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Facility Series: Hydaway Outdoor Center

June 5, 2020

Written By Victoria Dissmore, Marketing Employee

Pack your bags, all you outdoor-adventure lovers out there! Grab your bug-spray, granola bars, and sense of adventure and head down to Liberty’s very own outdoor recreation facility: Hydaway Outdoor Center. There are so many fun, outdoor opportunities at Hydaway, less than 5 miles from campus. If you don’t have a car, you can request an On-Demand Ride through Liberty’s transit system. There really is no excuse—adventure is calling!


One of the activities Hydaway offers is camping for Liberty students, faculty, and staff. You can reserve a campsite for Friday and Saturday nights during the school year, complete with a fire pit, plenty of tent space, and bear boxes for food storage. Each site is only $5 per night, and with your Flames Pass you can rent camping equipment, including tents and sleeping bags, free of charge.

If you’re looking to go on an off-campus camping adventure, Hydaway can rent out all the camping equipment you need, including a hiking backpack, a camp cook set, and even a flashlight. Check out the website for a complete list of available items at a low cost.

Hydaway Lake

Another feature of Hydaway Outdoor Center is the beautiful Hydaway Lake. During the school year you can take part in a variety of lake-fun activities, including…

  • swimming
  • lounging on the beach
  • going down the waterslide
  • jumping off the floating dock (no diving!)
  • kayaking
  • canoeing
  • paddleboarding
  • fishing

Full time students, faculty, and staff with a valid Flames Pass can check out boats and fishing equipment from The Outfitter to be used on the premises at no cost. The equipment can also be rented to take off campus at a low cost.


The Liberty community and general public can spend a relaxing day at Hydaway Lake fishing an array of fish species, including largemouth bass, pickerel, sunfish (like bluegill and crappie), and, in season, rainbow trout. If you don’t have your own equipment, you can check out poles and tackle boxes from the Outfitter.

For information about fishing rules and regulations, please visit the website.


For all you thrill-seekers, take a ride on the Hydaway zipline! You’ll start by climbing up to the launching platform and securing your harness. From there, you’ll have two options: attach the line to your back and soar like a bird to the other side. Or, attach the line to your front so you’re in a sitting position as you zoom through the air. The line ends safely on grass, not in the water.


Students can go on a variety of trips throughout the school year as a part of Hydaway’s Outdoor Adventure program. Past trips have included white-water rafting, caving, spring break camping, and river tubing. Check out the website and stay tuned on social media for trip announcements and a calendar.


The Liberty Mountain Trail Series is also a part of Hydaway’s programming. The facility hosts several different types of themed races in both fall and spring, including 5Ks, 2-milers, and half marathons. Participants get specially designed t-shirts for race day and a chance to compete for prizes.

Challenge Course

Hydaway’s very own challenge course is a great way to test your limits and practice critical thinking skills. Trained staff will guide you and your team through different activities, encouraging you to think outside the box and work together in order to complete your challenge.


Activities will train balance, teamwork, self-trust, courage, and physical strength.


Groups of 8–12 people are ideal for our sessions. The challenge course staff will work with you to customize your experience and make sure that you get the most out of your time. Ideal sessions last around 2–4 hours. Visit the website to learn more about the different experience packages your team can choose.


Hydaway also hosts a variety of outdoor events throughout the school year, including…

  • Bonfire Nights
  • Zipline Saturdays
  • Wellness in the Wilderness

Stay updated on Facebook and Instagram for event announcements.

Facility Reservations

If you’re looking for a place to host an event, Hydaway has great outdoor and indoor spaces available to reserve.

  • Hydaway Pavilion
  • Multi-purpose room and Kitchen
  • Bonfire Area
  • Woods Pavilion

Visit the website for more information on seating capacity, available amenities for each facility, and how to reserve.

As you now know, Hydaway Outdoor Center has a lot to offer! If you’re craving time in the great outdoors, be sure to visit when school starts again to make the most of this blessing!

