Alternative spring break trips aimed at outdoor recreation are a great way to briefly escape from the sometimes stressful and always monotonous routine of college life, while avoiding the self-destructive party atmosphere found at a typical tropical destination. Here are several options to consider that will offer a unique outdoor experience.
The Appalachian Trail is a world-famous 2,200-mile continuous footpath that ribbons its way along the Appalachian Mountains from Georgia to Maine. Of the 14 states that can claim to contain segments of the trail, Virginia boasts the longest portion with over 550 miles within its margins. The Appalachian Trail crosses countless roads throughout its course, making it extremely accessible to its patrons. It easily caters to both the casual day-hiker and the ambitious adventurer seeking more of a strenuous and remote experience. A simple Internet search-engine inquiry about the trail will yield a litany of useful information to get you started.
Located within the Appalachian highlands of central West Virginia, the New River Gorge could be considered the Mecca of east coast rock climbing. Over millennia, the New River has severed a deep cliff line into the surrounding mountains, extending for over 53 miles through Fayette, Raleigh and Summers County. Climbers target this region due to its scenic majesty and its numerous classic rock climbing routes. The gorge offers beginner, intermediate, advanced sections for climbing, and chances are you’ll be scaling portions that have been previously conquered by some of the greatest climbers the sport has ever produced.
For many, bypassing the stereotypical spring break destination is to avoid many of the hefty expenses associated with them. However, if cost is not an issue, consider a kayaking trip to the Florida Keys. Key West is over 1,100 miles from Norfolk, so it’s not the most accessible destination, but neither is Panama City or Cancun. There are over 1,700 islands that make up this archipelago and pavement can only take you so far into them.
The best way to access and to explore remote beaches and the shallow, crystal clear waters surrounding these beautiful islands is by kayak. The number of outfitters that are readily available to supply your unfettered aquatic adventure are plentiful. The best part is you’re virtually guaranteed warm temperatures and abundant sunshine uncommon to the mid-Atlantic March climate experienced in Norfolk.
Outdoor recreation has a lot to offer the college spring-breaker. If you consider yourself an outdoor enthusiast, or if you are simply seeking a healthy compromise to the stereotypical spring break destination, these alternatives can provide a unique experience.
By: Brian Savage