Activity Descriptions


Apple Orchard Falls                

Take a hike to Apple Orchard Falls in the Jefferson National Forest. A stream is always in sight along this hike that culminates in the outstanding 200-foot Apple Orchard Falls! 

Catawba Challenge - McAfee Knob & Tinker Cliffs                

One day. Twenty miles. Are you up for the challenge? Summit two of the best peaks and views in the Roanoke area: Tinker Cliffs and McAfee Knob! Trip intended for intermediate to advanced participants.

Dragon's Tooth

Dragon's Tooth is another popular Appalachian Trail hiking destination. Walk up the mountain, climb over rocks and boulders, and arrive at the peak to find the rock formation formally known as the Dragon's Tooth. Climb up the tooth to get an awesome view of the valley! All fitness levels welcome.

McAfee Knob

Take a long hike to the most photographed location on the Appalachian Trail! The top of McAfee's Knob rewards the hiker with a 270 degree view of the Roanoke Valley! This 8-mile out and back hike is one you can't miss. Intended for beginner to intermediate fitness levels as the hike is moderate.


Sawtooth Ridge Trail is a hidden gem in the Roanoke Valley. In this short and easy out-and-back ridge hike, you will arrive at two different overlooks and rock outcroppings with nice views of valley and mountains!

Stiles Falls

Stiles Falls is a gorgeous hike that is great for all skill levels. This quick but rewarding 4.1 mile hike will lead you to a beautiful 40-foot waterfall before returning to the trailhead.

St. Mary's Falls

For those looking for a relaxing getaway from campus, hike 4.4 miles round-trip on easy terrain to a beautiful waterfall with plenty of spots great for swimming.

Tinker's Cliff

Enjoy the trail less traveled on this challenging 8 mile round-trip hike. Experience the beautiful ecosystem of the Virginia Mountains with a hike that offers dazzling views throughout the entire hike. This hike is categorized as strenuous.

Paddle Sports

Claytor Lake

Claytor Lake is a 4500-acre, 21-mile long lake located in Southwest Virginia. Enjoy an afternoon paddling around the lake with other students in a beautiful mountain setting. All fitness level welcome, as our guides will provide you with the skills needed for a successful paddle! Outdoor Adventures will provide all equipment necessary.

Little Niagara

Take on this Class II float just minutes from downtown Roanoke on the Roanoke River! Our guides will lead you through this 4-mile run which begins at the put-in just in front of Niagara Dam on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Outdoor Adventures provides both whitewater kayaks and sit-on-top kayaks.

Whitewater Rafting on the Gauley River

Join our guides for a whitewater rafting excursion on the Gauley River in West Virginia! Students are encouraged to join the all-day trip along class III, IV, and V rapids in the wild and wonderful state. ACE Adventure will provide trained and experienced whitewater guides as well as a hot-grilled lunch by riverside.

Mountain Biking

Carvins Cove

Carvins Cove Natural Reserve is the second-largest municipally owned park in the United States! The park contains over 45 miles of trails in the 12,463 acre property. Spend the day mountain biking in the crisp fall air with our experienced guides!


Outdoor Rock Climbing at Pilot Mountain

Sick of climbing in the gym? Experience climbing as it was meant to be enjoyed – in the great outdoors. Skill progression, equipment selection, terminology, and potential risks are all introduced as foundational skills for climbing. Other skills include knot tying, use of belay devices, and basic risk management around the climbing site.  No climbing experience necessary!

Outdoor Bouldering at Mickey Mouse Boulder (McAfee Knob)   

Enjoy all the fun of climbing with none of the ropes. The difficulty level of bouldering problems at Mickey Mouse vary, so all levels are welcome. Participants will learn basic climbing strategies as well as proper spotting and falling techniques.

Indoor Rock Climbing at River Rock Climbing Gym                

Head over to the River Rock Climbing Gym, perfect for beginner and advanced climbers alike! Take on differing levels of routes on their 15-foot boulder wall or head to 30-foot climbing wall to top-rope or lead-climb! Roanoke College Outdoor Adventures will provide climbing shoes and harnesses.


Tawney's Cave

Learn fundamentals of cave access, ecology, equipment use, and potential dangers associated with caving. Climb, crawl, squeeze, and hike in the realms of Tawney’s Cave. Experience the wonder of wild caves where no other tour encounters!

Link's Cave

Learn fundamentals of cave access, ecology, equipment use, and potential dangers associated with caving. Climb, crawl, squeeze, and hike in the realms of Link’s Cave. Experience the wonder of wild caves where no other tour encounters!

