There are only so many things you can do during a global pandemic while staying both safe and sane, and one of them is going on a walk. If you happen to be on campus, then you have the absolute delight of having the Crum Woods right next door! I can’t believe how insanely late I am to the game. I’m a Junior and I’ve never fully taken advantage of having an entire forest right next to campus until now! While I was back home, my mom and I would try and go out walking once every day. It’s a great new habit I’ve adopted and I really wanted to keep it up when I went back to Swat and then it hit me. The IDEAL walking spot is right next to my dorm. There are so many things you can do while walking in the Crum Woods and these are just a few of my favorites.
- Feeling at Ease
The Crum Woods is so incredibly peaceful and truly serves as a wonderful escape from the hustle and bustle of Swarthmore life. We Swatties pride ourselves on our work ethic and our ambition, but sometimes we’re blinded by that and forget to treat ourselves and truly relax. A wonderful way to do that is to simply go on a walk in the Crum. There are so many different trails to explore and even though it’s chilly right now, the woods are so beautiful! The trees are lightly covered with snow, there are icicles hanging off various leaves and berries, and the air is cool and crisp. Going for a walk here truly allows my brain to be free of readings, problem sets, exams, papers, and all of that for just a little bit. Then when I come out on the other side, I feel refreshed and ready to take anything on!
- Great for Talking with Friends!
Given the limitations of this semester and my desire to be cautious, I’ve had to adjust my hanging-out habits. I would usually grab meals with friends, binge-watch a show together in a Kohlberg room, and go out together like to Media or Target. Now that going out isn’t an option I’ve been utilizing what’s been right in front of me the whole time! The Crum Woods is a great way to catch up with a friend while remaining safe. With the soft babbles of the river flowing nearby and the sun setting through the trees, the woods provide an ideal setting for a nice conversation. You can forget about classes for a bit and just talk or even walk in companionable silence. This has been a great way to hang out with my friends and get out of my dorm for a bit!
- Listening to Podcasts
If you know me, you know I LOVE podcasts. I discovered narrative podcasts like The Bright Sessions when I was a senior in high school and they’ve been a great comfort for me in college as well. I used to listen to an episode on my walk from ML to campus to help pass the time but now I don’t really do all that much walking around campus since everything is over zoom. Thus, I take advantage of the walking time I get in the Crum! I usually time my walks as two episodes of a podcast. I highly recommend popping in your favorite audio in general while walking. Whether that be podcasts, audiobooks, music, and etc. However, if you’re going for a walk in the evening when the sun is setting I do not recommend listening to anything spooky. I listened to a horror podcast called The Magnus Archives on an evening stroll and it was very atmospheric.
- Taking Pictures of all the Critters You See
There are so many squirrels in these woods. Do you think you’ve seen a lot of squirrels on campus? You haven’t seen ANYTHING until you’ve walked in the Crum. So far I’ve seen five squirrels, one deer, three birds, and one very fluffy dog. The owner was very apologetic about said fluffy dog jumping on me while on our own respective walks but it was all worth it because I got a wonderful picture of a pupper in my camera roll now. I hope once the spring rolls around I will get to see even more critters while on my walks.
- The Trees! The Plants!
I have never been much of an environmental science gal myself but I do LOVE a good mushroom. I’ve been delighted to see ivy wrapping around trees, bushes full of red berries, and of course, tree stumps overtaken by mushrooms. Even in all of the snowfall, there is still so much life in the Crum Woods. I can’t wait to see everything in bloom as well! Plus, once the snow melts I might just dabble in rock collecting.
Overall, I am so very happy to be able to go on so many walks in the Crum Woods. I enter feeling stressed or nervous and always come back feeling at ease and relaxed. This is a truly wonderful place that every single Swattie should take the time to explore.