Into the (Sachar) Woods
The Justice explores one of Brandeis' hidden gems, the Sachar Woods.
At first glance, Brandeis may seem like a concrete jungle. However, just beyond the main confines of campus is a green space accessible to the community. It doesn’t matter if you’re not an Environmental Studies major or active member of the Mountain Club — the Sachar Woods provide an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors regardless of experience level.
When trying to find Sachar Woods, you may end up more lost than you were before. A fail-safe way to locate the woods is to face the Spingold Theatre Center, then veer right past the funky, blue man statue. After walking past some low-lying, nondescript buildings, you’ll come to a slight fork in the road. It’s essential to take a left here, which will lead through the edge of the theater parking lot. You’ll see a large sign with the words “International Business School,” which is an important landmark to heed. Walk up the slope next to the sign, and you’ll eventually reach a roundabout. The main trailhead is tucked in a small corner marked by a street lamp and some pine trees. Use the corner of the lot like an arrow pointing to the path.
The main Sachar trail is one large loop that begins and ends at the International Business School. It’s the perfect length for someone looking for a gentle hike or meditative stroll through nature. The trail can be completed easily with just sneakers on, or even sandals if that’s the mood; no hiking boots or packs are required. There are a couple of other trails that branch off the main one, but most are shorter loops or go to various landmarks along the trail. To find maps of the area, simply search “Sachar Woods map” or look under the Environmental Studies program section of the Brandeis website.
One often-visited aspect of the Sachar woods are the fire pits. There are three total — an upper, middle and lower pit. Some are used more than others, and White Claws — not a native species to the area — can be found scattered among the ashes of fond fire pit memories and newspaper fire starters. If using the fire pits, practicing fire safety is imperative in order to prevent a campus-sized blaze. Always ensure that someone has water with them when building a fire (just in case).
Sachar Woods provide a sanctuary for those who seek solace or social experience in the outdoors. As the season begins to change, take an hour or so out of your day to explore Sachar, photosynthesize, stroll and enjoy the woods.
— Clarification: Brandeis University does not provide or sanction the fire pits in the Sachar woods. Starting fires in the woods is against Massachusetts law and poses a fire hazard.
— Correction: This article was updated to clarify that the fire pits are not provided for students by the University.