Mountain Day
Mountain Day

Mountain Day

Mountain Day

Mountain Day is an annual event organized by Berea College during every fall semester.  On Mountain Day, all classes are dismissed and the labor is cancelled, except for essential labor such as Food Service, Hospital, Boone Tavern, and Public Safety.  Mountain Day celebrates the nature and the environment surrounding us, especially exploring the Appalachian culture and the mountain people of the region.   Mountain Day celebration serves as an example of Berea’s mission to serve the Appalachian region and its people.

drumming on mountain day
mountain day
students dancing on mountain day

Historical Background

The first Mountain Day was held in 1875; yet, the event was first mentioned in the 1907 edition of the College Catalog as an ‘excursion.’  There are no records of the official ‘statement of purpose’ of the Mountain Day; however, it is believed that the nature of Mountain Day was to:

  • provide an opportunity for alumni to visit the campus and their former teachers and friends
  • to provide sanctioned social excursion for students
  • to enjoy the Fall color and other natural wonders in immediate vicinity
  • to provide a campus holiday free of classes and non-essential labor (in an e-mail to Shannon Wilson from John Cook)


Berea College usually celebrates Mountain Day on a Wednesday in October.  The celebration of Mountain Day involves hiking up the Indian Fort Mountain, which is located within the seven thousand acres of College’s forest territory.  Students are encouraged to hike up to the East Pinnacle before the sunrise, in order to greet the sunrise atop the mountain.  In recent years, it has been a tradition for several college organizations or clubs, such as the Berea College Choir and the Country Dancers to sing or perform dances respectively upon the rise of the Sun. Mountain Day activities and contests are organized and coordinated by the Department of Campus Activities or Campus Life.  Most of the Berea College’s dance, music and choir groups perform at the Mountain Day event.  Moreover, there are shuttle vans that transport students to the Indian Fort Mountain, running every half hour beginning eight in the morning until four in the afternoon.

Students get to enjoy many types of music, watch dance performances, and participate in activities sponsored by the college clubs and organizations. Hiking to the various Pinnacles is encouraged throughout the day.