"Living Big in Small Town Decorah"
A note from Aaron Schmaltz '12, Inside Giving intern
One of the earliest memories I have of Luther College is going on a bike tour of Decorah. This was one of the many opportunities offered to incoming freshman in order to become more familiar with college life. On our trip, a few other students and I were able to behold such landmarks as The Whippy Dip, Dunning's Spring, and the Trout Run Trail. After living in a place like Chicago for most of my life, I was truly humbled by the experience.
Community has always been important to me. I never cared much for the anonymity of large cities, and Decorah presented me with the safe, holistic and friendly atmosphere I had been looking for. The downtown area itself is mild, but full of life. And while there isn't a city for miles and miles, I feel far from isolated.
The beautiful Trout Run Trail provides a good eight miles of daily exercise and enjoyment. (I insisted on bringing my bike to school for precisely this purpose.) Hiking trails in Dunning's Spring and Pulpit Rock make for an amazing afternoon as well.
During warmer weather, my friends and I gather for a homework-free treat: we head down to the Whippy Dip and Sugar Bowl, often stopping at both. On weekends, tubing and canoeing along the Upper Iowa River give us stunning views of the bluffs.
And of course, I always revel in visiting local Decorah shops. The Co-op, Rubaiyat Restaurant, Mabe's, ArtHaus, and others are constantly welcoming and inspiring.
It’s no wonder that Decorah is named one of the best small-town-getaways in the Midwest. I feel like my college years wouldn’t be quite the same without these Decorah memories.
They say that your college years are supposed to be some of the best of your life. The Decorah community is like a call to action: it encourages active participation, meeting new people, and savoring the little pleasures that are often overlooked. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
VIDEO: "Hey There, Decorah"Check out a few Luther students' take on life at Luther and in Decorah, and glimpse a few of your favorite places.