Home » Trip Schedule » Camping


Our camping and hiking trips are great for those who want to get outside and camp without having to carry all the equipment on their back. We will “car camp” or camp with the van in close proximity, usually with picnic tables, fire rings, and restrooms of some sort. Our trips are designed for a group of 10-15 people, and require no previous experience. Each trip is led by Outdoor Rec. Trip Coordinators who are experienced in camping and hiking. Group equipment, such as tents, stoves, cooking gear, is included in the trip price. The hiking part of the trip is simply a day hike.

Upcoming Trips

SEPT. 26-27  (Friday – Saturday)
Ocoee River, TN
Cost: $112

Sign-up by: Friday, Sept. 12

>Bring $60 cash, check, credit card or Vanderbilt Card to the ORC to register.

Pre-Trip Meeting: Tuesday, 9/23 at 6:00 pm

Whitewater rafting on the Ocoee River is packed with fun and excitement on back-to-back rapids!  After camping out on Friday, we will be guided down the mighty Middle Ocoee in rafts of 5-6 paddlers each.  No experience is necessary.  We’ll eat lunch and have a chance to shower before heading back.  Tip for your guide is included.  Estimated trip duration:  6 pm Fri. – 7 pm Sat.


OCT. 16-19 Thursday – Sunday)
Great Smoky Mountain National Park, TN
Cost: $112

Sign-up by: Friday, Oct. 3
>Bring $56 cash, check, credit card or Vanderbilt Card to the ORC to register.

Pre-Trip Meeting: Wednesday, 10/8 at 5:00 pm

It’s a relatively long drive, but this park is worth it!  Plan on backpacking 5-7 miles-a-day of up, down, and around the beautiful, colorful, Smoky Mountains.  Specific trails have not yet been determined, but plan on car-camping Thursday night and then backpacking Friday – early Sunday.  Hiking boots are advised.  Estimated trip duration:  9:30 am Thurs. – 6 pm Sun.

OCT. 16-19  (Thurs. – Sun.)
Green River, Mammoth Cave National Park, KY
Cost:  $140
Sign-up by:  Friday, Oct. 3
>Bring $60 cash, check, credit card or Vanderbilt Card to the ORC to register.

Pre-Trip Meeting:  Thursday, Oct. 9 at 5:00 pm

Although this National Park is known for its caves, it actually has a great river for canoe-camping.  The Green River is a fairly deep river with beautiful tree covered hills surrounding it.  We plan on going on a cave tour and car camping, before beginning an 18.5 mile, 3-day, 2-night canoe-camping trip. Highlights will include the fall colors and checking out a few small caves along the way.  We also plan to camp on islands each night.  Beginners are welcome.  Estimated trip duration:  8 am Thurs. – 5 pm Sun.


OCT. 24-25 (Fri. – Sat.)
Standing Stone State Park, TN
Cost:  $45

Sign-up by: Friday, Oct. 10
> Bring $17 cash, check, credit card or Vanderbilt Card to the ORC to register

Pre-Trip Meeting:  Tuesday, 10/21 at 6:00 pm

We will camp Friday night, and then spend part of Saturday hiking the 5-mile Bryan’s Fork Lake Trail.  The trail, rated “moderate”, follows the lake at times, and also goes up a ridge to a nice overlook.  The fall colors could be pretty spectacular!   We can also drive to Burgess Falls State Park on the way back to VU and see 3 impressive waterfalls in just 1.5 miles of hiking.  Estimated trip duration: 6 pm Fri – 7 pm Sat.

NOV. 1-2  (Saturday – Sunday)
Savage Gulf, South Cumberland State Park, TN
Cost: $49

Sign-up by: Friday, Oct. 24
>Bring $20 cash, check, credit card or Vanderbilt Card to the ORC to register.

Pre-Trip Meeting: Tuesday, 10/28 at 6:00 pm

Savage Gulf is a great place to go backpacking.  Specific trails are yet to be determined, but the rewards are similar no matter which way you hike:  waterfalls and panoramic overlooks!  Expect to hike 5 – 9 miles a day on moderately difficult trails.  This trip is designed for the experienced backpacker or the ambitious beginner.  The trails are rocky (and challenging) in places, and easy in other places.  Overall, the reward is well worth the effort.  Estimated trip duration:  7 am Sat. – 6 pm Sun.



Trip Information

Most trips are designed for a small group of people (10-12), and many of the trips require no previous experience. The fee for each trip covers the activity, transportation, in-camp food, camping fees, and group equipment. For more information, look for flyers around campus or stop by the Outdoor Recreation Center (at 2600 Children’s Way and behind the new Vanderbilt Recreation and Wellness Center) during rental hours. This is also where trip sign-up takes place. Trips are open to all VU students, faculty, staff, and VRWC members. Alcohol is not permitted on any trip.