Students have undoubtedly noticed that as we make our way through April, the snow has started to melt and their levels of stress have been growing exponentially as finals approach. As the ski hills close, your weekends become muddled. What can you do but homework? Well, let me offer you some other options that have sprung up (no pun intended) since the snow started melting. This is not to say you should blow off studying, but it’s important to have some variety in your weekend, otherwise you’ll find yourself stagnant in the midst of all the schoolwork.

Option 1: Go for a hike or a run. It doesn’t have to be a long one, nor does it have to be far away. Sourdough, South Cottonwood, or the M will do just fine. Grab your old runners and get ready to get muddy and have some fun. Plants are starting to bud, and one of the most stunning times of year here in Montana is just around the corner. With any luck, you’ll start seeing some animals coming out after the long winter.

Option 2: Go for a bike ride at Copper City Trails. Located near Three Forks, this trail system stays pretty dry throughout the year, and with the sun out, it will be a warm and fun ride. Whether you’re a die hard mountain biker or just looking to go for a light ride, Copper City is a good spot to go.

Option 3: Hit the rivers. Although spring runoff is relatively heavy at the moment, if you keep an eye on river levels and speeds, you could catch a good window for throwing a few flies on the water. Keep an eye on local fly fishing reports to know when and where to hit the water.

Option 4: Go to the park. Bozeman is loaded with great parks that will fit pretty much any outdoor need. Go slacklining at Lindley. Frisbee at Bogert or Beall. Take your dogs to Cooper park to meet other dogs. Head up Peets Hill for a good little walk outside the neighborhood. The opportunities are endless.

Hopefully, this gives you some motivation to get outside and enjoy what spring has to offer. The end of the semester is in sight, and it may be crunch time, but don’t forget to have a little fun when you can.