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Appalachian Trail Adventure Transition Program

Happy trails to you! That is hiking trails to be exact! Do you enjoy nature? Are you looking to explore the beauty that the state of Virginia has to offer? Interested in the outdoors? Wondering how you are going to make the transition to college life? Want to form a new group of friends?

The AT Adventure is scheduled for the three days before first-year student move-in and Orientation begins. Selected participants will move in on Sunday and prepare for a two-day (one-night), off-campus experience that will build leadership and communication skills, test mental strength, and encourage team work. There is no cost associated with participating in the program. Applications will be accepted until July 1. Notifications about program acceptance will be sent after July 1 via email. Please fill out the Appalachian Trail Adventure Application.  

For more information, please contact Lee Donlon, Manager of Adventure and Leadership, at or (804) 289-8449.

The Appalachian Trail is a marked hiking trail in the eastern United States extending between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine. The total length is approximately 2,200 miles (3,500 km). The Appalachian Trail is famous for its many hikers, some of whom, called thru-hikers, attempt to hike it in its entirety in a single season. Many books, memoirs, websites, and fan organizations are dedicated to this pursuit.

Students will hike a scenic section, up to 20 miles of the Appalachian Trail in Shenandoah National Park. During the trip, we will openly discuss the variety of challenges first-year students face and will use this unique experience to help students prepare for and be successful during their college career at the University of Richmond. Our hope is this challenge will open many new doors for you as you start your time with the University of Richmond. We challenge you to apply and make this unique outdoor experience a chapter in your own memoir!

Packing List

The University of Richmond Outdoor Adventure and Recreation Program will provide all food, hydration, tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, ponchos, backpacks, sunscreen & bug spray.

 Recommended items to include, but not limited to:

Note: While cotton is a comfortable everyday option, in the outdoors it is a poor insulator, especially when wet. All clothing items below are listed as synthetic or wool since they provide better insulation and dry faster.

  1. Hiking Boots or Athletic Sneakers with a rigid sole
    • Wear what’s comfortable! New shoes are not needed, and if they are new, make sure to break them in before the trip. All shoes should provide heel and arch support.
  2. Socks/underwear 
    • Synthetic or wool, three (3) pairs of each. One warmer pair is nice in the evenings.
  3. Hiking pants/shorts, Shirts (1-2) short and long sleeved. Rain Jacket, or poncho
    • Two (2). Again, synthetic or lightweight, think board shorts/athletic shorts. Cotton (jeans) absorbs moisture and will become uncomfortable quickly.
  4. Toiletries/Personal hygiene
    • Medications, including over the counter
    • ChapStick
  5. Optional Items
    • Watch
    • Sunglasses
    • Binoculars
    • Camera
    • Hat