Trip to take students to the Smoky Mountains


Students in search of plans for Spring Break can sign up for a week of backpacking through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park from March 9-17.

The trip is part of The University Recreation Center’s Adventure Trip Programand will give nine students and three leaders a chance to explore the Appalachian Trail located along the border of Tennessee and North Carolina.

“We usually head somewhere out west for our Spring Break trip, but we decided to look to the east this year. Smoky stood out as a really great place for a trip, “ Steve Campbell, assistant director of recreation outdoor programs, said. “It’s a beautiful park and has the Appalachian Trail running right through it.”

Trip members will carry all equipment in backpacks throughout the trip. They will spend a few nights in shelters located along the trail as well as a few nights in tents.

“I would recommend this trip for anyone with an adventurous spirit,” Campbell said. “It is geared toward beginners, but it will be physically strenuous at times, so those considering signing up need to be prepared for a challenge.”

Sarah Ziomek, an environmental science graduate student, has been on several of ATP’s past trips.

“Adventure trips are always fun, but the Spring Break trips are especially exciting because they offer the opportunity to spend an extended period of time immersed in nature,” Ziomek said. “Going camping for a weekend is cool, but spending an entire week living outdoors is far more rewarding.”

Ellen Thomas, a senior film, television and digital media major, said she signed up because the trip is in her home state.

"I love that state and will always jump at the chance to spend time there, especially in its natural areas," she said.

The trip costs $400 for TCU students and $500 for sponsored guests. The cost includes transportation, food, equipment and access permits, according to the ATP brochure.

Students must register for the trip no later than Feb. 28 at the front desk of the Recreation Center. There will be two mandatory pre-trip meetings on Feb. 28 and March 7.

For any questions, contact Campbell at [email protected] or at 817-257-7529.