Three Mile Routes

The Zodiac Tradition Route

The Four Seasons Sculpture Route

Cy's Route


The Zodiac Tradition Three Mile Route

Step on the zodiac and you’ll flunk your next exam! This superstition isn’t just for students – no one walks across the zodiac for fear of the curse. If you do accidentally walk across the zodiac, simply toss a coin into the Four Seasons Fountain and you are free of retribution! This route takes you by the entrance of the Memorial Union where you can find both the zodiac and the fountain of this myth. Good luck, and don’t step on the zodiac! For more information about the Zodiac Tradition, click here.

The Zodiac Tradition Map PDF


The Four Seasons Sculpture Three Mile Route

The fountain in front of the Memorial Union is a good start or end point for this three-mile route. There are four female figures placed in the fountain, each representing a different cardinal direction and season. East is Spring, planting corn; South is Summer, sheltering a young corn plant; West is Fall, holding the harvest; North is Winter, nursing a child. No matter which direction you decide to go you will see more beautiful art, like this sculpture, all over campus. For more information on the Four Seasons Sculpture, click here.

The Four Seasons Sculpture Map PDF


Cy’s Three Mile Route

Why are we the Cyclones? When our football team was still very new, we beat Northwestern 36-0. During the game, the closest Northwestern got to Iowa State’s goal line was the 15-yard line. A sports writer reporting on the game in the Chicago Tribune said that Northwestern “might as well have tried to play football with an Iowa cyclone.” The football team was such a success that year and the name stuck so the Iowa State Cyclones were formed. So why is Cy a cardinal? Well, legend has it, the cardinal was chosen for the school’s mascot because it was deemed too difficult to “stuff a cyclone,” and so Cy the Cardinal was born in 1954. This winding twisting route takes you to both ends of campus – and there’s a good chance you’ll see our beloved mascot out and about on this route. For more information about Cy Iowa States Mascot, click here.

Cy's Three Mile Route Map PDF