MSU is a huge, beautiful campus with miles of walking/bike trails. (The main campus is approximately 3.2 km by 6.4 km, and there are about 46,000 students, and 18,000 faculty, admin and staff.)Take advantage of any nice weather to get outside and enjoy some nature. Walk through Sandford Natural Area or Baker Woodlot for a taste of Michigan forests. Always watch for traffic, including bikes which sometimes don’t pay attention to pedestrians. Walking maps
MSU has numerous bike trails that also extend into Lansing and East Lansing. Make sure you follow bike safety rules and watch for cars who might not see you. During the orientation, there is an MSU bike sale where you can get a bike REALLY cheap and then donate it back at the end of the year.
The local bus system is called CATA and it operates both on MSU and in the Lansing and East Lansing areas. The following website will be able to help direct you to schedules, times and route maps: http://www.cata.org/ System maps will be distributed as soon as they arrive. The routes you will use most are number 1 and 24.
(more info coming soon)
Amtrak is the best (and in many cases the only) passenger train service in the US. Catching a train to Chicago is very easy, relatively inexpensive, and enjoyable. Our train service does not extend everywhere you might go, but it is good to check first.
The Michigan Flyer is a bus service that goes from the Marriott Hotel in East Lansing to Ann Arbor and the Detroit Airport. It is cheap and easy, even for just a trip to Ann Arbor.
Although we discourage it, if you obtain the appropriate driver’s license here, and follow all traffic laws, it is legal to rent a car for local/regional trips. However, read the following carefully.
Driving on snow and ice
Driving in the snow and/or ice is always a bit dangerous. It becomes VERY dangerous if you have never driven on it before. The car acts completely differently on snow and ice. We strongly recommend that if you haven’t done it, please don’t do it. Take a train, bus or plane instead. If you decide to drive, and it begins to snow the biggest key is to SLOW DOWN much more than you think you need to and leave much more space between you the next car! You cannot stop quickly in the snow. In fact all reactions (changing lanes, turning, etc.) need more time. If it starts with freezing rain or ice, pull off the road at the nearest shelter and wait. There’s almost no control on ice. Some people push through and try to keep driving in dangerous conditions, but it’s better to be late to where you going than injured or worse in a car crash. MI is used to a lot of snow, and they will plow the roads and salt them to try to keep them ice free, but it depends on how bad the storm is. We also have regular road condition updates on the radio, TV and online.