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The Beauty of Hamilton

December 7, 2012   

Hamilton College is situated on 1,350 acres of land. And let me tell you, very little of that comprises the “campus.” Most of Hamilton’s land is vastly undeveloped, leaving a whole world of nature to be explored at one’s leisure. I’ve been here for three semesters, and yet there is so much of the surrounding area that I have yet to explore.

Immediately next to campus, we have three glens: Root Glen, Kirkland Glen and Rogers Glen. Root and Kirkland are both on the southern edge of campus and meld into one large glen; Rogers, however, is the best-kept secret on the Hill. Unless you’re fortunate enough to live in Rogers Estate as an upperclassman, or, like me, you’re taken to the glen by someone who knows of its existence, you can go all four years at Hamilton without realizing there’s a third glen. Unlike the other two glens, Rogers Glen has no planned paths, making it slightly more treacherous — and a million times more beautiful.

Root Glen is the official “walking trail” on campus, with red shale paths and bridges built over the creek, leading to the Glen House and the gardens. The steep hills make it less desirable as a running trail, but great for taking a leisurely stroll through the trees. Kirkland Glen, however, connects to Root Glen with a series of deer trails and dirt paths, leading off away from the edge of campus. It’s not uncommon to see people (or the entire cross-country team) running through Kirkland Glen in the spring and early fall. Kirkland Glen also melts away into undeveloped woods, also owned by the college, making it very easy to get lost in until you stumble out into somebody’s backyard, no longer on school grounds. (True story: Getting lost in the woods is a really great excuse to put off reading assignments.)

And even the surrounding areas that aren’t college property are stunning. Clinton is a charming village (especially right now with all the holiday lights and snow-covered yards), and the drive between Clinton and Hamilton (where Colgate is – confusing, I know) is so picturesque, it’s almost unreasonable. So while sometimes I miss the adventure and variety of living in a city, I wouldn’t trade an education in the quiet vivacity of central New York for anything.