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ORAC Adventure Trips and Clinics


ORAC Adventure Trip and Clinic Schedule for Fall 2021

Note: All trips require attending a pre-trip meeting that takes place on the Tuesday before your trip goes out at 6:00pm in the Preston Center.

For questions regarding ORAC's accessability and commitment to Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity please visit our EEC and EID statement page!

* Please read Healthy on the Hill for the latest COVID updates. Signing up for trips acknowledges that you agree to all quaratine precautions. If you are unvaccinated and develop or are exposed to COVID-19 symptoms while on a trip, you will need to arrange for transportation home depending on the nature of the trip


Adventure Trips - Spring 2022

Vertical Escape: Indoor Rock Climbing

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Price: $25

We will be taking a group of students to climb and boulder at Vertical eXcape. No experience necessary. We will have a pretrip meeting the Tuesday before the trip. Your trip leaders will contact you with exact timing but expect to be there for 2-3 hours!

If this trip is full, please email us at orac@wku.edu and we can add you to the waitlist.

Register Here

Ice Skating at the Ford Ice Center

Saturday, January, 29, 2022

Price: $30

Join ORAC as we take you to the home of the Nashville Predators for a day on the ice! We will spend the afternoon skating in the famous hockey rink and learning the basics of ice skating.

No experience necessary. We will have a pretrip meeting the Tuesday before the trip. Your trip leaders will contact you with exact timing but expect to be there for 2-3 hours!

If this trip is full, please email us at orac@wku.edu and we can add you to the waitlist.

Register Here

 

Mammoth Cave: Frozen Niagara Tour

Saturday February 5, 2022

Price: $40

Did you know caves stay the same temperature all year round? It could be warmer underground than outside this time of year!  The naturally decorated Frozen Niagara section remains one of the most famous at Mammoth Cave and the world! 

No experience necessary. We will have a pretrip meeting the Tuesday before the trip. Your trip leaders will contact you with exact timing but expect to be there for 2-3 hours!

If this trip is full, please email us at orac@wku.edu and we can add you to the waitlist."

Register Here

Weekend Skiing at Paoli Peaks

Saturday-Sunday, February 12-13, 2022

Price: TBD

You asked and we listened, we're going skiing! Spend the weekend with ORAC at the world famous Paoli Peaks! Only a two hour drive from WKU, this accessible mountain is packed with great piste and opportunities to shred! We will be staying at a nearby hotel for Saturday night and spend the whole weekend skiing an snowboarding! Your fee covers transportation, lodging, and lift passes. Gear rentals are available at the resort.

Please read Healthy on the Hill for the latest COVID updates. Signing up for this trip acknowledges that you agree to quaratine  precautions. If you are unvaccinated are develop or are exposed to COVID-19 symptoms while on the trip, you will need to arrange for transportation home.

No experience necessary. We will have a pretrip meeting the Tuesday before the trip. Your trip leaders will contact you with exact timing but expect to be there for 2-3 hours!

If this trip is full, please email us at orac@wku.edu and we can add you to the waitlist.

Register Here

Spring Break: Paoli Peaks Skiing

Spring Break, March 13-19, 2022

Price: TBD

SPRING BREAK! The most legendary week in college history. Spend it skiing with ORAC! We will spend the week lodging right on the mountain only minutes from the peak, there isn't a better way to spend time off than hitting the slopes! Only a two hour drive from WKU, this accessible mountain is packed with great piste and opportunities to shred! We will be staying at a nearby hotel spend the whole week skiing and snowboarding! Your fee covers transportation, lodging, and lift passes. Gear rentals are available at the resort.

Paoli Peaks is an alpine ski resort located in Paoli Township, Orange County, near Paoli, Indiana. Paoli Peaks is for skiers, snowboarders, snowbladers, and tubers. Paoli Peaks is built on a natural hill at a 900 ft. elevation with a vertical drop of 300 ft. Currently, it has 17 runs and many chairlifts and tows.

Please read Healthy on the Hill for the latest COVID updates. Signing up for this trip acknowledges that you agree to quaratine  precautions. If you are unvaccinated are develop or are exposed to COVID-19 symptoms while on the trip, you will need to arrange for transportation home.

No experience necessary. We will have a pretrip meeting the Tuesday before the trip. Your trip leaders will contact you with exact timing but expect to be there for 2-3 hours!

If this trip is full, please email us at orac@wku.edu and we can add you to the waitlist.

Register Here

King's Bluff: Intro to Rock Climbing

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Price: $25

Join ORAC as we teach you the basics to climbing safely on the cliffs at King's Bluff. These climbs are for beginners and regular climbers alike. We will leave in the morning and arrive at the beautiful cliffs in Tennessee overlooking the Cumberland River! Pack a lunch and get ready to send some amazing routes with ORAC!

No experience necessary. We will have a pretrip meeting the Tuesday before the trip. Your trip leaders will contact you with exact timing but expect to be there for 2-3 hours!

