So you’re in college to study to be a teacher, an engineer or maybe pre-med, but chances are you’re not going to be spending all your spare time at the library. You still may want to spend your weekend’s skiing, hiking, scaling rock walls, or just enjoying the silence of a wooded trail, sailing or kayaking. That’s where you want a college that can provide both a great education access to some great outdoor adventures.
The list was compiled by narrowing the campuses to colleges ranked in the top half of MONEY’s annual Best Colleges ranking and removing those in large cities with populations over 500,000. Then, they were narrowed to colleges where one of the five most popular clubs was outdoor recreation or the environmentally related. Then, they looked at the number of national parks and national forests within a 100-mile radius.
Looking at this criteria ….. the drumroll please #3 was chosen to be Western Washington University
right here in Bellingham.
MONEY Best Colleges rank: 114
Nearby National Parks and Forests include: North Cascades National Park, Ross Lake National Recreation Area, Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Olympic National Park, Olympic National Forest, Lake Chelan National Recreation Area.
WWU is a public university in Washington’s Puget Sound area, It sits between Sehome arboretum and Bellingham Bay. WWU was one of the first to create a branch devoted to environmental science, and they have at least eight different majors tied to the outdoors or the environment. WWU has also been using all renewable energy for over 10 years now. Students can explore the North Cascades or the San Juan Islands, ski Mt Baker, or hike the Chuckanut Mountains. The waterfalls at Whatcom Falls Parks and hiking trails in Larrabee State Park are very close by. The university’s popular outdoor center plans trips that include sea kayaking in the fall and snowshoeing to hot springs in the spring and they even have their own pot on the beautiful Lake Whatcom.