A photo of Beebe LakeIthaca is known for its beautiful gorges and natural areas. Nothing on Cornell’s campus better exemplifies this than Beebe Lake. Despite being surrounded by the rest of campus, Beebe Lake offers a self-contained slice of nature, separate from the rest of the campus and its accompanying bustle. It is for this reason that Beebe Lake and the trail that goes around it are my favorite places on campus.

As much as I enjoy my classes and my peers, nothing makes me happier than to take a stroll around the lake on a warm, sunny day. One Friday afternoon in October, after a particularly stressful week, I took a walk around Beebe Lake. Although the mile-long trail could be completed within 20 minutes, I spent nearly two hours admiring the fall colors around me, observing a frog I discovered beneath one of the bridges, and taking photographs at each and every step. Those two hours served not only as a distraction, but also inspired creativity and motivation that helped me to tackle that weekend’s work.

Beebe Lake is beautiful year-round, even in the winter if you are willing to brave the cold. The slight fluctuation in trail elevation provides a mildly challenging run. Nearly every inch of the trail is picture worthy and, if you’re willing to deviate from the trail a little, there are a couple amazing, secluded locations. Whether you simply want a brief escape or are an avid nature lover, the trails around Beebe Lake will satisfy your desires.

~Reynold, unaffiliated