If this trip is full, please email us at orac@wku.edu and we can add you to the waitlist.

Register Here

Mammoth Cave: Rails to Trails Bike Ride

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Price: $20

We will be riding the famous Mammoth Cave railway on bikes! We will start the day off with a short 5-8 mile ride along the scenic trail through Mammoth Cave National Park.

The Mammoth Cave Railroad was privately owned by entrepreneurs who also owned lodging along the way. Its railroad ties were put in place during the summer of 1886 and, by that fall, two- and three-car trains were barreling down the corridor. Mail was also carried by the train, and the Chaumont Post Office was included among the many stops during the short, 25-minute journey between Park City and the cave.

Trains continued on the line for more than 40 years before service finally ended, largely pushed out by the rise of the automobile. In 1936, the rails were removed, but one of the last engines, dubbed Hercules for its pulling power, can still be seen today just south of the visitor center for Mammoth Cave National Park. Formally a streetcar, Hercules was converted for use on the narrow-gauge railroad and is shown pulling a train car in the line's hallmark red color.

Today, the pathway provides a scenic, wooded experience, but note that its loose gravel surface is best tackled with mountain bikes or hiking boots. And, unlike most rail-trails, which are relatively flat, this trail has a few hills. Along the route, there are three well-marked areas where the climb is so steep that it's recommended that cyclists dismount and walk up the hill.

The southern end of the trail lies on the outskirts of Park City (known as Glasgow Junction in the railroad's heyday), where you can explore the old stone structure of a stagecoach stop at Bell's Tavern, built in the early 1800s.

No experience necessary. We will have a pretrip meeting the Tuesday before the trip. Your trip leaders will contact you with exact timing but expect to be there for 3-4 hours!

If this trip is full, please email us at orac@wku.edu and we can add you to the waitlist.

Register Here

Hilltopper Camping Weekend!

Saturday- Sunday, April 9-10, 2022

Price: $35

We're going to Tennessee to paddleboad, make s'mores, hike to the sunset, swim, and star gaze by a fire! Join us for a weekend of fun and camping! This is a great trip to bring friends and bond by a fire with new friends.

No experience necessary. We will have a pretrip meeting the Tuesday before the trip. Your trip leaders will contact you with exact timing.

If this trip is full, please email us at orac@wku.edu and we can add you to the waitlist.

Register Here

Full Moon Float at Shanty Hollow

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Price: $25

Our most popular trip is BACK! Join us as we float on Shanty Hollow Lake under the full moon and stars! Bring your friends, a constellation chart, and a warm jacket and be prepared to be STUNNED! This trip has been so popular in the past we have doubled capacity. If you find the trip is full and want a waitlist spot, check out below and check your email regularly, we will contact you if spots open up!

No experience necessary. We will have a pretrip meeting the Tuesday before the trip. Your trip leaders will contact you with exact timing but expect to be there for 2-3 hours!

If this trip is full, please email us at orac@wku.edu and we can add you to the waitlist.

Register Here

Adaptive Kayaking

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Price: $15

Partnering with BG Parks and Rec ORAC is now offering adaptive kayaking trips for students with disabilities! We will be putting in at Phil Moore park and spend the afternoon paddling on the water! 

Unfortunately ORAC does not have access to vans capable of transporting students with wheelchairs, however we are happy to connect you with any number of services that do if you are unable to provide your own transportation. Please email us for more details, we want you outside and will make it happen!

No experience necessary. We will have a pretrip meeting the Tuesday before the trip. Your trip leaders will contact you with exact timing but expect to be there for 2-3 hours!

If this trip is full, please email us at orac@wku.edu and we can add you to the waitlist.

Register Here

Rock at the Red Outdoor Conference

TBD

Price: TBD

Currently this trip is TBD! Check back soon for deets!

Rock at the Red is BACK for 2022 in the Red River Gorge! This conference is a national student outdoor conference complete with adventure trips, networking opportunities, leadership seminars, and more! This event is perfect for anyone wanting to learn more about working in the outdoor industry and make friends in the same area! Normally this event is only for staff, however ORAC is opening it up to students! In the past, RATR has been an amazing weekend of talks, food, friends, events, dancing, and learning. We could not be more excited to bring Hilltoppers to meet up to 50 other schools across the nation!


Skills Clinics - Spring 2022

Weekly Kayak Roll Clinic

Every Wednesday from 6pm-7pm

Price: FREE

This is a FREE weekly clinic for students to learn to flip a white water kayak while in the boat. This skill is transferable to white water and provides the introduction to begin white water kayaking! 

No experience necessary. Gear provided.

If this trip is full, please email us at orac@wku.edu for questions!

 

Register Here

Weekly Kayak Roll Clinic

Every Wednesday from 6pm-7pm

Price: FREE

This is a FREE weekly clinic for students to learn to flip a white water kayak while in the boat. This skill is transferable to white water and provides the introduction to begin white water kayaking! 

