Being from the Appalachian mountain of Western North Carolina, I am a huge fan of being outside. With Indiana’s cold weather, this has gotten more and more difficult, but with the nice weather of the past few days, spring is finally in sight! With spring, I have already started planning my favorite COVID-safe activity in Bloomington, backpacking! Beginning from last semester, one of my friends and I have been finding backpacking loops in Morgan Monroe State Forest or Hoosier National Forest just to take a weekend trip. Our routine from last semester was to leave right after classes on Fridays, drive to a trailhead, and spend Friday and Saturday nights at different spots before hiking out on Sunday with enough time to come back to campus, shower, and finish up any homework before the week starts.
Backpacking is one of my favorite activities with or without COVID, but lots more people have been getting into it with the start of the pandemic. It’s a great way to spend time with a friend or two and escape reality for a little while. Indiana has many different parks that you can backpack in or just camp for a night, with three really amazing and well maintained that are close to campus; Brown County, Morgan Monroe, and Hoosier National. I have been to all of these and they are all great places to spend time off campus and enjoy the forest.