Department of Forestry
Clint Patterson, Forestry

Department of Forestry

Department of Forestry

Nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, the Berea College Forest is among the oldest privately managed forests in the United States.

In 1897, Silas Mason, the first College Forester, purchased the original tracts of land for the Forest with help from a generous benefactor, Miss Sarah Fay. Although much of the purchased land had been exhausted by overuse, Mason imagined a restored, healthy forest that would give Berea College clean water, timber for carpentry, and rest and recreation, while teaching both students and the surrounding community about forestry.

The Forest Today

Acres of forestland in Madison, Jackson, and Rockcastle Counties

Miles of hiking trails visited over 100,000 times a year

1 billion
Gallons of drinking water produced from reservoirs on the Forest

The conservation challenges and opportunities we face today have changed since 1897, but the original vision for the Berea College Forest remains compelling: Forestry that tends to the spiritual, intellectual, material, and ecological needs of a local community can become a model of stewardship that reaches beyond the borders of the Forest.

Contact Us

Berea College | 2047 Big Hill Rd. | Berea, KY 40403 | Email