College is all about education, and while many lessons are taught within the classroom, real-world knowledge is always waiting outside of the lecture halls. If the outdoor and natural world is something high on your list of priorities when thinking about your secondary education, it would be worth considering what outdoor amenities your preferred colleges and universities might comprise. Be careful though, selecting to go to any of these college campuses for outdoor adventure means you’ll have a really high chance of missing a few classes.
Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina
Surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian State University has plenty of outdoor opportunities to distract students from their homework. White-water kayaking, rock climbing, and backpacking throughout the Appalachian landscape, these activities aren’t only found outside of the classroom at Appalachian State, they’re also part of the curriculum. The Outdoor Program at Appalachian State University provides gear rental, access to a 50-ft. climbing wall, and guided trips including the likes of Backpacking the Grayson Highlands, Intro to Rock Climbing at the Linville Gorge, and Canoeing the New River.
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
The landscape and scenery surrounding the campus of Colorado State University encompass why so many of your friends are moving to Colorado. Not only does this mountain-backdropped university lend quick access to the Colorado Front Range, but every season brings new outdoor opportunities to students at Colorado State University. Whether it’s white-water rafting the Cache la Poudre River in the summer or hitting the nearby slopes of El Dorado Ski Resort in the winter, Colorado State University can make it tough to stay in school. For some guided advice, Colorado State University’s Outdoor Program provides students with trips, tips, and a community to get involved with.
University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming
All students at the University of Wyoming are encouraged to find their “Wyoming”, and with such a dense concentration of wide-open Wyoming surroundings to explore, most students accomplish that within their freshman year. Right outside the backdoor of the dorms hundreds of miles of cross-country ski, mountain bike, and backpacking trails await every student. Plus there are loads of local rock climbing routes and roughly three million acres of the nearby Medicine Bow National Forest to explore. The University of Wyoming’s Outdoor Program helps things along with guided trips, gear rental, and a massive indoor climbing wall.
Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington
Set in the sometimes wet, but always beautiful Bellingham, Washington, Western Washington University acts as a gateway to the epitome of Pacific Northwest travel. Western Washington University has 180 acres of forest included into their campus, and with just a short drive or community carpool, visitors can access Seattle and the Puget Sound, the Mt. Baker Ski Area, and North Cascades National Park. Put it all together with the progressively friendly city of Bellingham and it’s easy to see why Western Washington University attracts students from across the world.
University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont
Located on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain, students at the University of Vermont get immediate access to all the water activities granted by this impressive lake body, as well as many other land-based activities to choose from. Backdropped by the laid-back and friendly town of Burlington, University of Vermont encourages their students to explore their surroundings through the University’s Outdoor Program, which includes guided trips, gear rentals, and the Outing Club to bind together the community.
Boise State University, Boise, Idaho
Often noted for its abundant outdoor and fly-fishing surroundings, Boise State University delivers on extracurricular adventure opportunities throughout the year. Flanked by the Rocky Mountains and the Great Basin deserts, with the Boise River flowing right through the middle of campus, whether you want to study the mechanics of rock climbing, rafting, mountain biking, or downhill skiing, Boise State University has the right classrooms for you. Through the Outdoor Program offered by Boise State University, students can opt for a Season Pass which gives them open access to one-weekend adventure, one day-trip adventure, and a free pass towards the local Bogus Basin Ski Resort.
Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
Not only reputable for their Ivy-League standards, but Cornell University also boasts one of the most beautiful campuses in the country, surrounded in with acres upon acres of Finger Lakes Region landscapes. Popular activities to do on and around the Cornell University campus include rock climbing, hiking, biking, and simply enjoying the afternoon outside. While Cornell comes with plenty of prerequisites to complete, no education would be fulfilled without spending ample time at the nearby Cayuga Lake where boating, fishing, and exploring are all mandatory Cornell experiences.