No experience necessary. Gear provided.

If this trip is full, please email us at orac@wku.edu for questions!

Register Here

You, Me, and Happy Little Trees: Arts and Crafts

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

5pm-6pm

Price: $5

Nature's beauty knows no bounds, and neither does outdoor education. Join ORAC as we craft nature into works of art. We will be in the Preston Center creating art out of sticks, leaves, uh... and creativity! In this clinic we will also discuss the cultural significance of indigenous art and it's relationship with our outdoor recreation! Join us!

Register Here

Giving Back: Outdoor Volunteering

Sunday, February 27th, 2022

Price: FREE

Join ORAC as we volunteer to clean and maintain WKU's outdoor classroom. While not a traditinoal trip, this experience allows you to give back to a community that constantly supports our programming. Without volunteer efforts, the outdoors would not be accessible or as welcoming. It is our duty as recreators to give back as often as we can. 

Register Here

Weekly Kayak Roll Clinic

Every Wednesday from 6pm-7pm

Price: FREE

This is a FREE weekly clinic for students to learn to flip a white water kayak while in the boat. This skill is transferable to white water and provides the introduction to begin white water kayaking! 

No experience necessary. Gear provided.

If this trip is full, please email us at orac@wku.edu for questions!

 

Register Here

Outdoor Movie Night: The Dawn Wall

Friday, March 4, 2022

6pm-9pm

Price: $5

Friday movie night with ORAC! Grab a marshmallow stick because it's time for s'mores! We will be viewing The Dawn wall on a projector, and weather permitting we will be outside on South Lawn bundled up with hot coco, s'mores, popcorn, and sleeping bags!

Upgrade your movie experience!

From IMDB: "In January, 2015, American rock climbers Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson captivated the world with their effort to climb The Dawn Wall, a seemingly impossible 3,000 foot rock face in Yosemite National Park, California.

The pair lived on the sheer vertical cliff for weeks, igniting a frenzy of global media attention.

But for Tommy Caldwell, The Dawn Wall was much more than just a climb. It was the culmination of a lifetime defined by overcoming obstacles. At the age of 22, the climbing prodigy was taken hostage by rebels in Kyrgyzstan. Shortly after, he lost his index finger in an accident, but resolved to come back stronger. When his marriage fell apart, he escaped the pain by fixating on the extraordinary goal of free climbing The Dawn Wall.

Blurring the line between dedication and obsession, Caldwell and his partner Jorgeson spend six years meticulously plotting and practicing their route. On the final attempt, with the world watching, Caldwell is faced with a moment of truth. Should he abandon his partner to fulfill his ultimate dream, or risk his own success for the sake of their friendship?"

Register Here

Weekly Kayak Roll Clinic

Every Wednesday from 6pm-7pm

Price: FREE

This is a FREE weekly clinic for students to learn to flip a white water kayak while in the boat. This skill is transferable to white water and provides the introduction to begin white water kayaking! 

No experience necessary. Gear provided.

If this trip is full, please email us at orac@wku.edu for questions!

 

Register Here


Follow These Recipes to Plan Your Own Adventure!

 

 

Greeter Falls Day Hike Loop

greeterfalls 

Drive time from Bowling Green: 2 hours 40 minutes

Length: 3.2 miles

Difficulty: Beginner

Things to Know: Greeter Falls Loop is a 3.2 mile hike in Altamont, Tennessee. This well traveled and well marked  loop features a gorgeous waterfall that you and your leashed pup can enjoy. Watch out for rocks and roots, sandals should be brought with if you want to get in the water but should not be primary footwear!  Bring your camera because this is deemed very instagramable! 

Gear you’ll need: Day pack, water, snacks, bathing suit if you plan on swimming, towel, water shoes, hiking shoes, camera, trekking poles, first aid

Gear you can get from ORAC: Trekking poles, backpack, and an eno (Day Hiker Package)

 

River to River trail: Garden of the Gods Wilderness Section

gardenofthegods

Drive time from Bowling Green: 2 hours 45 minutes

Length: 2.0 miles

Difficulty: Beginner

Things to know: This trail located in Shawnee National Forrest, IL. On this trail you will be brought to an amazing lookout. Bring your camera because this lookout is a prime place for fall colors. 

Gear you’ll need: Day pack, water, snacks, hiking shoes, camera, trekking poles, first aid

Gear you can get from ORAC: Trekking poles, backpack, and an eno (Day Hiker Package)

https://www.hikingproject.com/trail/7020573/river-to-river-trail-garden-of-the-gods-wilderness-section 

 

 

Lost River Cave

 lostriver

Drive Time from Bowling Green: 5-10 Minutes from WKU campus

Length: 1.3 miles

Difficulty: Beginner

Things to know: Pets allowed; Can be busy on weekends; Mostly flat; Moderate inclines.; Uneven terrain; Some rocks and roots; Free parking.

