UB Secrets: A number of hidden locations throughout North Campus


Famed scholar and academic Spongebob Squarepants once declared the best part of secrets is “secretly telling someone your secret, thereby secretly adding another secret to their secret collection of secrets, secretly.”

While The Spectrum is not a secret, fans and supporters of secret culture will not-so secretly hope these secrets are never seen. Last semester, Copy Chief Dan McKeon wrote about “the secret bathroom” on North Campus. We stand by our stories, here, and believe all students deserve to know what’s happening on their campus.

We compiled a few secrets for our readers –– which will no longer be secrets upon publication.

The Tunnel

O’Brian Hall and Park Hall

North Campus’ premier echo chamber is a hidden gem among most students. The location is heavily concealed, but if you head to the bottom floor of Baldy Hall, students must pass through a set of doors.

Once you head down a small hallway, take a left and enter through another set of doors.

The tunnel is now yours to own.

Scream, sing, whistle or clap. Take pictures or talk to the walls too. Whatever your heart desires, this tunnel accepts it with open arms (despite the fact tunnels don’t have arms to even open).

Although the tunnel is creepy to visit alone at night, this secret location is best at night with your pals.

The Freight Elevator

Fronczak Hall

This supersized elevator is a blast to use. The elevator, located on the west side of Fronczak Hall, features a giant unraveling gate that opens up with a loud clunk.

Sure, it’s an elevator designated for maintenance staff, but students are known to jump inside and ride this baby like a mechanical bull. Willy Wonka’s glass elevator has nothing on this, as students can fly up and down from their physics classes to the economics department offices.

As a bonus, students can check out the various entertaining gadgets located throughout Fronczak Hall on their trips between floors. Elevators are otherwise frustrating to be inside, especially the slow one in Norton Hall, so make the most of it and max out your experience.

The Grove

Rensch Road

Cute critters, groundhogs and more pop up daily amongst this small mess of land at the corner of Rensch Road and the John James Audubon Parkway.

The grove is named after Claude E. Puffer, former UB acting chancellor who served from 1955 to 1957. Not much about the grove’s history is online, except for a post on MyUBPersonals.com that referenced an August 2013 “sex party” at the honorary grounds.

Despite naughty allegations about the property’s past use, the natural layout is somewhat hidden from the public highway and is definitely serene. If you’re looking for a place to hang with friends or study, this spot is relatively unused by students. Give the grove a chance, but if you’re stopping by at night, be on the lookout for rogue skunks.

The Eastern Ridge

Lake LaSalle

Distract yourselves for a moment from the picturesque views at Baird Point, and turn 180 degrees to the other side of Lake LaSalle.

The eastern part of the lake, located between Millersport Highway and South Lake Village, is a hike full of nature’s treasures. Go to the eastwardly most apartment in South Lake Village and keep walking onward.

From there, students will spot a soccer field. Close to the lake is a tree with a box, where students place notes inside. Students can dig inside and take out a letter, a religious pamphlet or sometimes, the spiderweb of their choice. Whatever the case, your walk can continue northward to the Ellicott Creek Bike Path or to the west.

If you’re a fan of ducks, be sure to take a gander at the lake’s colorful flocks. The grass sometimes goes unmowed on the hiking path, so definitely check for ticks on your way back if you run into high patches.

The Island

Ellicott Complex

If you live in Wilkeson Quadrangle, or you’re familiar with the smell of cheap marijuana, Kanazawa Island is no secret. But for a number of students walking by, the island’s busted up park benches and trash-filled grounds are a sight to behold.

Named after Buffalo’s sister city of Kanazawa, Japan, the island has absolutely nothing but chairs on it. If you are in the mood for lounging on the island, simply try one of the four-legged devices typically covered in geese droppings.

The Spectrumarchives mention a number of encounters with student smokers on the island, so I’m sure UPD fully understands the land’s alternative purpose. If you’re looking to make these grounds look nice again during the day, be sure to pick up a piece of litter or two.

Benjamin Blanchet is the senior features editor and can be reached at benjamin.blanchet@ubspectrum.com and @BenjaminUBSpec.


Benjamin Blanchet is the senior engagement editor for The Spectrum. His words have been seen in The Buffalo News (Gusto) and The Sun newspapers of Western New York. Loves cryptoquip and double-doubles.