Running Wild With Jen Mathiesen: The Lands at Hillside Farms


Senior healthcare management major Jen Mathiesen poses with a calf at The Lands at Hillside Farms.

Jen Mathiesen, Web Editor

All I have heard in my three years here is, “There is nothing to do around here,” or “Why did I ever go to a school surrounded by cemeteries?” I have heard these comments in many variations and from many people, so I would just nod my head and agree. But the truth is, all you need to do is open your eyes and ears to what is around you. There may not necessarily be everything you want to do around here, but there are definitely a multitude of places to explore.

As I start my final year, I believe that it is crucial to clear up the notion that there is nothing to do here, because the Back Mountain area, and other communities around it, undeniably have destinations to enjoy.

The Lands at Hillside Farms, located at 65 Hillside Road in Shavertown, is roughly five miles away from school. Driving to Hillside should only take about ten minutes, but if you hit all red lights on 309 as I tend to do, it may take a few extra minutes.

According to, The Lands at Hillside Farms is a 19th century, 412 acre nonprofit educational dairy farm. Formed in 2005, Hillside continues to serve as a “living classroom” that welcomes thousands of people each year.

Why is this place one of my favorites?

Ice Cream: Did I mention that Hillside makes its own ice cream from its own cows? That explains why this ice cream does not compare to anything that you can buy in a grocery store. It is totally worth the trip. The menu is large and offers a lot of different flavors, toppings, and sundaes to choose from. Prices are also more than affordable for college students such as ourselves. For example, a small ice cream cone costs $2.45.

Milk: Hillside also sells its own milk and fresh dairy products from (you guessed it) the cows at Hillside Farms. Every single time I go home, I stop at Hillside to buy milk that my family and I swear by. You will never have a richer chocolate milk than that from Hillside. It is delicious, and you can take my word for it!

Farm Animals: It’s a given that Hillside has cows, but it also has numerous other critters that you can visit. You can walk around the grounds to visit with alpacas, goats, sheep, horses, and more. You can also stop at the dairy barn to see some of Hillside’s cows.

Local: Hillside also sells locally produced foods. These include products such as honey, baked goods, soups and breads. When you walk into Hillside, you can see that workers endorse community farmers and merchants. This is because Hillside Farms supports the notion of “farm to plate.” Their goal is to educate the public about where their food comes from and give consumers the opportunity to purchase local products. Hillside Farms also has a large selection of plants and flowers for purchase in their greenhouse retail and garden center.

With that said, what would be better than going just down the road for some delicious ice cream that could help you keep chugging along on that ten page paper or prevent you from going crazy about that anatomy practical you have at the end of the week?

A trip to Hillside Farms is not only a potential study break or treat, but it’s a place to go to forget about school for a while, a place to step out of your hectic schedule and get back into a simpler way of living.

So, go out and get some ice cream or some milk! (I personally recommend the chocolate marshmallow flavor and, of course, the chocolate milk!) Walk around The Lands at Hillside Farms, visit the farm animals and remember: The semester has just begun.

You have plenty of time to adventure because there are many things to do around here!