You’ve probably heard the phrase “never let school get in the way of your education.”
It stems from the concept of never letting scheduled classes or the daily routine of life keep you from learning valuable life experiences that can’t be taught in the classroom. Sometimes it’s necessary to break free from the norm and get a lesson outside of the classroom, and instead in the outdoors. Here are a few of TIME’s top rated universities that are worthy of checking out if you’re a student seeking an education both in the classroom and in the great outdoors.
Where? Brunswick, Maine
Natural attractions? White Mountain National Park and Acadia National Park are nearby!
What else? Bowdoin students that belonged to an Outing Club in the 90s built a cabin along the Appalachian Trail in a town two hours from the university, Monson, Maine. Students seeking a break from the “real world” and looking for adventure still make the trek to this student-built cabin for a getaway in the woods. TIME reports that students can climb Mount Katahdin, canoe the Chesuncook River, and camp at Gero Island (if the cabin wasn’t quite your style).
Where? Hanover, N.H.
Natural attractions? White Mountain National Forest and Green Mountain National Forest
What else? TIME reported that students at Dartmouth host a hiking event known as “The 50.” This 54-mile hiking event starts on the Dartmouth campus and ends at Mount Moosilauke’s summit. Students at Dartmouth pride themselves on keeping their environment clean, according to TIME.
Where? Helena, Mont.
Natural attractions? Helena National Forest, Lewis and Clark National Forest and Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
What else? TIME claimed Carroll College to be the school more so surrounded by “world-class natural attractions,” than any other school on their list. Carroll College is amongst the Rocky Mountains and a close drive from Helena National Forest and Yellowstone and Glacier national parks, according to TIME. The college even has an Adventure and Mountaineering Program that allows for students to participate in outdoor adventures such as skiing, rafting and cliff diving at local attractions nearby.
Western Washington University
Where? Bellingham, Wash.
Natural attractions? North Cascades National Park, Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Chuckanut Mountain Park
What else? WWU was “one of the first to create a college devoted to environmental science, and there are at least eight different majors tied to the outdoors or environment,” according to TIME. Near the campus there is an arboretum for hiking and a bay for kayaking. The Chuckanut Mountain trails provide ample space for hiking, trail running and mountain biking. TIME also reported that the university has been using renewable energy for over a decade.
Washington and Lee University
Where? Lexington, VA
Natural attractions? Appalachian National Scenic Trail, Bluestone National Scenic River, George Washington and Jefferson National Forests and more
What else? Meriwether Lewis graduated from Washington and Lee. Similar to Carroll College, this university has an Outing Club that allows for students to experience a variety of outdoor adventures ranging from fly fishing, rafting and mountain biking, according to TIME. The campus is a short drive away from “at least nine different hiking trails,” and is close to Blue Ridge Parkway, a popular scenic drive, TIME reported.