Gear you need: Backpack, water, trekking Poles, closed toed shoes, appropriate clothes, snacks, waste collection bags (if pets are on the trip).

Gear you can rent at ORAC: Backpack, trekking poles (Day Hiking Package)

 

 

Natural Bridge State Resort Park

 naturalbridge

Drive Time From Bowling Green:  3 Hours (1 hour time difference)

Length: 1.2 Miles out and back or sky lift.

Location: Slade, Kentucky. Daniel Boone National Forest

Difficulty: Beginner

Things to Know: This trail can be busy. Steep inclines but plenty of benches to rest at along the way. Thin walkway through chiseled out rock (could be slightly claustrophobic). Sky lift costs $10 for adults and $7 for kids. Free parking

Gear You’ll Need: Day bag, water, appropriate footwear and clothing, optional trekking poles, optional hammock

Gear You Can Rent From ORAC: Trekking poles, backpack, hammock and straps (Day Hiking Package)

Giant City State Park

granite city

Length: 1-multiple days

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate 

Drive Time: 3-3.5 hours 

Things to Know: With its breathtaking natural beauty and unlimited opportunities for outdoor recreation, a trip to Giant City State Park near Carbondale is sure to delight visitors of all ages. From camping and horseback riding to fishing and rappelling, it's an outdoor lover's paradise. Visitors will marvel at the many hiking trails. Especially popular is the Giant City Nature Trail, home of the "Giant City Streets" - huge bluffs of sandstone formed 12,000 years ago. Campsites are available for reservation and range from $8-20 per day, depending on site. Visitors can enjoy picturesque natural wonders along Giant City's hiking trails, and rock climbing/rappelling are permitted in two locations.

Gear You’ll Need: sunscreen, bug spray, water bottle, closed toed tennis shoes, backpack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, 2 burner stove, mess kit, ice cooler, hammock, headlamp, trekking poles, climbing rope, climbing shoes, climbing harness, crash pad, climbing helmet 

Gear You Can Rent From ORAC: backpack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, 2 burner stove, MSR cutlery set, MSR cooking set, ice cooler, hammock, headlamp, trekking poles, climbing shoes, crash pad, climbing helmet

Camping Package:  4 person tent, MSR cutlery set, MSR cooking set, 2 burner stove, 2 sleeping bags, 2 sleeping pads, Icemule cooler, Eno

Day Hike Package: trekking poles, Eno, backpack 

Basic Boulder Bundle: crash pad, climbing shoes, chalk bag 

Resources: https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/Parks/Pages/GiantCity.aspx  

Scenic Overlook Trail At Green River Lake State Park

green river

 

Length: 1 mile

Difficulty: Moderate

Drive Time: 1 hour 22 min (1 hour time difference)

Things To Know: This trail spurs off of the Marina Trail within the park, there are also other trails to explore!

Things You’ll Need: Day pack, snacks, hiking shoes, comfortable clothing, water.

Things You Can Rent From ORAC: Day hiking package

Resources: Trails

Berea Pinnacles Hiking Trails

berea pinnacles

Length: 1-2 miles

Difficulty: Varying Difficulty

Drive Time: 2.5 hours

Things To Know: The Pinnacles are located in Berea, Ky. There are several different trails ranging from beginner level to difficult.  This trail system has a West Pinnacle and an East Pinnacle and multiple other overlooks along the way. The entire area holds 6-8 miles of trails depending on how you hike them, trails range between .75 and 2 miles.

Things You’ll Need: Day pack, water, snacks, hiking shoes, camera, trekking poles, first aid

Things You Can Rent From ORAC: Trekking poles, backpack, and an eno (day hiking package)

Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest

berhein

Length: 1 day/ 0.50 - 2.0 miles

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate (depending on the trail you pick)

Drive time: 1 hour 32 minutes

Things to know: No fee to get in, but $5 donation is recommended per car. Bernheim is open from 7am to 7 pm, but the visitors center and cafe are both currently closed due to COVID-19. 

Gear you can rent from ORAC: Day hike package (eno, trekking poles, backpack)

Resources: Map of park and List of trails

Cummins Falls State Park

cummins

Length: 1 Day

Difficulty: Easy - Moderate

Drive time: 2 Hours

Things to know: Gorge Access Permits are required for anyone who wishes to enter the gorge or access the base of the waterfall. Pets are allowed! very busy on weekends, so try to go early on weekends, or during the week if possible; currently open from 8AM – 6PM; Plenty of spots to swim around the falls.

