University Recreation's Govs Outdoors trips/outings are cooperative adventures aimed to empower and connect people through unique and exciting experiences. These experiences are meant to provide participants space to grow and develop skills while having fun in the great outdoors! Each person will be an equal member of the group on these trips, regardless of skill level. Therefore, it is important that each participant accurately and honestly assesses his or her own skill level before taking part in trips that are perhaps beyond his or her abilities. That being said, we offer trips for every level of experience so that all students have the opportunity to take part. University Recreation wants all people to expand their skillset and improve self-reliance to communicate and work as a group while enjoying the outdoor world.
All trips have a minimum and maximum participant requirement.
A pre-trip meeting will be held at 5:00 pm the Wednesday before each trip at the Govs Outdoors Center located in the main lobby of the Foy Center. Attendance is required.
Trips are priced for individuals. Pricing includes transportation, lodging, in-camp food, equipment rental and activity fees.
For students that may have trouble covering some or all of the costs for trips, the Adult Non-traditional and Transfer Student (ANTS) Center is now offering scholarships. To apply for the scholarship, click here!
For more information on the ANTS Center, click here!
Specialized equipment will be provided and included in trip pricing. Some trips require or recommend specific types clothing articles that the average participant will already own, such as a dri-fit t-shirt. We may not be able to provide items of this nature, but we will work with you to find a solution.
University Recreation reserves the right to cancel a program due to inclement weather, lack of participation, natural disasters, or extenuating circumstances. In the event Govs Outdoors must cancel a program, a full refund will be provided. Sometimes trip pricing includes outside reservation or activity fees; these fees are non-refundable. See the FAQs for our cancellation policy.
There is a Govs Outdoors trip for everyone. All trips are open to newcomers, and none require prior experience, regardless of activity type. Certain trips, such as backpacking, do demand a certain level of physical readiness. Most individuals can meet these demands without additional preparation, but it is an important consideration for any trip. If you are concerned with the potential difficulties of a trip, please speak with our staff at the Rock or the Gear Center, and they will help you understand what to expect.
Learn what outdoor climbing is really like! Meet Govs Outdoors staff at the bluffs, and they'll set up the ropes, belay and give instruction. Kings Bluff is located right here in Clarksville, and is a great introduction to the world of outdoor climbing. On the fence about one of our other climbing trips? Why not try out? The best part is it's free (you must still register so we know how many people to expect).
Dates: September 30th, October 14th & 28th, November 11th & 18th
Registration Deadline: Friday at 5pm, the day before we meet
Pre-Trip Meeting: Day-of, at King's Bluff
Join the Govs Outdoors Adventure Team for a float on the beautiful Red River, just down the road in Adams, TN. The GOATs will provide boats, equipment, and some paddling instruction to help you get started. This is a casual, relaxing float in a beautiful location. We intend to canoe, but if you have paddling experience, and would like to request a different watercraft, let us know, and we can provide.
Dates: September 16th, 2023
Registration Deadline: Thursday September 7th, at 11:59 pm
Pre-Trip Meeting: Wednesday, September 13th, at 5:00 pm
This Fall Break, experience the grand beauty of the Smoky Mountains with Govs Outdoors. Our guides will lead you on a three-day journey through one of Tennessee's greatest natural wonders. This trip is suitable for new and experienced backpackers alike. Wild meadows, rolling hills, and countless vistas await! Govs Outdoors will provide all gear, transportation, food and guidance. All you need is a sense of adventure!
Dates: October 6th - 9th, 2023
Registration Deadline: Thursday, September 28th, at 11:59 pm
Pre-Trip Meetings: Wednesday, September 27th & Wednesday, October 4th at 5:00 pm
Experience fall colors, towering sandstone bluffs, and remote camping on this backpacking trip through Big South Fork. No experience is necessary for this scenic weekend hike. Govs Outdoors will handle the gear, food and travel. All you have to do is hike!
