Bard College at Simon's Rock: the Early College
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Live on the Wild Side

Whether you are glancing at migratory birds on your way to class or snowboarding down a mountain, you’ll have every opportunity to enjoy the natural environment and the 275-acre campus.

The Simon’s Rock experience extends well beyond the walls of a classroom. Science classes use the campus for field research, and creative writing classes use it as an inspirational setting for freewrites. Student activities explore the campus and region. And any time you have a few minutes (or several hours) of free time, you can take a stroll to see wildlife or a scenic view.

Cool Sightings: A Year of Natural History at Simon’s Rock 


White oak

Natural History of Simon’s Rock

Located in an area with as rich a natural history as the Berkshires, the Simon’s Rock campus contains various vestiges from its natural past. Behind the Liebowitz Center for International Studiesis a white oak which is older than both the school and the US. Simon’s Rock, the college’s boulder namesake, as well as many of the other rocks on campus were brought here on glaciers thousands of years ago. As a student you’ll have many opportunities to experience the natural history of the campus.


Outdoor Activities

Explore lakes, ponds, streams, forested land, plains, hills, and valleys. Learn about Simon’s Rock’s rich history and its living present. You can hike, ski, swim, rock climb, and so much more. There is no shortage of ways to engage with Simon’s Rock’s wild side.

Don’t fret if you feel like the great outdoors aren’t for you, either. Simon’s Rock has opportunities for you to see and experience nature’s finest without having to go far from civilization: there are several areas on campus where students enjoy the less rugged outdoors and can read a book, get some work done, or just relax. It’s all up to you.

Painted Turtle

Whether you prefer to hike through open wilderness or read a book by the lake, Simon’s Rock has a lot to offer you.

Ski Butternut

Outdoor Activities

Simon’s Rock is near several ski facilities, hiking trails, and natural areas. Learn more about outdoor activities in the Berkshires.

Photo compliments of Ski Butternut, Great Barrington, MA

Student Sitting

Enjoy the Surroundings

There are many scenic nooks and open spaces where students work, relax, and socialize.

Outdoor Destinations

Interpretive Trail
Walk the campus trail with interpretive signage that explains the ecosystems around you. Image by Peter Tiso
Community Garden
Students and faculty grow crops. The garden and greenhouseis incorporated into the coursework for environmental studies and biology. Even if you don’t work on it, you’re likely to enjoy some of the harvest.

Elizabeth Hall on Simon's Rock

Founder Elizabeth Hall standing on Simon’s Rock. Notice the chimney — it’s a vestige of a cabin that used to be there.

Reflection Pool

The Reflection Pool is situated between the Daniel Art Center and Kellogg Music Center.

Lower Pond

Lower Pond is home to a number of local species including: painted turtles, bullfrogs, beavers, kingfishers, snapping turtles, a great blue heron, and various seasonal birds and fish.

Peace Grove

Come Spring, the Peace Grove is filled with tiny goslings waddling about under the protection of their parents.

Outdoor classroom area

Professors sometimes teach class outside and there are several work areas across campus.

Reflection area by Upper Pond

Adjacent to the Lecture Center, this area is popular among students looking to relax in the shade or stare out at the pond.

Forested area

Our 275-acre campus is filled with forested areas waiting to be explored.

Sugar Shack

The Sugar Shack is used to make maple syrup in ENVS110M1 Sweet History: The Science and Story of Maple Sugaring.

Explore the campus and see for yourself.