Gear you can rent from ORAC:Day hike package (eno, trekking poles, backpack), MSR cutlery set, MSR cooking set, 2 burner stove, Icemule cooler

Resources: Info Page- https://tnstateparks.com/parks/cummins-falls

 

 

 

Chimney Tops via Newfound Gap Backpacking Trip

chimneytops

Drive time from Bowling Green: 5 hours

Length: 10.5 miles

Difficulty: Intermediate 

Things to know: This hike is very popular so to avoid thru-hikers you should go May-June. To avoid the high season you should go in september. This hike is a fun way to experience the Tennessee and North Carolina side of the Park. The highest point of the Chimney Tops Trail is 4,484 feet above sea level. During this hike you will want to stay on the main trail that veers right into a creek valley on the northside of Sugarland Mountain. This part of the trail cuts through an inspiring old growth forest, but beware of tree roots so you don’t trip and fall. At the top, you’ll see one of the oldest yellow Buckeyes in the Park, and just beyond the Buckeye are two sharp switchbacks that take the hiker to the bottom of the Chimneys as they rise from Sugarland Mountain. The upper end of the trail narrows to a smaller trail called a manway. Narrowing, the trail continues on for quite a distance. At its steepest point, the manway becomes quite a climb–especially if ice has formed on the trail. The terrain can be rugged in places. So take caution. Otherwise, this hike is the perfect weekend adventure. 

Gear you’ll need: Backcountry permit, backpack, good hiking boots, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, tent, camp shoes, backcountry stove and pots, your favorite trail food, appropriate clothes for your season, camera, trekking poles. Bear canister 

Gear you can get from orac: backpack, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, tent, bear canister, backcountry stove, trekking poles, compass, head lamp (Backpacking Package)

https://www.gsmnp.com/chimney-tops/

 

Angel Falls Overlook to Grand Gap Loop Backpacking Trip

angelfalls

Drive time from Bowling Green: 3 hours 

Length: 12 mile round-trip lollipop loop

Difficulty: Intermediate 

Things to know: This loop located in Oneida, Tennessee's Big South Fork National Recreation Area is known for its stunning views. You will start your adventure at the Leatherwood Ford Trailhead parking area and follow the John Muir Trail. This will take you almost immediately crossing the Big South Fork River. Staying to the right following the John Muir Trail through the woods for about two miles you will come across  backcountry campsites before the trail crosses the Fall Branch via a bridge detour (be sure to follow the detour signs) and climbs steeply to the top of the plateau. At the junction you’ll want to continue to the right to get on to the Grand Gap Loop trail along the bluff edge. Once the Grand Gap Loop Trail meets the John Muir Trail, take a left to head south. At the southern junction with the Grand Gap Loop Trail, stay right to head back down the steep hill that leads to the river and follow the trail back along the river to your car.

Gear you’ll need: Backpack, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, tent, bear canister, backcountry stove, trekking poles, compass, head lamp, food, hiking boots, camp shoes, first aid

Gear you can get from ORAC: backpack, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, tent, bear canister, backcountry stove, trekking poles, compass, head lamp (Backpacking Package)

https://www.rei.com/blog/hike/top-tennessee-hikes 

Grayson Highlands State Park

grayson highlands

Length: 1 – multiple days, great weekend trip

Difficulty: Easy, moderate, hard hiking (depending on the trail you pick)

Drive time: ~ 6.5 hours

Things to know: Famous for wild ponies! The highest point in Virginia can be found here at Mt. Rogers (5,728 feet!). There is great bouldering for the climbers, and awesome views for hikers. Pets are welcome, and reservations for campgrounds, bunkhouses, or yurts can be made online or via phone. Parking/admission is ~$7, depending on the season. You can also find lots of rivers and lakes to swim in for a minimal fee.

Gear you can rent from ORAC: Camping Package: 4 person tent, MSR cutlery set, MSR cooking set, 2 burner stove, 2 sleeping bags, 2 sleeping pads, Icemule cooler, Eno

Basic Boulder Bundle: Climbing Shoes, Climbing Helmet, Crash Pad

Resources: Check out an example of a trip on AllTrails

 

 

 

 Cedar Lake

pomonabridgeDrive Time from Bowling Green: 4 hours

Length:  2-3 days

Location: Shawnee National Forest, Illinois

Difficulty: Moderate

Things to Know:  This camping location provides many different activities, perfect for everybody.  Here you can hike, motorized and non motorized boating, fishing, swimming and many other activities. Swimming is allowed at the public beach, located on the north end of the lake, administered by the city of Carbondale. Not far from the lake you can visit the Pomona Natural Bridge which has a ⅓ mile dirt and gravel path leading to a 90 foot naturally made arch or “bridge”. Not too far from Pomona Natural Bridge you can find the Little Grand Canyon trail, this 3 mile trail leads through scenic overlooks and over rocky creek beds. Perfect to go to in October or April because of season changes

Gear you’ll need: sunscreen, bug spray, water bottle, closed toed tennis shoes, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, 2 burner stove, mess kit, ice cooler, hammock, headlamp. Kayak, kayak paddles, canoe, canoe paddles, paddle board, paddle board paddles, PFD, 

Gear you can rent at ORAC: Camping Package, kayak, canoe, or paddle board package, 

Cedars of Lebanon 

cedarsoflebanon

Drive Time From Bowling Green:  1 hour and 30 minutes. (40 minutes from Nashville)

Length: Drive up/dump camping. Can stay for one night or up to two weeks.

