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Weekly Outings

The SOP offers a variety of weekday activities. Most are on the University's Domain (13,000 acres) that offers a 20-mile Perimeter Trail, rock climbing, bouldering, canoeing, caving, hiking, backpacking, many trails for mountain biking, and scenic country roads for cycling.

These trips are a great way for students to experience the wilderness, increase their outdoor skills, and gain first hand knowledge of what it takes to lead a trip.

The SOP owns all the gear required for these trips which helps keep costs low. Weekday trips are free. The cost for winter or spring break trips is $130 per person.

Rock Climbing and Bouldering

The Domain offers students climbing and bouldering opportunities on 15 miles of cliff line. Most climbing sites are a short walk or bike ride from central campus. Climbs range from 35 to 80 feet in height and include vertical slabs and classic steep south overhangs. More than 50 established routes are dominantly top rope climbs, but several sport routes and trad routes also exist. Grades range from 5.4 to 5.12 d.

Tons of bouldering is located right on campus and Sewanee has an indoor bouldering wall 60 feet long and 12 feet high. The Climbing Club web page has many pictures of local climbing spots.

Trips are offered for beginners, all women's groups, intermediate, and advanced.

Vertical and Horizontal Caving

Sewanee is located in the heart of the TAG region. TAG, (Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia) is known around the world for its incredible karst topography. Countless caving opportunities await the adventurous. This region has more caves than any where else in the US.

Vertical caving (pictured below) is offered for qualified SOP leaders. Neversink is a 162 foot deep sinkhole located about one hour from campus.

A student ascends out of Neversink while on a vertical caving trip.

Mountain & Road Cycling

The campus has 15 miles of single-track and there are 25 miles of secondary trails, all on campus. Plus St. Andrews (right next door to us) has a seven-mile loop of single-track. That's a total of 47 miles of trails available to student cyclists. Additionally, quiet country roads extend from Sewanee for any distance.

Students can enjoy access to mountain biking trails by riding from campus; for visitors the best place to park is Lake Cheston.

Sewanee students at a stop on the MS150.

The past eight years, Sewanee cyclists have raised money to help fight multiple sclerosis and met a personal challenge by riding 150 miles in 2 days. We train for eight weeks and have tons of fun going on 25-40 mile rides. The country roads arround Sewanee make for great road riding. On almost every ride we go 3 miles downhill, loop arround the valley, and then crank 3 miles back up to the Cumberland Plateau.

Canoeing & Kayaking

The campus has 13 lakes and a few afford opportunities for paddlers. The SOP and Canoe Club offer numerous trips to local rivers such as the Ocoee, Hiwassee, and the Nantahala. Students also run the Locust Fork and enjoy creek boating after a good rain. Week long paddling expeditions go out every Spring Break. The SOP has weekly kayak roll sessions.

A student surfs in a kayak on the Nantahala.  A student surfs in a kayak on the Nantahala.

Pictured above is a trip that students took to the Nantahala to do some great whitewater kayaking!

Hiking & Backpacking

Over 50 miles of trail on campus...what more could you want?