Hiking, Backpacking, & Trail Running
Hiking is one of our most popular activities. Its friendly, fun, and low-commitment nature makes it ideal for adventurers of any experience level.
We are located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains: Shenandoah National Park, George Washington National Forest, and Thomas Jefferson National Forest are right in our backyard. The Shenandoahs are an ideal outdoor playground and feature hundreds of miles of trails for hikers, trail runners, and backpackers to explore. We are also close to the infamous ~2,200- mile Appalachian Trail, in case "long walks on the beach" won't suffice. Some of our popular backpacking destinations include Dolly Sodds, Mount. Rogers, and the Smoky Mountains.
The Club also holds skills workshops to complement these activities. Previous workshops have covered topics like packing tips, winter backpacking, stove use & repair, and cooking in the backcountry.
Our proximity to lots of great whitewater makes Charlottesville an ideal location for paddlers. Neighboring rivers include the New River and the James (ideal for some intermediate play) as well as the Rivanna for excellent tubing, canoeing, and beginner kayaking. Additionally, the Club heads out to The New River Gorge in West Virginia at least once a year to enjoy some paddling fun, camping, and camaraderie. The Gauley River there boasts some world-famous rafting for those looking for a challenge.
We have our own fleet of boats, tubes, SUPs, surfboards, and accessories for all of our members' water sport needs. We also regularly offer beginner skills clinics and relaxing paddleboarding trips to nearby lakes like Walnut Creek or Ragged Mountain Reservoir.
We offer both indoor and outdoor climbing and participate in different styles of climbing like bouldering, top rope, sport, and trad. Our closer excursions include trips to Richmond's Peak Experiences Climbing Gym, The Manchester Wall, and bouldering spots off the Blue Ridge Parkway. We also entertain ourselves with world-class sport climbing at the New & Red River Gorges, multi-pitch trad climbing at Seneca Rocks, and the archetypal sandstone crack climbing of Indian Creek on our annual pilgrimage to Moab, Utah.
The Club provides opportunities to learn vital climbing skills/techniques and provides members with all the gear needed to send their next climb.
Shred, shred, shred. All day long. The Club is full of avid biking enthusiasts. You'd think they learned to ride before they could walk, but in fact many started mountain biking only after joining Outdoor Club.
Afternoon rides at local spots like O-Hill, Preddy Creek, or the Rivanna Trail are popular places to start, but members also venture out for big-mountain backcountry rides, multi-day bikepacking epics, and intense downhill challenges.
Our fleet of high-end mountain bikes is maintaned by Club officers and is available for member use and trips.
So, in conclusion, Ride or Die.
Too cold to go play outside? Unheard of.
Get ready for some skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and of course, epic snowball fights. Charlottesville is conveniently located near two popular ski resorts, Wintergreen and Massanutten, and many members go skiing on a weekly basis during the snow season.
Additionally, every February, the Club leads a weekend-long camping extravaganza to Snowshoe Mountain, West Virginia. Members spend their day riding the slopes and come together at night around the fire for stories of the day's runs.
Well, we hope you're not claustrophobic.
Virginia, notably the Appalachian Mountains, and West Virginia are known world-wide for the sheer number of caves they hold. Popular local caves include Breathing Cave, Marshall's Cave, Trout and New Trout, and Aqua. While caving, members can try army-crawling, sliding around in "peanut butter" mud, and exploring rock features that have been forming for millions of years. Caves are also one of two places on the Earth where members can experience naturally-occuring total darkness.
Though service is not our Club's main focus, we believe that giving back is essential part of adventuring outside. Our Club members are active in helping out the Charlottesville community and working to keep the outdoors enjoyable for all. Past trips have included trail building and maintenance, trash and river clean-ups, and faciliating outdoor excursions for children with disabilities. We also engage in sustainabiity inaitives with other Green CIOs on Grounds and strive to educate members about the importance of taking care of nature's playground.
And so much more!
We do it all, and we do it outside. These are just a handful of the ways we like to spend our time. Additional activites from past trips have included: skydiving, hang-gliding, extreme ironing, flyfishing, enoing, stagazing, paddleboard yoga and whatever else calls these thrill-seekers to the wild.
Don't see your passion listed? Tell us! Become a Trip Leader and show us how YOU send it outside.