Certification Courses

Wilderness First Aid Course

Are you interested in becoming certified in Wilderness First Aid? This two-day course meets the needs of trip leaders, camp staff, and outdoor enthusiasts alike. A WFA certification prepares you for the unexpected, allowing you to care for people when you are far from definitive medical care. The fast-paced format takes place in the classroom and outdoors, so come prepared for all weather conditions. Cost is $140/student, $170/staff, $200/public. Class will occur in the Colket Center.

Fall Break Trips

Red River Gorge: Rock Climbing & Hiking

October 11-17, 2019
Spend fall break at one of the best locations for rock climbing on the East Coast! Participants will spend their time learning outdoor rock climbing skills as well as best practices for hiking and camping. This trip is beginner friendly and appropriate for most levels of fitness. Participants will be front-country camping with access to running water and bathrooms. Trip price include all meals, equipment, applicable permits, camping fees, transportation, and instruction. There will be a mandatory pre-trip meeting prior to the trip. For more information, please email Patricia Lynn at

Backpack the Smokies

October 14-18, 2019
Experience the incredible ecological diversity of the Great Smoky Mountains with the power of your own two feet. Escape the monotony of everyday life to the remote paradise that is the backcountry. Learn about the plants, animals, terrain, and people that have shaped this land and made it the most visited park in the United States. No previous backpacking experience is required, but expect to hike between 5-9 miles each day on moderate terrain. Trip price include all meals, equipment, applicable permits, camping fees, transportation, and instruction. There will be a mandatory pre-trip meeting prior to the trip. For more information, please email Patricia Lynn at

Instructional Clinics

Backcountry Cooking

Learn how to cook meals in the backcountry that will make your friends think you’re a professional chef. We will teach participants recipes, nutritional needs dependent on activity, different types of stoves and fuel, and tips for creating a great menu for your next outdoor trip.

Bike Skills

Learn basic biking skills, tips, and tricks while also becoming more familiar with parts of the bike.

Outdoor Gear Care & Repair

Learn basic care procedures for outdoor gear as well as standard field repairs including, but not limited to tents, sleeping bags, and stoves.

Kayak Skills & Roll

Join us in the pool to learn different strokes for paddling a kayak and how to maneuver a kayak. For the roll portion of the clinic, learn how to flip a kayak upright after flipping upside down in the water. No prior kayaking experience required.

Everyday Knot Tying

This clinic's structure and content is based on needs of the participants. Learn useful knots that are practical for climbing as well as everyday use. Understand benefits and drawbacks of each type of knot learned.

Leave No Trace Ethics

Learn the set of principles that guide the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, a national organization that protects the outdoors by teaching and inspiring people to enjoy it responsibly. Leave No Trace offers relevant and accessible information for all people who spend time outside that can be implemented in every adventure.

Navigation & Orienteering

Learn basic navigation skills using a map and compass. Participants will become familiar with parts of the compass, how to read a topographic map, and how to shoot a bearing.

SUP Skills & Yoga

Join us in the pool to sharpen your stand-up paddleboard technique. Once confident on the craft, learn how to combine yoga sequences while balancing on the paddleboard.

Survival Skills

Learn various backcountry survival techniques including shelter building, fire building, basic navigation skills, and acquiring nutrition/hydration sources. Find out what everyday items could save your life on your next backcountry adventure when disaster strikes.

Special Events

Banff Film Festival World Tour

Love adventure? Love film? Love getting inspired by film to go on adventures? Join us for the Banff Film Festival World Tour viewing at the Jefferson Center in Roanoke on September 24. We will be providing transportation to and from the event with a guided discussion in the OA Center on September 25 at 7:00pm. Please meet in the OA Center on September 24 at 6:30pm if you would like to attend the viewing.

River Rock Climbing Lock-In

From the River Rock website: "Ever dreamed of having the entire facility to yourself? No lines, no waits? Just full of friends? You can climb, watch movies, and play games." Food will be provided at this event. Cost to students is $15/person.

Battleship Tournament

While in canoes, teams of 3-4 use buckets to launch water into their opponents canoe and sink the competition. Each team will choose one person to be a defender and the other three will be attackers. The defender may choose a provided shield or pitcher to utilize for the competition. Attackers are provided buckets, however teams may bring one Super Soaker water gun (new, in unopened package) to serve as one of their three buckets. Cost of entry is $8/team. Please contact Patricia Lynn to register your team.

Escape Room

Ready for a challenge? Crack codes and mysterious puzzles within the 30-minute window to escape from the OA Center. Sign up with friends (or by yourself) for a spot in one of the time slots. Cost is $2/person for this nerve-racking blast of an experience.