While the graduation walk is the most anticipated walk for current students, BYU’s south campus offers a much more scenic walk for everyone, whether prospective students or returning alumni.
Open year round, a half-mile stream and trail run along the southern and southwestern parts of campus. Lining the stream and trail are lawns, picnic tables, benches, and light posts, which create a beautiful locus amoenus distant from the hustle and bustle of the main campus. Five waterfalls invite visitors to exchange the ambient noise of the surrounding city for the tranquil sound of flowing water, while large rocks and mature trees enclosing the area complete the sense of escape.
Roy Peterman, director of BYU Grounds, described in a press release how the stream and trail “will give members of the BYU community a place to experience some peaceful moments and an area ideal for ‘getting away from it all’ for a few minutes.”
The university’s physical facilities division and grounds crews began renovations to south campus in 2009 with the installation of an underground storm drainage system. The drainage system utilized the streambed left behind from the Upper East Union Canal—a canal dating back to the late 1800s. In February 2010 the university focused renovation efforts on the stream and its adjacent trail, and in April 2011 crewmembers turned on the water, marking the first time in decades that water from the Provo River had flown through the stream.
The stream and trail run from the Joseph F. Smith Fieldhouse west of campus to the new Life Science Building.