Dates: October 21st - 22nd, 2023
Registration Deadline: Thursday, October 12th, at 11:59 pm
Pre-Trip Meeting: Wednesday, October 18th, at 5:00 pm
You bring the thrills in Govs Outdoors' Dyno Competition! This Halloween at the APSU Rock Wall, you will find a selection of climbing challenges designed to see how high you can fly. A Dyno is simply a jumping move in rock climbing. Come and go, or compete to win. We will have a set of preliminary dynos, and a few extra spooky dynos for the top performers to test their powers. Join the APSU climbing community in a simple test of vertical dynamics. And the best part? It's FREE! (costume required)
If you've ever wondered what climbing outdoors is like, this is the trip for you. Whether you've climbed at the Foy, joined us for a Saturday at Bluffs, or just want to try it out, this is real deal. Red River Gorge is one of the country's top destinations for its ease of access, beauty and climbing for all ability levels. It's a great place to learn, or to test your abilities. Either way, Govs Outdoors is on belay, you just be ready to rock.
Dates: November 3rd - 5th, 2023
Registration Deadline: Thursday, October 26th, at 11:59pm
Pre-Trip Meeting: Wednesday, November 1st, at 5:00pm
Toprope and autobelay climbing are available from 2-5pm, M/W/F. Open bouldering is available for climbing members anytime the Foy is open.
The Rock features a 26-foot wall with ten rope lanes and a 12-foot free-standing boulder. Both the wall and boulder feature a range of difficulties, catering to new and experienced climbers alike.
No experience, no problem. Our staff is available during open hours to assist those new to climbing. New climbers will go through a short orientation to become familiar with the Rock's policies. All necessary equipment is provided for free.
Belaying is the act of rope management for a climber. This is our staff are doing while you climb. Anyone can get certified to belay at the APSU Rock. Although it is not strictly necessary to get certified, we offer belay training, and it is highly recommended. Our certification exams are very thorough.
Every Wednesday (Fall and Spring only) we offer a belay class for only $5. Belaying is a critical skill in rock climbing. Our class will cover technique, equipment and some common errors to watch out for. Once you are fully belay certified, you can belay at the Foy without staff assistance.
No! All of our programs are designed with beginners in mind. In fact, it is Govs Outdoors greater mission to introduce people to outdoor recreation, and provide equipment, guidance and education for anyone interested.
It can be difficult to choose a trip sometimes. Key considerations are going to be what activities you're interested in, whether you want an overnight car camping experience, or if you're ready to try backcountry travel. All trips are open to all skill levels, and each one will have its own elements of difficulty. A rock climbing trip may involve a steep hike to the cliff, while backcountry trips usually mean you won't shower for a few days and less glamorous meals. If you're unsure about the nature of any trip, ask Govs Outdoors Staff. We're here to help.
It always depends. Most overnight trips will involve camping, but every now and then we will spend a night in a cabin or hotel. The best source of information is always going to be the Govs Outdoors Staff. Ask about the specific trip(s) you're interested in, and they will let you know exactly what to expect.
All Govs Outdoors trips are open to University students, staff, faculty and all members of the Foy Fitness and Recreation Center. Students under the age of 18 must have forms signed by their parent or legal guardian before they can register for a trip. If you are unsure of your eligibility for a trip, please contact us.
- Full refunds will be granted under the following conditions:
- A trip that is cancelled by Govs Outdoors for weather, low participation, or other extenuating circumstances.
- A trip is full, has an active waitlist, and another participant is willing to take your spot.
- Cancellations 3 weeks in advance of the registration deadline.
- Family/medical/personal emergencies will be reviewed on case-by-case basis by the Govs Outdoors Coordinator and Assistant Director.
- Cancellations 2 weeks in advance of a trip's registration deadline will be eligible for a 75% refund
- Cancellations 1 week in advance of a trip's registration deadline will be eligible for a 50% refund.
- Cancellations within a week of a trip's registration deadline will not be eligible for a refund.
We will make every effort to accommodate dietary restrictions. Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns. Food options are always discussed at the pre-trip meetings. If you have food allergies, you must let us know so we can take preventative measures.
It always depends. Almost all trips will have access to facilities at some point, but not constantly. A climbing site may have restrooms at the trailhead, but not in the climbing area. A backcountry trip may stay at hotel during travel, but have no facilities on-trail. However, even on backcountry trips, we prioritize sanitation, and when necessary we will teach participants how to use the backcountry bathroom.
The trip leaders may make recommendations at pre-trip meetings, but the best preparation is mental. Depending on the trip, you may encounter new sources of discomfort. Being open to new challenges is part of the process.
All specialized equipment (gear the average person won't have) is provided. You are responsible for personal items like clothing, toiletries and a bag to pack these things in. Athletic clothing is appropriate for most trips. If special or specific clothing is required, this will be covered in the pre-trip meeting.