By: Alexander Haver
The worst thing about my friends is that they hate leaving campus and doing fun things. I
love leaving campus, being outdoors, exploring, doing puzzles, and playing games; my
passion is cute animals, especially alpacas, dogs and sloths. I compiled a list of fun fall
activities that relate to one of the interests listed above and where you can do them
around Dickinson. They are not prioritized in order because I am too indecisive to rank
the following fun sober activities to do off campus.
What is there to do, how much does it cost, and where is it?
1. Check out Dickinson’s clubs – Ski-Club and Outing Club
Before I start listing some off campus activities, I want to mention Dickinson’s various
clubs and organizations that provide transportation. These two clubs are great at giving
students the opportunity to leave campus. Outing club is one of the biggest clubs on
campus and has many fun and exciting trips. They have numerous hiking trips throughout
the fall, and other outdoor trips such as their trip to a horse ranch, and a wine vineyard,
both coming up in the next several weeks. Outing Club also organizes transportation to
other types of events off campus that are not outdoors, but still really cool, such as a trip
they are organizing to Harrisburg to see comedian Marlon Wayans. This club also
becomes very active in the spring, hosting back packing, rock climbing, canoeing trips
and more. One of the coolest things Outing Club has to offer is its equipment room.
Members of the club can borrow anything from the equipment room, hidden in the
basement of Allison hall. In this room, you can find anything outdoorsy, from a backpack
to canoe paddles. While this room can’t physically take you off campus, it can give you
encouragement to go out and explore! To get involved, look up Dickinson’s Outing Club
to see some upcoming events or email them at email@example.com.
As it gets colder, the Ski and Snowboard Club is also a great resource for outdoor fun.
The club allows members to buy a season pass to a nearby ski-resort that is subsidized by
the club, which will cost around $190, per person for the year. They take ski trips one or
two times per week, depending on weather and availability of drivers. The membership
includes ski lessons, rentals, and transportation provided by Dickinson. This is a really
good deal, considering this club has ski/snowboard trips for about two and a half months.
My roommate is actually one of the leaders running the club, and had an amazing time
last year as a member. I can’t wait to learn how to ski this Fall! If you are interested in Ski
Club, there is limited space, so sign up as soon as you can! For more information
email firstname.lastname@example.org. There are also many other clubs that have really cool
activities that can bring you into our surrounding communities, and I would recommend
checking them out at the activities page on the Dickinson website.
2. Tobias Lake – Halifax, PA
Do you like feeding baby goats, camels, llamas, monkeys and more? Do you like learning
about native animals in the area? If you do you need to check out Tobias Lake. I went the
week before classes started and I have to say, it was one of the highlights of my summer.
The park is hidden in a small town called Halifax, about 45 mins away from Dickinson.
The park has a safari tour of over 150 acres of land. When I first got on the safari bus I
was a little concerned because it was clearly a school bus with the top taken off.
I quickly forgot however, as our tour guide began to drive us through 150 acres of
beautiful land where hundreds of animals roamed. My safari guide stopped periodically
and seemed to be very knowledgeable about the animals and the history of the native
ones and their role in American history. The animals here ranged from deer, to American
buffalo and most would approach the bus and politely ask for a carrot, which patrons can
buy at the concession stand. If you want a more exotic or intimate experience, they also
offer numerous cage areas, with exotic animals like monkeys, tigers and mountain lions.
Additionally, they have a petting zoo filled with goats and llamas.
I highly recommend this place; however, they are only open
on the weekends in September and October and are closed in
the winter. For access to the petting zoo and safari, it is around
$13, or $6 for just the petting zoo. For more information look
them up at laketobias.com or call the, at 717-362-9126.
3. Zip lining and more at Roundtop Mountain Resort – Lewisberry, PA
This next activity is for thrill seekers. Mountains and
breathtaking scenery surround Cumberland Valley. At round
top mountain resort, just a 35-minute drive away, they have
zip-line courses available in the fall. The zip line course takes
about 2.5 hours and there are 10 lines and obstacles mixed in.
The price is $69 per person, or $59 per person with 8 or more
people. This is open through the first weekend in November It
is only open on the weekends unless you have a planned group trip, but call to make
sure. While I have not been here before, I have been to similar styled zip lines in the
Poconos, México, and Costa Rica, and from the website, this looks like one of the better
ones I have seen. This course is beautiful, like most, but what sets this one apart is that
they have 10 lines. On the website, they have a go-pro tour. I definitely recommend
watching the Go-pro tour to get a sense of what the course is
like. Another activity they have to offer is paintball every
Saturday and Sunday, which is about $26 per person, plus cost
for paint balls. Round top mountain resort also has skiing in the
winter, and is where the ski-club goes! For more information
go to skiroundtop.com or call at 717-4329631 x3723.
4. Field of Adventures Farm – Aspers, PA
(photo from Field of Adventures website)
Fields of Adventures is great for anyone who loves corn mazes, zip-lines, hill slides and
pumpkin picking, and it’s just a 31-minute drive from Dickinson! I also think it is
important to note that majority of the people coming here may be families with younger
kids, so if you are looking to have fun in a older crowd, this may make you
uncomfortable. On the other hand, if you want to feel like a kid again, this may be the
perfect place for you! They have a huge corn maze that makes out a figure of a knight
slaying a dragon, which is probably the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. The website says that
the maze also teaches you about native animals, but I’m not sure exactly how it works.
Some other activities that look really interesting include hill slides, a swing rope maze,
straw bale maze, a tile maze and barnyard animals. more I
read about this place, the more I want to go and check it out. I
highly recommend some more research on this place and
contact them to learn more about what exactly you might be
interested in. You can check out their website
at fieldsofadventure.com. However, they don’t have a lot of
details of their activities there so I recommend calling them at
Photo from Fields of
5. Indian Echo Cavern – Hummelstown
Indian Echo caves is truly a breathtaking experience. Although I haven’t had the chance
to go, one of my good friends traveled throughout Pennsylvania touring caves and she
highly recommended visiting here. From what I have seen on their website, the cave is as
beautiful as my friend describes. Additionally, the tours teach patrons about the ecology,
geology and history of the cave. A cool thing about the cave is that it is 52 degrees
Fahrenheit all year round, which allows it to stay open all year round. Another cool thing
about this place is that they have a petting zoo! They have goats, chickens and bunnies,
which is an added bonus to the cave! There is an entrance fee of $18 which includes the
tour. If you are interested, you should check out their website, Indianechocaverns.com, or
you can call them at 717-566-8131. If you find yourself wanting more caves after Indian
echo caves, I recommend looking it up online because there many beautiful caves in
How can I get to these places?
Unfortunately, the places above require some type of transportation, making these places
difficult to get to unless you have a car. If you are interested in getting off campus, I
recommend getting a group of people together and sharing an Uber, or Zip car. Another
way to get to these places would be to talk to club officers who may have members who
would also be interested in taking a trip to one of these places.
In conclusion, there are plenty of fun things to do in the communities around Dickinson.
Not only is it fun to get off campus, but also our community benefits from us visiting
them. Us visiting such places helps economically support these towns, which will in
return, make the community itself more sustainable, and therefore a nicer place for all of
us in the community. There are many other cool activities to do around Dickinson that I
did not have enough space to list. If you are interested in other cool activities or places to
visit off campus, feel free to stop by the Center for Sustainable Living office and grab a
pamphlet. Do not work too hard and enjoy what our communities have to offer.
picture from Indian Echo Cavern website