Five Ways to Add Vitamin N(ature) to Your Diet

Do you know there are studies that show being in nature actually makes you smarter? (Don’t believe us? Check out our “Five Reasons Why Being in Nature is Good for You” blog post to learn more!) What better place to spend your college years than surrounded by hundreds of acres of beautiful forest, trails, and vineyards! The peaceful setting provides the perfect atmosphere for students, whether you’re studying outside on a blanket or taking a break to adventure into the forest.

If you’re looking for ways to incorporate nature into your life, here are five suggestions of outdoor activities to do while you’re a student at PUC!

Hike to Inspiration Point

PUC’s back 40 property has over 30 miles of hiking and biking trails, across ridges and valleys. Ask most students at PUC, and they’ll tell you their favorite Sabbath afternoon hike is to Inspiration Point, which is a huge cliff (safely cordoned off with a railing!) with a lookout offering beautiful vistas of the neighboring Pope Valley.

Marvel at the Wonders of Linda Falls

Did you know there’s a waterfall near PUC? A short hike from campus takes you to the infamous Linda Falls, where you can climb around moss-covered rocks, get your feet wet, or just relax and take in its magical and peaceful sights.

Star Gaze at the Young Observatory

Napa Valley’s incredible views don’t just include what you can see from the top of a mountain. Look up! The college’s Young Observatory, a fully functional and modern observatory that is the prized jewel of the department of physics, offers the opportunity to gaze into the heavens. Spot the Big-Dipper or catch a glimpse of a shooting star. Featuring a Celestron (CGE1400 14-inch Schmidt with a 3910 mm focal length) telescope, the observatory is used for lab classes twice a week by Astronomy classes and open for public viewings two or three Friday nights per quarter.

See the Sights at Mount St. Helena

The most strenuous on this list, the hike up the majestic Mount St. Helena in nearby Calistoga is a 2,068-foot climb over 5.1 miles to the summit. Once you’re at the top though, your hard work is rewarded with breathtaking views of the valley terrain below. On clear days, Mt. Tamalpais in Marin and Mt. Diablo near Walnut Creek can be seen, and some have even claimed to see Mt. Shasta, 192 miles away.

Explore Beyond the Valley

Northern California has limitless options for PUC students interested in spending time outdoors beyond just what’s in the Napa Valley. There are plenty of beaches within a short distance of the college. Grab a blanket, a Frisbee, a guitar, and your friends and spend an afternoon on the coast. You can also raft down the Russian River, ski at Lake Tahoe, and surf at Ocean Beach in San Francisco. With so much to explore, you’ll never be bored!   

We love living in Northern California, and we know you’re going to love living here too.

Finding the Back 40

by Maria Rankin-Brown
Chair, Department of English

I’m mostly known for teaching English, but when I’m not, I’m known for stalking the greenery and flowers in my neighbors’ yards so I can capture photos I share on Instagram (@dooglebuggy and @ria.arby). My favorite place to go wild with my camera is the Back 40. Many locals and students use the Back 40 to stay physically fit. What better place is there on campus to get your uphill run on? While I theoretically appreciate the benefits of hiking or running in the Back 40, I mainly use the space to hide from others. The combination of the many, many trails, the solitude, and the opportunity to slide behind a tree when people approach is irresistible to my introverted self. As much as I enjoy the eight hours of interacting with students and colleagues during the day, I need alone time to recharge. The Back 40 offers the perfect combination of isolation, silent company, and opportunities for photography. The Back 40 calms and centers me and shows me how important it is to simply spend time sorting through my thoughts and feelings.

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Wildflowers featured in @bestflowerspics 🌿🍃💜🍃🌿🍃💙🍃🌿🍃💜🍃🌿🍃💙🍃🌿🍃💜🍃🌿🍃💙🍃🌿🍃💜🍃🌿🍃💙🍃🌿 #flora_addict #botanicaminima #allkindsofmagic #raw_depthoffield #MacroClique #macro_freaks #macroexperience #macro_perfection #ig_closeups #macroflowers_kingdom #flowersandmacro #igbest_macros #macro_of_our_world #macro_art_syndicate #pocket_family #fotofanatics_macro_ #top_macro #efe_igersverybest #nature_spotlight #eye_for_earth #nature_brilliance #fiftyshades_of_nature #bestnatureshot #nature_special_ #arte_of_nature #tw_hotshots #forest_gold_alltags #naturehippys_ #pocket_family_spring2

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Featured in @allkindsofnature @amateurs_shot and @all_colorshots 🕸🙏🏼🕸 Alien Dandelions look like they come from somewhere other worldly. Little antennae communicating with the mothership, then getting trampled by the cows grazing in the pasture.🕸✨🕸✨🕸✨🕸✨🕸✨🕸✨🕸✨🕸 ✨🕸✨🕸#ig_discover_nature #nature_spotlight #igersverybest #myheartinshots #eye_for_earth #naturehippys #modmixx #rsa_nature #snapshots_daily #beautiful_world #bestnatureshot #igs_style #naturelovers #nature_wizards #whywelovenature #nature_special_ #arte_of_nature #astounding_shots #Excellent_Snaps #fabulous_shots #impressive_shotz #shotsbyyou #stalking_nature #snapshots_daily #dandelion #moody_tones

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Don’t Be Stuck in Your Dorm Room

PUC has always promoted an active lifestyle and healthy living, and there are plenty of ways for students to stay active on campus. The gymnasium, officially known as the Pacific Auditorium but more endearingly called “The Covered Wagon,” is always full of students participating in a variety of activities. For students who enjoy the great outdoors, PUC owns over 30 miles of hiking and biking trails, and there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor fun.

The fitness center and weight room, climbing wall, and pool are used for both classes and independent recreation.

If being outside is more your thing, there are also outdoor sand volleyball courts, tennis courts, a track, and and multiple baseball and flag football fields.

From hiking and biking in the college’s back 40 property to the popular intramurals program, there’s something for every student at PUC.

If you’re interested in attending PUC, you can talk with an enrollment counselor in the enrollment services office about the application process and any questions you have about the college. Email enroll@puc.edu or call (800) 862-7080, option 2 to be connected with a counselor today.