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Explore the Appalachian Trail

May 20 - June 3, 2018

  • BIO 128 (3 credit hours)
  • ENG 224 (3 credit hours)
  • PED 229 (1 credit hour)

Do you enjoy camping, exploring nature and creative writing? Join a CLC Field Study Trip to the beautiful Mt. Rogers National Recreation Area, located in the mountainous western tip of Virginia. You will learn, explore and hike the Appalachian Trail and return to camp each night. Plus, you'll receive seven credit hours for the following courses.

Meet the critters. The field biology class (BIO 128 Natural History of Selected Areas) focuses on the area's ecology, including forest and stream communities, plant succession, salamanders and aquatic invertebrates.

Write poetry and prose surrounded by nature. The ENG 224 (Creative Writing II) class is a unique opportunity for growth through written expression. Your experiences and observances will be a springboard for unleashing the creative writer in you. You'll engage in creative nonfiction and poetry, using not only your observances of the beauty and forces of nature, but also your inward reflections on the personal significance of "The Journey."

Learn to survive in the wild. In PED 229 (Experience in the Out-of-Doors), you learn how to live in and travel through the Mt. Rogers National Recreation Area with minimum environmental impact.

Estimated Cost

$460 plus CLC tuition, fees and personal food costs.

Pre and Post-trip Meetings

  • Pre-trip Meetings: May 6 and May 13, 2018
  • Post-trip Meetings: June 10 and June 17, 2018

General Information Sessions

Attend a general information session to learn more about the trip.


by Mary Oliver

I thought the earth remembered me,
She took me back so tenderly
Arranging her skirts
Her pockets full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before
A stone on the riverbed,
Nothing between me and the white fire of the stars,
But my thoughts.
And they floated light as moths
Among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
Breathing around me.
The insects and the birds
Who do their work in darkness.
All night I rose and fell,
As if water, grappling with luminous doom.
By morning I had vanished at least a dozen times
Into something better.

A Response, by Michael F. Latza (PDF)