About the Outdoors at Appalachian

Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northwestern North Carolina, Appalachian State University has built a national reputation for providing outstanding academics.  Surrounded by the largest concentration of public lands in the East, Appalachian is also one of the top outdoor schools in the country.  The university is located in Boone, named one of "The Best Small Towns" in America by Outside Magazine and one of the Southeast's premier tourism and outdoor recreation destinations. The nearby Blue Ridge Parkway, Pisgah National Forest and world-class mountain biking, trout fishing, rock climbing and paddling opportunities provide unlimited outdoor adventure.

Appalachian State University has long been a leader in connecting students with the outdoors through lively, energetic and engaging opportunities both academic and extracurricular.  One out of every 20 jobs in the United States is related to Outdoor Recreation and Appalachian's undergraduate and graduate programs prepare students to enter these professions, while also encouraging students lifelong appreciation for the outdoors. 

Fast Facts:

  • "Location and the opportunities for outdoor activities" are the top reason students choose Appalachian.
  • An eclectic small town atmosphere.
  • Abundant recreational opportunities.
  • One of National Geographic's "Best Places to Live and Play."
  • Largest concentration of federal, state and local parklands in the East
  • Wonderful four-season climate
  • Grandfather Mountain – a U.N. international biosphere
  • Birthplace of southern skiing
  • Blue Ridge Parkway – America’s Scenic Highway and most visited attraction of the National Park Service
  • Top fly fishing destination in the Southeast
  • Both the Appalachian and Mountain-to-Sea Trails run through our backyard
  • Most diverse bird breeding ground in U.S.
  • Unparalleled natural and scenic beauty
  • World-class paddling
  • Endless variety of cycling activities
  • Headwaters of four rivers
  • A premier climbing destination in the Southeast