Difficulty: Beginner

Things to know: All sites are drive-up and have water and electric hook-ups. There is a $5 reservation fee. Click here to make a reservation. 117 campsites can be found within Cedars of Lebanon State Park. Each site contains picnic tables, grills and RV hookups, as well as a comfortable bath house within each campground loop. This camp site is pet friendly. There is a dumping station for self-contained camping rigs. WiFi is available and firewood and ice are sold on site. There is a laundromat and camp store that are open year-round.  There is an Olympic-size pool that is open seasonally from Memorial Day to Labor Day with ample room for sunbathing and a vending and snack area. There is also a disc golf course.

Gear You’ll Need: sunscreen, bug spray, water bottle, food, closed toed tennis shoes, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, 2 burner stove, kitchen supplies, ice cooler, hammock, headlamp, swimsuit, disc golf disc

Gear You Can Rent From ORAC: Camping Package, optional Bocce Ball Beach Day Package or Gameday Cornhole Package, disc golf disc.

Resources: 

Park Map-

https://tnstateparks.com/assets/pdf/additional-content/park-maps/cedars-of-lebanon-trail-map.pdf

Park Brochure- 

https://tnstateparks.com/assets/pdf/additional-content/park-brochures/cedars-of-lebanon_brochure-2018.pdf

Firewood Policy-

https://tnstateparks.com/parks/campground/cedars-of-lebanon

 

 

Otter Creek Park Outdoor Recreation Area

ottercreek

 

Length: 2 days & 1 night

Difficulty: Easy

Drive time: 1 hour 52 minutes

Things to know: There is a $12 campsite fee (general admission fee is waived) - you have to make reservations beforehand as they are not accepting walk-ups right now. Water is available at all A/B sites and select D/E/F sites. You must check in before 6pm with a reservation, and check out by 12pm on the following day. There are restrooms and showers on site, as well as a dumping station for gray water.

Gear you can rent from ORAC: Camping Package: 4 person tent, MSR cutlery set, MSR cooking set, 2 burner stove, 2 sleeping bags, 2 sleeping pads, Icemule cooler, Eno

Resources: Map of Campground and Info Page 

 

Linville Gorge Wilderness: Marion, NC

linvillegorge

Length: Weekend / Multiple day trip

Difficulty: Easy, moderate, and hard depending on trail 

Drive time: about 6.5 hours

Things to know: Sometimes referred to as the "Grand Canyon of the East," it lies entirely within the Pisgah National Forest, which is about 60 miles outside of Asheville. Notable animals to be aware of found in the Gorge include bear, copperheads and timber rattlers. Camping is allowed inside the wilderness itself, but permits are required from May 1st through October 31st. Because this is a Federal Wilderness Area, hiking trails are not well marked or well maintained. Pets are allowed! Service is super spotty so bring a map.

Gear you can rent from ORAC: Camping Package: 4 person tent, MSR cutlery set, MSR cooking set, 2 burner stove, 2 sleeping bags, 2 sleeping pads, Icemule cooler, Eno

Mammoth Cave National Park

mammoth camping

Length: 1 – 2 days

Difficulty: easy-moderate depending on trail

Drive time: about 30 - 45 minutes

Things to know: Mammoth Cave Campground is $20 a night but make a reservation beforehand. check in at noon, checkout at 11 am, backcountry permit is free but have to get it at the visitors center, there is no entrance fee, water is available at the campground, you can tour the cave itself for some fees or you can hike around the numerous trails in the area. Make sure to check out their Camping Regulations before you visit.

Gear you can rent from ORAC: Camping Package: 4 person tent, MSR cutlery set, MSR cooking set, 2 burner stove, 2 sleeping bags, 2 sleeping pads, Icemule cooler, Eno

Day hike package: eno, trekking poles, backpack

Resources:

Map of park

https://www.nps.gov/maca/planyourvisit/maps.htm 

Hiking Trails (front and backcountry)

https://www.nps.gov/maca/planyourvisit/hiking.htm 

 

 

 

 

Red River Gorge: Beginning Boulder Climbing

emeraldcity

Drive Time From Bowling Green, Ky: 3 hours and 10 minutes (One hour time difference)

Difficulty: Beginner

Location: Red River Gorge: Emerald City

Getting There: From Slade, drive south on KY11, passing by Miguel's, for 4.8 miles to a grassy meadow area and pulloff parking area on the right (37.7508, -83.66375). From the parking, cross KY11 to find a trail leading uphill. Follow the trail up to a split at a large boulder. Hike left and up the hill for Emerald City and right along a bench to the bouldering area and Global Village. (Mountain Project)

Things to know: Miguels Restaurant is a great resource for directions, advice, pizza, and gear. Bouldering has risks and crash pads and a good spotter are essential to staying safe.