      Facility Series: Gun Club

      May 29, 2020

      Written By Victoria Dissmore, Marketing Employee

      LMGC is a full-service shooting facility located just minutes from main campus, offering a number of shooting opportunities for all skill levels. Whether you have never shot a firearm before or you are working toward an Olympic shooting medal, there is something for you. Read on to discover everything the Gun Club has to offer.

      Shotgun Range

      LMGC is proud to offer one of the nicest shotgun facilities on the east coast. Shooters can try their hand at:

      • American Skeet
      • American Trap
      • Five Stand (at two nine trap 5-stand fields)
      • International Skeet
      • International Bunker (International Trap)
      • Sporting Clay Course

      The shotgun range is currently open to students, faculty, and staff Thursday–Sunday.

      Rifle Range

      With ten bays ranging from 100 to 300 yards, LMGC gives rifle shooters the opportunity to shoot both steel and paper targets at each range. Any .22 caliber rifle will also be able to shoot targets at 50 yards.

      Knowledgeable Range Safety Officers (RSOs) will be available to assist and provide safety for all rifle range shooters. The rifle range is currently open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

      Pistol Range

      LMGC offers a broad array of shooting opportunities on our pistol range. With the capability to engage targets from 7 to 50 yards and offering steel and paper targets, the range offers a challenge to everyone, regardless of experience.

      For new shooters, experienced and well-trained Range Safety Officers (RSOs) are on hand to provide both safety and guidance to shooters.

      Pistol range amenities include:

      • Steel targets
        • plate racks, dueling trees, Rimfire Challenge courses, static steel targets, and “poppers”
      • Movable paper target frames
        • offers customized distances and target arrays

      The pistol range is available for use on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

      Archery Range

      LMGC is not just a place for firearm practice, but also for students, faculty, and staff to develop their archery skills.

      The archery range has:

      • a large area with field targets for Olympic (FITA) style shooting
      • a 10-lane 3-D range for 3-D shooting
      • lanes available to rent by the hour

      Shooters should note that broadheads and crossbows are not permitted; only field points and recurve or compound bows will be allowed.

      The archery range is open Thursday–Sunday.

      Competitions and Classes

      Besides all the different shooting ranges, LMGC offers various shooting competitions, concealed carry classes for FREE, and gun safety classes throughout the year. If you’re a student, you can also join the Club Sports Shooting Team.

      Visit the LMGC website for more information about these classes and keep an eye out for future gun club events, as well. You can also find out more about the range rules, firearm safety, age and personnel regulations, permitted firearms and ammunition, pricing, and range hours, on the LMGC website.

      If nothing else, take the On-Demand ride up to the LMGC lodge for picturesque views and a quiet place to study.

          Facility Series: Equestrian Center

          May 22, 2020

          Written By Victoria Dissmore, Marketing Employee

          So, you’re probably asking yourself, “What can I do at the Equestrian Center?”, and there are a variety of opportunities for the Liberty and local communities available! Liberty is blessed to have this USHJA Recognized Riding Academy that spans across 380 acres of Liberty Mountain. If you’re looking for a way to enjoy the great outdoors and meet some animal friends, come visit the Equestrian Center!

          Facility Tours

          Anyone is welcome to visit the Equestrian Center from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. The staff and horses love having visitors to tour the facility and pet their favorite horses. If you’re looking for an educational experience for your children or simply get some fresh air, we highly recommend checking out this fun opportunity!

          Trail Rides

          Students, faculty, and staff can explore the Liberty Mountain property on horseback on a guided tour around the mountain for free. Come experience the soft rhythmic motion of the saddle as your horse strolls through the shaded trees with a cool breeze blowing by and the sun peeking through the trees.

          Trail rides are by appointment only and limited to roughly 2 people at a time based on experience levels. The ride starts with a brief lesson in the outdoor riding ring followed by the 20–30 minute walk around the mountain. Visit the Programs page for more information on what you need to know before you ride and set up your visit!

