is also more fun if we get more snow! Some might borrow trays from a dining hall to do so, others find real sleds and yet others get more creative out on Bell Field and in the Arb. And finally, if you are not so interested in venturing so far from the warmth of your home, feeding birds seeds can be lovely! This is not an Arb activity, but something to do in your own backyard or near your dorm. I love to see the skirmishes between squirrels, cardinals and occasional other visitors, and just their sounds and colors can make the winter a little bit brighter for us.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Carletonian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *