Outdoor Life

Appalachian is surrounded by 2.2 million acres of national forests and parks begging to be explored.  You can find world class mountain biking, kayaking, and climbing a short distance from campus. Miles and miles of trails wind through some of the most ecologically diverse forests in the world spread across ancient mountains.   A lifetime of adventure starts at Appalachian.

OP Climber

 Outdoor Programs

Outdoor Programs is Appalachian’s adventure resource for students, faculty and staff. Trips, clinics, workshops and trainings occur most evenings and almost every weekend with extended trips and expeditions offered during semester breaks and the summer.  From three-hour team building experiences to 55-day international expeditions, state-of-the-art indoor climbing center to rental gear, OP has something for everyone.

SOLE StudentsStudent Outdoor Learning Expeditions

Immerse yourself in active educational adventures of discovery through our International SOLE trips. Travel through regions of countries that are seldom visited, remote and exceptionally beautiful.  Learn valuable skills in leadership, perseverance, group dynamics, teamwork, responsibility, wilderness ethics and global perspectives.  Be immersed in rugged environments that bring you closer to the landscapes and the rich cultures we explore.

Blue Ridge Parkway Corps LogoBlue Ridge Parkway Corps

The Blue Ridge Parkway Corps is a partnership between Appalachian and the National Park Service, established to provide a volunteer presence along the trails of Blue Ridge Parkway corridor. The intent of this presence is to educate visitors on how they can best preserve and protect the unique and sensitive environment in the Rough Ridge area and encourage responsible use. Parkway Corps volunteers also engage in outreach to educate the public about the Parkway and its preservation and in projects to improve the trails along the Parkway. 

First Ascent StudentsFirst Ascent

First Ascent is Appalachian's Wilderness Orientation Program for incoming first-year students offered by Outdoor Programs. Start your college experience by making friendships that will last a lifetime as you travel, camp, and laugh together through the rugged landscapes of the North Carolina High Country.


Broadstone CampersBroadstone

Broadstone is a year round outdoor adventure and environmental education center located a few miles of campus in Valle Crucis, NC. The Camp serves groups from a variety of economic, social, racial, and intellectual backgrounds. Appalachian students have the opportunity to work with Camp Broadstone in a variety of roles and with different populations throughout the year. 

ASU TrailcrewAppalachian Trailcrew

Appalachian Trailcrew was founded as a service club in 2005 by five students who wanted to give back to their community and the wilderness areas and trails of the Southern Appalachians. To date, Trailcrew has given thousands of hours of student labor to the Appalachian Trail and the foundations of the first trail built at Elk Knob state park – Watauga County’s first State Park. 

Outdoor Res Life ActivityOutdoor Residential Learning Communities

If you are interested in developing and refining outdoor leadership skills, exploring career opportunities within the outdoor recreation profession and want to be part of an interactive and fun-filled community, this is the place for you! No previous experience required... only a desire to participate, learn and grow.  The ORLC blends living and learning to offer a unique first-year experience for outdoor minded students.  You will start your year by participating in specially designed sessions of First Ascent, Appalachian’s Wilderness Orientation Program.  

Appalachian has nearly 300 clubs and organizations that offer extensive activities outside the classroom.  There is something for everyone including the outdoor enthusiast: Cycling Team; Skiing Team; Climbing Team; Snowboarding Team; Geographical and Geological Societies; Appalachian State Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway; Outdoor Programs Media and Marketing; and much more. In addition, the University Recreation Club Sports Program is designed to meet the competitive athletic desires of students, faculty, and staff.