The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday August 11th

It's 70 degrees in February. Go outside to these places.

<p>Students have enjoyed the recent warm weather and have taken advantage by doing things such as watching the sunset over Jordan Lake.</p>
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Students have enjoyed the recent warm weather and have taken advantage by doing things such as watching the sunset over Jordan Lake.

This week marks the first time in months that the high temperature will be hovering around 70 degrees each day.  

While February is usually peak time for craftily throwing on many layers of clothing to shield oneself during walks to class, this year is different — yes, my friends, spring is here. 

It’s time to swap out your boots and insulated jackets for some sandals and T-shirts, head outside and enjoy the weather.

You might be asking yourself, “How do I enjoy this weather, though?” 

Campus is beautiful, but also somewhat limiting in terms of outdoor activities. 

Quad sitting is nice, and playing soccer or Frisbee on the athletic fields is a fun time, but there are many other places to enjoy the upcoming sunny days near UNC. Here are some of my favorites:

Battle Park 

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Consisting of 93 acres of protected forest and 1.5 miles of walking trails, Battle Park sits on the eastern edge of campus. 

A quick walk down one of the several trails leads into quiet woods, where only the birds and flowing creeks interrupt the calming stillness. Bring a friend or a book, and let the shady forest remove your mind from the hustle and bustle of the college life. 

Its nearby location is perfect for a quick escape when time is an issue.

Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area 

Occoneechee MT. Trail overlook

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A mountain near Chapel Hill may sound like a fictional creation, but just a short distance away sits Occoneechee Mountain.

Officially located in the nearby town of Hillsborough, Occoneechee boasts the highest point in the area, along with three miles of hiking trails, ponds for fishing and picnic tables. 

While it's a far cry from the peaks of western North Carolina, the elevated land provides a sweet retreat from the Piedmont lowlands. 

The highlight of this state park is surely the peak surrounded by evergreen that overlooks Eno River. Take a friend and relax at the summit while giving your legs a rest from all the work it took to get there.

Eno River State Park 

"Life is like a river, ever changing as it goes!" #optoutside #ncstateparks

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Located northwest of Durham is one of the most popular outdoors spots for students. Covered by nearly 30 miles of hiking trails, Eno River State Park provides easy access to its namesake, the Eno River. 

Many of the trails parallel to the river cross through shady woods, providing easy walking with great views. Canoeing, kayaking, fishing and camping are also allowed in the park, creating a diverse range of possible activities. 

Highlights include a suspended wooden bridge crossing the river and the infamous Eno Quarry swimming hole. 

The cascading river and the many options the park offers assure the Eno River will be a spot you’ll want to visit over and over again during the warm spring months.

Maple View Farm 

Clover busting out about 4 weeks early on my 72 degree ride today!

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The three previous spots all offer several physical activity options, making them attractive to visitors. 

But, let’s be honest: sometimes we don’t feel like exerting ourselves — sometimes even walking is too much. 

Not to worry though, as I wouldn’t dare leave out a place for the lazy and weary among us. 

Maple View Farm is the perfect place to go when physical activity isn’t in the cards, as long as you don’t consider devouring ice cream to be physical activity. 

Surrounded by rolling hills and country roads, Maple View is an ice cream parlor overlooking a picturesque farm. With dozens of flavors of fresh ice cream, frozen yogurt and sorbet, the short drive to Hillsborough for a sweet treat is a must. 

Snag a cone (don’t be afraid to go big here — you won’t be judged) and settle down on one of the picnic benches overlooking the farm to enjoy some scenery alongside your ice cream.

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