SOP - 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 outdoors, 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. Weekly trips are free. The cost for winter or spring break trips is ~$150 per person, depending on the trip.
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 southern overhangs. More than 50 established routes are dominantly top rope climbs, but many sport and trad routes also exist. Grades range from 5.4 to 5.12d.
Tons of bouldering is located right on campus and Sewanee has an indoor bouldering wall 60 feet long and 12 feet high located in the Fowler Center. The climbing webpage has many pictures of local climbing spots as well as off-campus trips. Trips are offered for all ability levels.
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 anywhere 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.
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.
For the past eight years, Sewanee cyclists have raised money to help fight multiple sclerosis and have met a personal challenge by riding 150 miles over 2 days. We train for eight weeks and have tons of fun going on 25-40 mile rides. The country roads around Sewanee make for great road riding. On almost every ride we go 3 miles downhill, loop around the valley, and then crank 3 miles back up the Cumberland Plateau.
Canoeing & Kayaking
The campus has 13 lakes and a few afford opportunities for paddlers. The SOP offers 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 to the lower canyons stretch of the Rio Grande. The SOP also hosts weekly kayak roll sessions for beginners and experienced boaters.
Pictured below is a trip that students took to the Tellico to do some great creeking!
Hiking, Backpacking, & Trail Running
The SOP offers many hiking and trail running opportunities throughout the year, including the Sewanee Roots & Rocks Run (13.1 and 20-miler) for students each April. With over 50 miles of trails on campus, what more could you want?