Students lead hike to Wetmore Pond

ORLM majors plan an educational and restorative outdoor experience


Photo courtesy of Hunter Lange

HIKE AND HANG — One of several panoramic views that can be seen along the hike to the hidden Wetmore Pond. Students from the ORLM department have planned a relaxing, yet educational, hiking event or people to attend.

Andie Balenger

As part of the Earth Week festivities on campus, students from the outdoor recreation leadership and management (ORLM) department will be guiding people on a mile-and-a-half loop hike to the hidden Wetmore Pond. 

In addition to enjoying time spent outdoors, there will be several educational aspects to the event. Those who attend can expect to learn a lot about the marshland they will be hiking through, including surrounding geology, trees and wildlife. Attendees will also experience changing biomes and terrain throughout the short hike, including an old-growth forest that contains massive trees.

The “Traverse the Hidden Wetmore Pond” event arose out of RE 362, a required program design class for the ORLM major. In collaboration with two other classmates, senior Hunter Lange has spent the entire semester planning this event.

“We want to help Northern students get outside and see that Marquette does have a lot to offer, especially coming out of the winter,” Lange said. “Sometimes it can feel like we are in the middle of nowhere and there is nothing fun to do … but we want to show people that there are amazing places to spend a lot of time right outside of campus.”

Lange said the event will also focus on the concept of attention restoration theory, which argues that any amount of time spent in nature helps curb issues like mental fatigue and lack of concentration. According to Lange, this is something that many students can benefit from.

“If you spend time out in nature, your mind gets restored,” Lange said. “Your brain is able to put away things that you have been thinking about, that have been bothering you or any anxiety.”

The event will be held at two different times this week. The first outing will be on April 17 and the second will be on April 19. Interested students can meet at University Lot 51, which is located next to the Dome, at 1 p.m. on both of these days. The hike is set to conclude around 3 p.m.

Lange recommends students bring a backpack, a 16-ounce water bottle and a few snacks to keep them energized on the trail. Due to the spring melt, students should also wear ankle-high rubber boots to keep themselves comfortable and dry.

“This is a really beautiful area just 10 minutes away from campus, and if you have never been, it definitely raises the value of where we are,” Lange said. “There are some beautiful panoramas of Wetmore Pond and Hogback Mountain. It is definitely the quintessential U.P. forest experience.”