By Samantha Werkheiser
Stony Acres is an outdoor wildlife sanctuary and recreational site, free of charge to ESU students and faculty.
The ESU Women’s Recreation Association purchased Stony Acres in 1962 for students to have an outdoor recreational site.
The site has many outdoor recreational activities, such as hiking, fishing, canoeing, camping, volleyball courts, frisbee golf, several fire pits and a challenge course.
According to Madeline Constantine, Stony Acres program director, the challenge course and climbing tower has proven to be the most popular activity.
The course, which consists of rope courses and a climbing tower, aims to build trust and group skills among the participants.
The challenge course comes at a small fee for recognized ESU organizations and clubs to use, with several levels of challenges being offered depending on how long your group participates.
The longer a group stays, the more activities and courses they’ll get to do.
Stony Acres also offers six rustic cabins and a modern lodge, which can accommodate up to 100 people.
Reservations must be made in advance, as well as a $10 deposit for cabins and a $50 deposit for the lodge. Deposits will be returned as long as the mess is cleaned up and there is no damaged property.
The equipment is provided for many of the outdoor activities at Stony Acres.
If students wish to go camping, tents, sleeping bags, backpacks and camping, stoves are given to students for a small deposit, which like the cabins will be returned as long as there is no damage.
“It provides a great opportunity for students, especially if they’ve never had an outdoor experience before,” said Constantine.
Stony Acres offers winter activities too; providing snowshoes, cross country skis and ice-skates for those who wish to partake.
Fall usually always proves to be the most popular time to go to Stony Acres, according to Constantine.
They have offered many popular activities for students in the past, such as a paintballs tournament and zombie runs.
Just two weeks ago, the Health and Physical Education Club hosted the Ultimate Warrior Challenge at Stony Acres.
“It was a race, basically to test people’s mental and physical abilities,” said Constantine.
Stony Acres is not just used by ESU though, many outside organizations such as high schools, youth groups, scouts and other colleges and universities frequent it as well.
Starting in February, students also have the opportunity to become trained ropes course facilitators free of charge, which would then allow them to work part-time at Stony Acres.
Upcoming events include a night hike at 5 p.m. on Nov. 29 and a cabin adventure from 7 p.m. on Dec. 2 to 9 a.m. on Dec. 3.
Transportation for most events is offered, but carpooling is encouraged.
Hours of operation are from dawn to dusk, with most activities being free to students.
For more information on Stony Acres or to make a reservation, visit http://quantum.esu.edu/saa/stonyacres/home/ or contact Constantine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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