Frontier Park 3These days, the leaves have gone from a vibrant, life-filled green to a variety of shades of red, orange and brown that many of us probably have not had the time to sit back and enjoy. We have, however, had the time to realize one thing quite suddenly – winter is on its way.

With that bit of knowledge, you can do one of two things: dread it and pray for winter to hold off for as long as possible, or embrace it and anxiously await the white covered glistening sidewalks that lead us to class. I choose the latter.

In the winter of my freshman year, I would simply curl up in my room at Wehrle Hall and leave only when my hunger overruled my dread to venture out into the bone-chilling cold winds that blow over Erie.

Then one Saturday afternoon, a friend from work opened my eyes to what Erie winter really has to offer. Two words: Frontier Park.

One day after work, we decided on a whim to try out the park. My friend waited outside while I ran into my dorm and quickly put on as many layers of clothing as I could – since I had nothing close to a full snow-suit. She already had snow saucers in her car, so off we went.

We arrived to find at least 30 people of all ages already doing what we were about to do: sled down a huge steep hill. It was then when I finally realized Erie winters weren’t so bad after all.

Frontier Park offers a multitude of things to do during any season. The 33-acre park is fully equipped with six lighted tennis courts, a bike trail that circles the park connecting Frontier Park to the Bayfront Connector, playgrounds and an arboretum with more than 225 kinds of trees.

The arboretum (also called L.E.A.F; the Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park) also contains a labyrinth added in 2005 designed as a tool for prayer, meditation and problem solving.

If you have a car, don’t worry; there is even off-street parking. And because it’s close to campus, some students walk (or run!) to Frontier Park.

Interested in seeing it for yourself? Come to Gannon for a campus visit, and make a detour to Frontier Park. It’s located between sixth and eighth streets on the west side of the Bayfront Parkway near the start of Interstate 79.

— Assistant Editor Nicole Dohoda contributed to this story.