My friend, Tnisha Louis, and I recently decided to go explore the Green Lake Conference Center to get some fresh air after cramming for our college finals.

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Sophia Voight

Just driving into the conference center is an experience. We were immediately greeted with arches of the gorgeous rolling hills of the Golf Courses of Lawsonia. As we drove further into the conference center, the road curves along Green Lake, providing us with a picturesque view of its bright blue water.

The conference center has a wealth of activities, so, admittedly, I was a bit lost as to what to try out while there. I also may have gotten a bit lost driving through the maze of roads intertwined throughout the center.

After driving around a bit and exploring our options, our first stop was Friendship Beach.

My trip to the conference center came after a week of scalding hot weather, so the breeze from the lake provided a much-needed cooling.

While there we took a stroll along the shore where I — very unsuccessfully — tried to catch some frogs and nearly fell in the water jumping between rocks along the water.

I heard the conference center had beautiful trails and scenic roads to do some simple hiking, so following our walk along the water we set out to find a place to explore.

We decided to check out Winnebago Trail, which is a short, mile-long route that follows the shoreline.

I grew up in the countryside, surrounded by dense forests and always within a short distance of a hiking trail.

As such, the outdoors always has been my favorite place to be; the fresh air, the chirping birds and the scent of whatever wildflower is in bloom creates a relaxing and comforting experience. And our short hike along Winnebago Trail did not disappoint.

The trail began with a slope under a stone bridge through a sun-soaked forest and eventually alongside the lake.

As much as I love being out in nature, nature also includes bugs. And having visited the conference center towards the end of May, the mosquitos were out in droves and a few definitely went up our noses.

But the bugs were my only complaint about the trip.

The short trail took us right up to the lake bluffs where we could look out onto the water and see pontoon boats drifting along the shore.

Dandelion puffs and honeysuckles littered the edges of the dirt path and spiderwebs bigger than our heads were glistening in the afternoon sunlight.

The conference center provided my friend and I a perfect little afternoon adventure through some beautiful scenery.

As we finished our loop of the trail, it ended at the Teen water tower, a concrete building on top of a hill overlooking the lake.

When Tnisha and I got to the tower, I immediately ran to the top to check out the view of the lake, but she stayed near the bottom due to her fear of heights.

It was probably a smart decision on her part, as the stairs were fairly narrow and wrap around the outside of the building which could definitely be frightening for anyone afraid of heights.

But the view from the top was worth the creepy flight of stairs because from the top you can see the whole lake.

Our trip to the conference center gave Tnisha and I the much-needed fresh air and relaxation following our college finals.

Now, knowing that there’s so much more to explore there, I’ll definitely be returning to the conference center to see the other hiking trails.

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