The Raymond B. Preston Health and Activities Center, Hattie L. Preston Intramural
Sports Complex, and the WKU Challenge Course will be closed until further notice.
Please read our COVID-19 response page for the latest information about our programs, services, and facilities.
Hike miles below the tree line discovering multiple plunging waterfalls along with many pristine creeks. Take a break at Tranquility point to take in the panoramic views of exposed granitic rock domes, 300 ft cliffs among the tree-covered broad valleys. Travel deep into this spectacular part of the Nantahala National Forest to the “Yosemite of the East” – Panthertown Valley. Join ORAC as we lace up our hiking boots to trek over 20 miles of this stunning forest covered in rhododendron.
ORAC will provide you with backpacking equipment, transportation, maps, guides, and fun! Each night we will set up camp at a new location next to roaring waterfalls, or creek fed meadows. Bring a friend or a family member and we’ll bring the turkey on this 5 day trek over Thanksgiving break. Make new friends, and memories this Thanksgiving to always be thankful for many years to come!
Tentative Trip Itinerary
Wednesday, November 21st:
Depart from the Preston Center after classes
Drive to Panthertown, NC
Strap on your backpack and hike!
Find your first campsite for the night
Cozy up in your tent for the night & Look forward to turkey
Thursday, November 22nd:
Wake up & eat breakfast
Find a new way to organize your backpack thinking you’re making it lighter
Get stuck on some rhododendron
Wonder why your hips are hurting
Find a beautiful campsite next to a creek to soak your feet in
Fall asleep from exhaustion
Friday, November 23rd:
Wake up to birds singing & enjoy your breakfast
Add extra padding to your hip belts
Hike up a hill and contemplate your decision to go on this trip