by Laura Drepanos '19
One of the special perks of attending a boarding school like St. Mark’s is that we get to experience New England in the Fall. Before the temperatures drop and the outdoors become unbearable, make sure to get out and experience some fresh air and fall foliage.
Walk for at most 30 minutes, jog, or drive to the Chestnut Hill Farm and preservation lands. The 131 acres include fruits and vegetables that are being grown, sunflowers, cows and other animals, picnic tables, and walking trails. While the produce from the farmstand is only available for purchase on Tuesday through Friday from 2:00 PM- 6:00 PM and on Saturdays from 9:00 AM- 2:00 PM, there is plenty to do there at any time in the week. The beautiful open land makes for great photographs, especially as more leaves in the surrounding trees begin to change color. There are several different options for walking trails, including a very brief one that passes through the area where the cows are grazing. The land is all open and free to use, and you can expect that there will not be many other people there, allowing the experience to be very peaceful and connected to nature. This is the best time of year to visit Chestnut Hill Farm, so do not let the opportunity to visit it pass! To get there, take a right on Main Street leaving St. Mark’s campus and continue straight for just over a mile before taking a right onto Chestnut Hill Road. There are trail maps and guides located on the land near the road to help you navigate the trails if you need.
Find a friend and walk to Red Barn Coffee. The walking distance is the equivalent of that of Starbucks without having to cross the highway. To get to Red Barn, you go to Middle Road (the street that Fay School is on) and continue walking down past the reservoir. In addition to being able to see all of the trees that have changed color around the reservoir, you can enjoy a nice breakfast, lunch, or coffee drink at the café. The café offers many great fall drinks, including arguably the best chai tea lattes, and great foods like salads, muffins, and breakfast paninis. The café has a very cozy feel and it is an opportunity to support a small business without spending too much.
Don’t feel like straying too far from St. Mark’s? Explore the trails on West Campus. Make the best of a nice fall day by simply wandering on West Campus! Few St. Markers are aware of the incredible trails that we have on our own campus beyond Killer Hill. This experience is a great way to kill a Sunday while you are procrastinating your homework, and it is one of the lesser known perks of living on West in addition to the exciting athletic events. On your walk, you may learn more about the history of our old sister school by discovering some of the Southborough School trails, or run into one of the fantastic new faculty dogs taking a walk as well!