Bobcat Buzz: One Giant Resource


Michael Bunce, Contributing Writer

“Underneath the Sleeping Giant, Let’s hear the Bobcat Roar. Hey! Hey! Hey!” That, in case you didn’t know, is part of the Quinnipiac University fight song. While irrelevant at a glance, the mention of the Sleeping Giant speaks to the nature of its importance in our community here at Quinnipiac.

The Sleeping Giant is not just a hiking trail, or eye candy viewable from the quad. While it is absolutely both of those things, above all, it is a resource. We’re all familiar with Student Health Services and Counseling Services, but what about the health benefits of being in nature?

According to mental health charity, spending time outdoors helps limit anxiety and depression while promoting physical wellbeing. As college students, we are in no position to turn down free stress relief especially as we approach the thick of the semester.

The American College Health Association ran a study in the past three years which proved that around 48% of college students reported having a level of stress beyond what they considered normal. With numbers like that, it’s hard to deny the free resource that’s waiting for us across the street.

One major gripe I hear around campus is that the Tower Trail loses its charm after the first few treks to the top. What some students might not know is that the Sleeping Giant contains over 30 miles of trails, according to the Sleeping Giant Park Association, that come in an array of skill levels.

For those who are more reward-driven, you can sign up to be a member of the Sleeping Giant Park Association to gain rewards like patches and stickers for hiking all the trails The Giant has to offer. I can promise you the things you’ll encounter during your hikes off the gravel will amaze you and keep you coming back.

In exchange for recharging your mental batteries, you can embark on a hike and pick up the trash you come across along the way. Acts of mutualism such as this keep you mentally healthy, and The Giant physically healthy. It’s our compassion for ourselves and our community that makes Quinnipiac students so great.

As you hike The Giant, I can promise you’ll see inspiring views and an abundance of things that will pique your interest. In addition to stress relief, The Giant is an opportunity to learn. Scattered throughout The Giant are readings that give you insight into a particular trail’s history, or The Giant itself. Things like this should motivate us to explore our beautiful park.

One last thing about the Giant is that like us, it is ever-changing. A hike in August is not the same as a hike in October. The chance to become informed, fit, and benefit from the outdoors should never be passed up. I truly implore you to hike The Giant if you have yet to do so. If you have, I encourage you to try a new, more challenging path. Leaving your worries behind for a day in nature is a giant step towards a healthier you.