About the Program
|7/14-7/29||16||13-17||$2,400||Dallas or Austin, TX|
Just like all of our trips, we pick up campers in Austin and in Dallas on our way to experience the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and East Tennessee. We travel round trip from Texas via a 15 passenger van and trailer. NO AIRFARE or expensive equipment to purchase! Class II-IV Whitewater Rafting, Caving, Backpacking, and Waterfalls are all part of everyday life while on the trip. This is a classic trip through the heart of the Appalachia, which is home to an abundance of wildlife including black bears! We will find out why they call these mountains The Blue Ridge and The Smoky Mountains and how to survive in the back country with nothing more than what you can carry on your back. Don’t worry, there are hundreds of streams to find water and play in while on the backpacking trip. Expect to see plenty of waterfalls and even plan on swimming in a few like Sliding Rock! With all this time in the water, campers can draw a connection to the importance of preserving our aquatic landscape, which becomes concrete through our hands-on, educational service day with RiverLink. The Appalachian Mountains are one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world and filled with adventure!
Right from the beginning, we make a stop to find out what whitewater rafting is all about! Whitewater rafting is everywhere in the Southeast and we take on four different rivers including two dam controlled and two free flowing rivers! The diversity among the rafting trips can’t be overstated; from fast and action packed, to remote and wild, the rafting trips are sure to be a highlight. We will raft Class II-IV whitewater with local guides who know the rivers inside and out. Caving is almost always considered a favorite activity. When we head deep into a wild cave in private land, campers really get to see how dark it can get. There is a ton of mud and water, climbing, sliding, crawling, etc. This experience is certain to impress even the most seasoned of adventurers. No guided paths, hand rails, or large tour groups; just us and a local guide to explore the underground secrets of the mountains.
Backpacking is the most challenging yet rewarding component of the trip. Don’t let that scare you off because we have incredible staff who know how to encourage the best in everyone and will make sure that campers have fun! We provide comprehensive instruction prior to all activities, ensuring that campers are prepared and ready to accomplish goals. The activities are age appropriate and designed to challenge all skill levels. The EPIC Adventures staff is well trained in front country and back country safety and always make sure campers feel safe! The sense of accomplishment from hiking to the top of a mountain and back down is a one of a kind feeling the does not fade from memory soon.
The Blue Ridge expedition is all about whitewater, leadership, environmental service, backpacking, caving, confidence building, and making great friendships! More return campers sign up for this program a 2nd time than any other program we have!
|16 Day Blue Ridge Expedition + Service Itinerary||No Previous Experience or Expensive Gear Required!|
|Day 1||Welcome to Camp / Travel|
|Day 2||Zip Lines Smoky Mountains|
|Day 3||EPIC Clinic - Day Hike to River Overlook|
|Day 4-5||Overnight Backpacking Trip to Eagles Bluff|
|Day 6||Caving / Laundry|
|Day 7||Whitewater Rafting - Nolichuky River|
|Day 8||Service Day with River Link|
|Day 9-13||Backpacking Trip, Waterfalls, and Sliding Rock|
|Day 14||Whitewater Rafting - Ocoee River|
|Day 15||EPIC Banquet, Pack and Clean Gear, Travel|
|Day 16||Depart for Home|
The Ocoee River (Class III – IV) is an awesome, big water river with huge, splashy rapids. It is action packed from start to finish! There are over 26 adventure class rapids on this 5 mile stretch of river with names such as Grumpys, Double Trouble, Tablesaw and Diamond Splitter, which make it one of the South’s most popular rivers. The Ocoee River was also home to the whitewater sports for the 1996 Summer Olympics!
The Nolichucky River Gorge whitewater rafting trip is an adventurous 9 miles of action with 25+ Class II-IV rapids. Starting just below the headwaters of the river, the trip winds through the deepest river gorge in the South along the borders of North Carolina and Tennessee, surrounded by towering cliffs and flowery rhododendron. The headwaters and tributaries that feed the river are all from the slopes of Mt. Mitchell, the highest mountain on the entire East coast.
Teens consistently learn more from our backpacking trips than any other element of camp. They are challenged appropriately and must work together as teams to follow routes, choose campsites, lead the group, build shelters, find and treat water, attend to good health and more! In our wilderness clinic, campers learn wilderness travel and backcountry skills, such as properly packing a pack, route finding, using a map/compass, building a tarp shelter, Leave No Trace Ethics, good expedition behavior, preventing injuries and risk management. Depending on the terrain and elevation gain/loss, hiking will be in the 5-8 mile per day range in the high Blue Ridge Mountains. Campers prepare meals over campfires or stoves each night and set up and sleep in tarp shelters. After the backpacking trip, campers will enjoy a well deserved pizza and ice cream party, wash clothes, and enjoy hot showers!
We visit an unspoiled, wild cave that is known for its voluminous size. There are rooms more than 75 feet wide and 250 feet long, with high ceilings that often exceed 100 feet. It is noted for its beautiful formations. After a wild, wet and muddy caving trip, swimming will be a welcome activity, followed by a delicious meal we prepare ourselves outdoors while camping in a National Forest Campground.
This hidden place is perched 2000 feet above the Nolichucky River overlooking one of the Class IV rapids we will raft. From here the rafts will look like little rubber ducks floating down the river! We will hike down to the rim of the second deepest river gorge on the East coast, crossing several creeks and streams along the way. A great way to warm up and get ready for our multi-day backpacking trip.
Located at the edge of the Smoky Mountains, this zip line trip is action packed and exhilarating. Discover the tree tops as you zip along a 1300-foot long zip line course 120 feet above the river! This is sure to get your adventure juices flowing.