Like many Swatties, I happen to enjoy taking long walks in the Crum Woods, meditating in the Crum Woods, and avoiding my responsibilities in the Crum Woods. Throughout my nearly four years at this school, surrounded by the beautiful arboreal glades, where the sound of nature is interrupted only by the I-476, I have learned to appreciate these woods and the tranquility and opportunities for recreation they provide in contrast to the bustling metropolis that is the Ville.
As a senior soon to leave this campus, I wanted to share some of my favorite sites in the Woods so that all future Swatties can enjoy the Crum to its fullest. As such, I will be ranking ten cool places in the Crum from the most to least known. Even if you consider yourself a Crumaniac or a little Crumster, I hope everyone can learn something from this list.
1. Crumhenge: coming in at the most well-known is Crumhenge. Located just next to the SEPTA bridge and home to bonfires and parties, what many people don’t know is that Crumhenge was actually built by Neolithic people of the Tumuli Culture between 3200 and 2500 BP from Welsh bluestone. So have fun with your friends making smores and appreciate the summer solstice at this UNESCO World Heritage site.
2. Alligator Rock: this tall precipice has great views of the Crum Valley and is also a close walking distance from Danawell. Although it is fairly well known, it can be difficult to access due to the presence of the namesake crocodilians. Remember to bring sturdy hiking shoes and treat these gentle creatures with respect.
3. Rhododendron Grove: this beautiful spot in the Crum has dozens of flowery rhododendrons around a nice bench and is a good place to relax or bring a date. I once came here with a friend, who remarked on the interesting smell of these flowers – which actually turned out to be a cloud of weed combined with a half-eaten chipmunk. So maybe don’t go on a date here, actually (unless you’re into that).
4. The Waterfalls: Swarthmore has its own waterfall located just south of Mary Lyons. In the warmer months, you can even see people swimming near the top or relaxing by the side of this beautiful landmark. While the falls are not tall enough to have a homoerotic fight with your intellectual rival played by Andrew Scott, resulting in your apparent death from falling, they are loud enough to make you want to pee.
5. The Ruins: the remains of the Italianate garden torn down to expand the I-476 are just on the other side of the Crum from Crumhenge. You can take aesthetic Instagram pictures here or go inside the colonnade for a chance to fight the Chaos Witch Quelaag, who drops the Core of an Iron Golem when she is killed. She only appears at night and can be defeated with sufficient mana.
6. The compost farm: located just on the other side of the river, this farm is where Swarthmore places its compost waste, allowing our Sharples pasta bar to become dirt. Come here to enjoy the wondrous smells and the dozens of lawnmowers and recreate your childhood experience of being forced to go to Home Depot and waiting on the sit-down lawnmowers, wondering if your parents forgot you. Does not come with free paint swatches.
7. The tree next to where my friend Jan lost her virginity: sometimes a place can be important because of the events that took place there. In 2018, my friend Jan [name changed] lost her virginity here to a guy from Drexel who talked about assembly language while they were having sex, and then he cried afterwards. This tree is a magnolia located right next to the rhododendron grove. Go and see if you can pick up the distinct psychic energies that emanate from this experience. If you can, please DM Jan and let her know.
8. Pickleball court: there’s a pickleball court just north of the water tower in the Woods! For those who don’t know, pickleball is like tennis but played with fermented products in lieu of tennis balls. Come here to throw containers of kimchi and sauerkraut at each other on a court. I did this once and, for reasons unbeknownst to me, am now banned for life. Maybe they just hate Swatties?
10. The Fairy circle: come here under cover of night and bring a knife, an iron nail, and two sprigs of rosemary. They will come, and They will invite you to dance. You cannot say no. If you eat Their food, They will not let you leave. You will not want to leave. You cannot leave. Still, beats midterms.
And with that, you have a panoramic tour of some of the best sites this school’s very own woods have to offer. So go and enjoy the upcoming spring and remember: if you don’t like the Crum Woods, there’s always the Crumb Café.