Routes:

  • Watto (SDS)-  V0

  • In the Middle-  V0+

  • Big Toe Arete-  V0+

  • The Fictitious Egg-  V0+

  • Black Magic Arete-  V0+

  • My Sexy Cranberry- V0+

  • Dangatang-  V2

Gear You'll Need: Crash pad, climbing shoes, snacks, backpack, water, first aid, guide book, camera

Gear You Can Rent From ORAC: Climbing Shoes,Chalk Bag, Crash Pad (Boulder Bundle)

Resources and map:

https://www.mountainproject.com/area/105868026/emerald-city

 

King’s Bluff Climbing

kings bluff climbing 

Drive time from Bowling Green: 1 hr 26min when you take US-79 S

Length: Day trip

Difficulty:  Beginner to expert 

Disclaimer: Climbing is a high risk sport and you are climbing at your own risk. We highly recommend  that each trip should have at least one experienced climber to ensure maximum safety. If you have any questions about lead climbing outside please visit us at the Preston Center.

Things to Know: Thanks to the Southeastern Climbers Coalition Kings Bluff  is open to climbers of all skill levels. In 2002 Clarksville, Tennessee donated this property to The climbers Coalition since then the climbing spot of  9.78 acres of limestone houses over 160 routes ranging from 5.3-5.13. These routes range from 30 to 8o feet in height and are sport climbing. Since it is limestone expect more crimps and power climbing. King’s Bluff is dog friendly so your furry friends are more than welcome to enjoy a day at the crag with you, but please no camping at King’s Bluff! Due to the nature of climbing and the inherent risk that comes with it, this day trip would be perfect for small groups! 

King’s Bluff’s entrance is located near several businesses and I know you’ll be excited to park and start climbing but PLEASE DO NOT PARK IN THE BUSINESS’S PARKING. Instead, continue through the gate with the handy-dandy code you get from:  https://www.seclimbers.org/project/kings-bluff/ (be sure to close it behind you) and park in the lot at the trailhead. While enjoying King’s Buff please only climb on established routes and do not top out! The Climbers Coalition has worked hard to maintain this great climbing spot so please follow Leave No Trace standards and report any illegal or questionable behavior to local police.  

Gear you’ll need: Climbing rope, climbing shoes, climbing harness, climbing helmet, at least 6 quick draws, 2 PAS's or anchor cleaning equipment, snacks, a belay device such as a GriGri or ATC, first aid, camera, approach shoes, appropriate clothing to the season. 

Gear you can get from ORAC: Climbing shoes and climbing helmet 

Resources: https://www.seclimbers.org/project/kings-bluff/ 

 

 

 

Green River through Mammoth Cave National Park- Canoe trip Dennison Ferry to Houchins Ferry

mammoth-canoeing

Drive time from Bowling Green: Dennison Ferry: 53 minutes; Houchins Ferry: 35 minutes 

Length: 20.0 miles

Difficulty: Beginner 

Things to know: At Green River, camping along the river is free as long as you have a permit! You can get this permit on site. Green river is one of the most bio diverse in the country. There are lots of wildlife species homed in the Green river. There are a reported number of 150 different kinds of fish and 70 species of mussels. On this 25 mile river there are plenty of sandbars, islands, and subsurface springs to enjoy while you float. Green river is on average 200 feet wide and 10 feet deep, although, there might be pools that are much deeper. 

For this trip CALL AND CONFIRM EVERYTHING WITH KENTUCKY FISH AND WILDLIFE OR MAMMOTH CAVE. You should be asking about water levels and if your put in/take out locations are open. Because you have a put in and take out location, you will need two vehicles. One vehicle should be parked at your take out then that driver can ride with you and the rest of the group to the put in location. 

Gear you’ll need: Canoe, personal flotation device (PFD), paddle, tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, head lamp, clothes that can get wet, water shoes, dry warm clothes for camp, camera, food, 

Gear you can get from ORAC: Canoe, PFD, paddle, tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, headlamp

https://www.kentuckytourism.com/4-kentucky-canoe-trails-that-make-for-great-overnight-paddling-trips 

https://www.nps.gov/maca/planyourvisit/canoeing-kayaking-and-boating.htm 

Indian-Celina Lake Recreation Area

indian celina

Length: 2-3 days

Difficulty: Easy

Drive Time: 2 hours

Things To Know: This area offers​ different opportunities for both overnight and day use, with two camping loops and two lakes that offer paddling,​ fishing and boating, and two​ trails for hiking. Day Use fees are required starting April 15 through October 31, at $5 a vehicle. Camping fees vary for each site and when you go, those rates can be found here

Things you’ll need: sunscreen, bug spray, water bottle, closed toed tennis shoes, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, 2 burner stove, mess kit, ice cooler, hammock. Kayak, kayak paddles, canoe, canoe paddles, PFD

