By Park Greer

Have you ever been mountain biking, skiing or trail running? Have you ever wanted to camp out under the stars after a long day of hiking? Perhaps the images of cascading waterfalls and sheer rock faces strike a harmonious chord in your heart. If any of these are true then Adventure Programs is right for you.

The Adventure Programs offers all the excitement of climbing, rappelling, hiking and fly-fishing this semester in new and exciting trips. With everything included (food while camping, transportation and gear) at such a low price, how can anyone in the college setting pass up the opportunity to make friends and lasting memories in the outdoors?

The first trip coming up is an exciting opportunity to explore one of the region’s most stunning natural wonders, the arches of the Red River Gorge. Students will spend the day, Jan. 21, hiking around the Gorge to hit as many of the beautiful phenomena as can be had. This trip is a great opportunity for satisfying that “I just need to get away” feeling while enjoying the outdoors. Cost is $10.

The first trip in February is a stimulating one where students will be taken to Dayton, Ohio for one of the biggest outdoor gatherings in the Midwest on February 10. The convention has things such as bouldering competitions, special guests and various vendors. Cost is $5.

Also on the weekend of Feb. 10 -11, Adventure Programs is shuttling students to College Night at Perfect North for a thrilling time of skiing the night away. Students will need to pay the highly reduced price of a lift ticket and bring their own gear or rent some at Perfect North. The shuttling fee is free and only includes transportation. One shuttle is Friday, Feb. 10, and the other is Saturday, Feb. 11.

The following weekend, Feb. 18, is a great chance for those who enjoy climbing and bouldering to practice their trade. Students will be able to both boulder and sport-climb in the wonderful Obed region of Tennessee. Adventure Programs provides all the gear necessary, guiding and food while camping for only $40.

March ushers in some amazing trips such as horseback riding, mountain biking, skiing, trail running and hiking, and it promises to be a month of pure adventure.

Don’t have anything planned for Spring Break or your current plans are subpar? Consider traveling to colorful Colorado for an amazing time in the Rockies. Those going will spend six days at a four bedroom cabin in the woods and occupy the week with hiking, snow shoeing, tubing and skiing along with great camaraderie from fellow students. The cost of $350 includes lift tickets, all food while in the cabin, transportation and surely an awesome time.

The second trip, March 18, is a Kentucky favorite and for only $40 students can enjoy the day horseback riding in the beautiful Whispering Woods.

For those who enjoy a little more physical (and faster) adventure, mountain biking is a choice for you. On March 24, participants of all skill levels will enjoy a day of the thrilling biking in Frankfort for a mere $15.

Had enough of running on pavement or the grass trail on campus is just not hitting the nerve anymore? Search no more because Adventure Programs is offering a new trip this semester, March 25, trail running in the wild and wonderful Pinnacles of Berea. Cost is $5.

To cap off the month of March is a great opportunity to escape from the monotony of being on campus all the time. On March 30, participants will spend the weekend hiking to waterfalls in this year’s Waterfall Weekend. Students will visit such falls as Cumberland Falls, Eagle Falls and Dog Slaughter Falls. This relaxing and fulfilling trip is available for only $25.

Kicking off the month of April is an old favorite; fly fishing, on April 13. Spend the weekend camping in the beautiful Southern Kentucky Trout Waters while fishing and learning new things about fishing. Before going on this inexpensive trip ($35) be sure to purchase your fishing license!

To tie the knots of the Spring semester, Adventure Programs is offering one last adventure-filled weekend of climbing and rappelling with a rewarding twist.

The first of the Adventure Service Trips is to the Red River Gorge, April 21, where participants will spend part of the day maintaining trails or removing exotic species followed by an exhilarating session of world class climbs. Cost is $10.

The second trip of the Adventure Service Trips is a rappelling adventure in the Pinnacles region of Berea on April 22. Spending the day rappelling down the cliffs and picking up trash along the way is a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and give back to the area. Cost is also $10.

 Once again, the fee includes all food while camping, all gear, transportation and expert guiding while experiencing great adventures. Contact Brian Clark at 622-6867 for more information on trips or general questions or visit the Adventure Programs webpage on the Campus Rec homepage. Students can sign up for trips at the front desk near the climbing wall in the Fitness and Wellness Center. Sign up quickly before the trips fill!