Great Value Colleges organization has named Northland College fourteenth on its list of 50 Great Affordable Colleges for Outdoor Enthusiasts. The reasons for the ranking are plentiful. Northland College has a vibrant outdoor education major, a forty-four-year-old outdoor orientation program for incoming students, a gear rental shop, bike shop, and student clubs for biking, sailing, hiking, and skiing.
“We’re an intimate college built into the wild, completely surrounded by fantastic recreation opportunities for any Midwest style outdoor pursuit you can think of,” said Lucas Will, orientation coordinator.
Northland is at the epicenter of outdoor recreation in all four seasons, with world-class mountain biking and trail running just up the road, nearby inland rivers and lakes for day and overnight padding, and hundreds of miles of Nordic ski trails within an hour of campus.
“With only 30,000 people in the tri-county area, you never have to fight the crowds,” said Elizabeth Andre, associate professor of nature and culture. “It’s like your own private heaven.”
The College’s location on the shores of Lake Superior and surrounded by national forest provides access to a vast wilderness for outdoor recreation, outdoor career development, and academic research.
Recent graduate Allison Kohler said she transferred to Northland College after her freshman year at another institution because “they were teaching me about nature from a textbook.”
At Northland, she immersed herself in the outdoors—academically, professionally, and personally. She is lead author on a research paper she wrote about flying squirrels that fluoresce pink with three faculty members at Northland College.
“These kind of discoveries are possible in our backyard,” said Erik Olson, assistant professor of natural resources. “That is one of the beautiful things about our location; we have a built in laboratory—all you need is a sense of wonder.”