Things You Can Rent From ORAC: Camping Package:  4 person tent, MSR cutlery set, MSR cooking set, 2 burner stove, 2 sleeping bags, 2 sleeping pads, Icemule cooler, Eno

Kayak Package: Kayak, paddles, PFD

Canoe Package: Canoe, paddles, PFD

 

 

Kayaking Through Parklands in Floyd’s Fork

floydsfork

Drive Time from Bowling Green: 1 hour and 45 minutes (1 hour time difference)

Length: 4.4 miles (can be extended)

Difficulty: Beginner 

Things to Know: Starting from this access point, you could make your trip anywhere between 2-20 miles long. Mostly flat water, but a couple areas with turbulent water. No whitewater. Call (502) 584-0350 or click on this link to check the flow of the water that day. Paddling access at North Beckley Paddling Access- 500 Beckley Creek Parkway. It is located near William F. Miles Lakes off Shelbyville Rd. This access has its own free parking and bike racks. 

Gear You’ll Need: Kayak, Kayak Paddles, PFD, Kayak Trailer (if you don’t have a way to transport), Dry Bag (optional), appropriate clothing and water shoes

Gear You Can Rent From ORAC: Kayak Package (Sit-on-top Kayak, Paddle, PFD), Kayak trailer, and Dry Bag

Resources: Paddling Access Information and Map of Paddling Routes- 

Canoeing or Kayaking in Harpeth River State Park

harpeth river 

Length: 1 day

Difficulty: Options for beginners and intermediate paddlers

Drive Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Things to Know: The Harpeth River contains canoe put-in and takeout points in close proximity, which enable a 7-mile float around a looping meander of the Harpeth in Tennessee’s Western Highland Rim. Canoe access areas are located at all sites (excluding archeological areas) providing beginner and advanced paddlers opportunities to float this beautiful class II river

Gear you can rent from ORAC: Canoe or Kayak package (includes canoe or kayak,  paddles, PFD)

 

Big Hollow at Mammoth Cave

mammothcavemtb

Length: 8.8 miles

Difficulty: Easy/Intermediate 

Drive Time: 30-60 minutes

Things To Know: The 8-mile Big Hollow Trail highlights the above-ground treasures of Mammoth Cave, winding through gorgeous rock outcroppings and stream crossings. The trail was designed for the entire family, with subtle grades, an open corridor and a few more challenging alternate lines for the adventurous. Adjacent to the new trail is the Maple Springs Campground.

A round trip ride including the Maple Springs Connector, North Loop, Connector Trail, and South Loop will be close to 12 miles.

Things You’ll Need: Mountain bikes, helmet, weather appropriate clothing, water, snacks, extra tube, bike pump

Things You Can Rent From ORAC: Mountain bikes, helmets

Resources:

Mountain Bike Project

Freeman Park Greenbelt Trail Mountain biking

greenbelt

Length: 5.6 miles

Difficulty:  Easy

Drive Time: Hour and 15-30 minutes

Things To Know: This 5.6 mile trail encircles Freeman Lake. Most of the trail is wide and some portions of it are paved greenway or park roads. With the exceptions of a few short, steep climbs, the trail is smooth and relatively flat

Things You’ll Need: Mountain bikes, helmets, Flat tire repair kit, bike pump, appropriate shoes and clothes, water, snacks.

Things You Can Rent From ORAC: Mountain Bike package (Mountain Bike, Bike Rack, Helmet, Pump, Flat Repair Kit)

Resources: https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/6297444/freeman-lake-greenbelt-trail

Low Hollow Mountain Biking in Weldon Peete Park

low hollow

Length: 2.8 miles

Difficulty: Beginner/Intermediate 

Drive Time: 10 minutes

Things To Know: The 2.8 mile loop is the first single track trail in the city of Bowling Green. Due to the popularity of the trail, there is now daily directional traffic.

Things You’ll Need: Mountain bikes, helmet, weather appropriate clothing, water, snacks, extra tube, bike pump

Things You Can Rent From ORAC: Mountain Bike Package (Mountain bikes, helmets, bike rack)

Resources:  http://kymba.org/bowlinggreen/kentucky-trails/cave-city-sal-hollow/

 

 

 


 

Recommendations

Getting Outside During Covid-19 

It's important to reduce potential accidents that would add to the stress of our first responders and medical professionals. As much as possible, stick to activities and areas that are within your routine and limits. Don't put yourself in a dangerous situation without taking proper risk managment precautions. 

Helpful Reads: 

Leave No Trace Recommendations for Getting Outside During Covid-19 

Unlikely Hikers (@unlikelyhikers) - Q & A for getting outside during Covid-19

Adventure

Plan your next adventure 

Use this worksheet to brainstorm your next adventure 

Trip Brainstorm  

Use this worksheet to finalize your adventure

Trip Planning Packet

Example

Check out the NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) blog for some awesome tips on planning your next adventure! 

 


 

 


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 Last Modified 11/5/21