Outdoor Recreation

In an effort to give back to the environment and the community, the VU Outdoor Recreation Program sponsors several trips each semester that are service-oriented. The trips are free and they even include a free lunch. What we are looking for in return are people who don-€™t mind doing a bit of work in the great outdoors.

OCT. 13   (Sat)
HELP A PARK @ Beaman Park, Nashville, TN
FREE!   / Sign-up by:   Mon, Oct. 8   /   Pre-Trip Meeting:   Tue, Oct. 9 at 5 PM

Located in the northwest corner of Nashville, Beaman Park opened to the public in 2005 as Nature Park.   This time we will work at the location of an old barn, built in the 1940-€™s.   We will clean out some trash, plant some trees, and eradicate some invasive species near the barn.     Experienced park volunteers will assist us, lend tools and expertise.   We will work near the barn in the morning, take a lunch break, and then go for a hike, if the group desires.   Tools, gloves, lunch, and transportation are all provided.   Come give a hand!     Estimated trip duration:   8 AM to 3 PM.

OCT. 14   (Sun)
RIVER CLEAN-UP: via CANOEING @ Harpeth River, TN
FREE!    /    Sign-up by:   Mon, Oct. 8    /    Pre-Trip Meeting:   Tue, Oct. 9 at 6 PM

We have cleaned this river before, so maybe it will show! This will be a 5 mile canoe trip, except the emphasis will be on picking up the trash from the Harpeth River. Equipment, transportation, clean-up supplies, and lunch are provided. Beginners are welcome. (Note: This trip is during the VU Family Weekend.) Estimated trip duration: 8 AM -€“ 5 PM.

OCT. 20   (Sat)
(Beginner -€“ Advanced) BOULDERING @ Stone Fort (Little Rock City), TN
Cost: $41    /  Sign-up by:   Fri, Oct. 12    /  Pre-Trip Meeting:   Tue, Oct. 16 at 5 PM

Join the VU Outdoor Rec climbers for a day of ego-bruising, stone crushing, and awesomeness as we descend upon one of the east coast-€™s most renowned boulder fields, Stone Fort. This field is home to the many notable boulder problems that could keep the most seasoned climbers busy for year. We will spend the day testing the limits of our strength as well as our skin!   Space is limited to 8 people, so don-€™t delay!!! Climbing shoe rental is $5.50 extra. Estimated trip duration: 7 AM to 9 PM.

OCT. 20   (Sat)
KAYAK TOURING @  Cordell Hull Lake, TN
Cost: $36    /  Sign-up by:   Fri, Oct. 12    /  Pre-Trip Meeting:   Tues, Oct. 16 at 6 PM

Kayak touring is easy to learn and fun. We will spend part of the day paddling around the scenic Cordell Hull Lake, located a little over an hour away. With any luck we-€™ll see some pretty fall colors along the wooded shorelines. Beginners are welcome. All paddling equipment is provided. Estimated trip duration:   8 AM -€“ 5 PM.

OCT. 21   (Sun)
HORSEBACK RIDING @ JuRo Ranch, Mt. Juliet, TN
Cost: $52    /    Sign-up by:   Fri, Oct. 12    /    Pre-Trip Meeting:   Wed, Oct. 17 at 5 PM

Located less than an hour away, the JuRo Stables will provide us with a 1.5 hour horseback ride. We will ride on wooded trails, across creeks, and to Percy Priest Lake. Check out their horses at After the ride, we will have a picnic lunch at a nearby park before returning to VU. The price includes a tip for the guide. Estimated trip duration:   9 AM -€“ 2 PM.


DEC. 16 – 22, 2012     (Sun. -€“ Sat.)
Cost: $1,121    /  Sign-up by:   Fri, Oct 12     /    Pre-Trip Meeting:  Mon, Nov. 5 at 5:30 PM

Join us for our 17th annual semester break ski/snowboard trip! The price includes air (RT: Nashville to Denver) and bus transportation to our condo, 6 nights lodging, and a 4 of 5 day lift ticket to Steamboat Springs, Ski Town USA, with 165 named trails and 16 lifts. The base elevation is 6,900 feet, with 9,080 feet at mid-mountain and 10,568-€™ on top of Mt. Werner.     A shuttle runs from our condo to the resort, but it is also within walking distance. We will be staying in the Lodge Condominiums, located 200 yards from the slopes. These large condos have the usual, plus free wifi and laundry facilities on the premises. There is also an indoor hot tub, two outdoor hot tubs, and an outdoor heated swimming pool. The rate we are paying is for -€œfull occupancy-€, which means two people are assigned per bed. If you want a bed to yourself or if a group wants to secure a unit all to themselves, there will be an additional $300 fee for every spot less than 6. We will have more ski trip info on the web, including the -€œMeet us in Denver-€ and -€œMeet us in Steamboat-€ price. Check out our site at

DEC. 16 – 22, 2012     (Sun. -€“ Sat.)
CLIMBING and CAMPING @ Red Rocks Canyon, Las Vegas, NV
Cost: $535 + your RT airfare to Las Vegas   /   Sign-up by:   Fri, Oct 19 /   Pre-Trip Meeting:   Wed, Oct. 24 at 5 PM

Climbers come from the world over to enjoy the multitude of routes in the magical Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.   Literally thousands of routes adorn the striking sandstone cliffs of this Canyon.   With routes ranging from single pitch sport to 15 pitch sport and trad big walls, you will surely find something that strikes your fancy.   The setting is unsurpassed and the weather is always warm, making this a fantastic winter climbing destination.   The park is located just a few miles west of Las Vegas, where we will fly in to.   Come join us as we explore the cliffs, canyons, and towering walls of this world class climbing destination.   Climbing experience is required and participants should be able to comfortably climb 5.9 faces and cracks.   This is not a beginner trip!!!    *** Note:   This trip is limited to 6 participants, so don-€™t delay . . .***


OCT. 26 – 28 (Fri. – Sun.)
CAMPING & HIKING @Great Smoky Mountain National Park, TN
Cost: $83    /   Sign-up by:   Fri, Oct. 19    /    Pre-Trip Meeting:   Tue, Oct. 23 at 6 PM

Join us in camping for 2 nights at the Cosby Campground in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Saturday, we will hike 10.4 moderately difficult miles, up to Low Gap and to the Mount Cammerer Lookout Tower to check out the views of the beautiful, colorful Smokies.   Sunday-€™s 5 mile easy hike will be along the scenic Big Creek. Camping in the fall in the Smokies…it should be a great weekend. Bring money for meals on the road. Estimated trip duration: 3 PM Fri -€“ 7 PM Sun.

OCT. 27   (Sat)
( Beginner -€“ Advanced)     CLIMBING @ Kings Bluff, TN
Cost: $22    /   Sign-up by:   Fri, Oct. 19    /    Pre-Trip Meeting:   Tue, Oct. 23 at 5 PM

Wall climbers, it-€™s time to try the -€œreal thing-€! Kings Bluff is a great location for you to experience the fundamentals of rock climbing with our knowledgeable staff. Some climbing experience is preferred, so try the wall first! Shoe rental = $5.50 extra. Estimated trip duration:   9 AM -€“ 5 PM.


To sign up for a trip, come to the Outdoor Recreation Center (ORC), located on 2600 Children’s Way, kind of behind the Student  Rec. Center, and pay a deposit or the full amount of the trip.     The ORC accepts cash, check, and the Vanderbilt Commodore Card.   For more info on trips, workshops, and equipment rentals, check out the web at


Outdoor Recreation Hours:
Mon and Fri 12 noon – 6 p.m.
Tue, Wed, and Thu 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.