          Riding Lessons

          If you’re looking to improve your riding—take a lesson! These lessons are offered for residential students and all levels are welcome, both for hunt seat and western riding. Students can take group lessons for $25 per lesson, or private lessons for $40 per lesson. Lesson packages with discounts are available.

          Riding Classes

          If you want to improve your riding skills and learn all about horseback riding in general, you can take one of three 2-credit classes offered by the Equestrian Center: PHED 170, PHED 270, and PHED 280. Students can check through the registrar for availability each semester and sign up through course registration.

          As part of the class, students will get to:

          • participate in both barn and mounted riding lessons
          • learn the fundamental skills in hunt seat and western riding (according to student background or interest)
          • participate in one riding lab and one lecture-based class per week

          Horse Boarding

          Liberty students who have their own horses can board them at the Liberty Mountain Equestrian Center. This is a full care stall board that includes the use of all facilities as available at an affordable cost. This is a perfect opportunity for those who don’t want to leave their horse back home while they’re studying at Liberty!

          Summer Camps

          If you have a younger sibling or know a child who loves horses, tell them about summer camp at the Equestrian Center! The camps are offered at beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels for varying ages between 8–18.

          • The beginner level camp is for ages 8–14 and does not require any horseback riding experience! This day camp goes from June 22–26, Monday–Friday from 9 A.M. to Noon.
          • The intermediate camp is for students ages 8–14 who have some riding experience but would like to sharpen their skill. This day camp goes from August 3–7, Monday–Friday from 9 A.M. to Noon.
          • The advanced level camp is for females only, ages 14–18, grades 9–12. Riders must feel comfortable walking, trotting, cantering, and jumping a 2’ course on an unfamiliar horse. This overnight camp will run from June 16–19.

          Visit the Programs page to learn more about the camps and to register.

          Employment and CSER

          The Equestrian Center is always looking for helping hands around the facility! If you are interested in obtaining CSER hours working in the barn or would like to apply to a student position and work directly with the horses, visit the Employment page for more information.

          So, whether you are a riding expert, beginner, or have never ridden before, there is an opportunity for you at the Liberty Mountain Equestrian Center!

              Facilities Series: Snowflex

              May 15, 2020

              Written By Victoria Dissmore, Marketing Employee

              Most students think of Snowflex as “that place up the mountain super far away that only snowboarders, skiers, and CFAW go to”, but Snowflex is truly the hidden gem of campus! Take an On-Demand Ride or use the sidewalk up the mountain (it’s only a 10 minute walk!), and you’ll discover that there’s something for everyone.

              Skiing and Snowboarding

              Maybe you’re a seasoned snow-sports athlete, or maybe you’ve never strapped into a snowboard or a pair of skis. Snowflex is here to accommodate you and all your skiing and snowboarding dreams!

              For beginners, there is a smaller slope below the lodge and instructors available during all operating hours to teach you everything you need to know for your first successful ride down the slope. Did we mention lessons are entirely free for students as well?

              Above the lodge, there is a 550-foot main slope where you can cruise the thirty-second ride down or hit some of the built-in features to practice your tricks.

              The Snowflex staff will be happy to assist you with any help you need on either slope or answer any questions you might have. Don’t be afraid to come on up and hit the slopes, whether you’re a beginner, an expert, or somewhere in between. Everyone is welcome!


              If strapping your feet to plastic and zooming down a hill isn’t your cup of tea, we also offer tubing all year round. This is a fun, easy way to blast down the mountain that all ages and skill levels can enjoy!

              Slope operators will guide you to the top of your chosen tubing run and give you a push to get you going. All you have to do is stay seated and enjoy the ride!  If you’ve never been up to Snowflex but are looking for an outdoor activity on a gorgeous, sunny day, we highly recommend the tubing run!


              That’s right, no need to wait for snow or CFAW mats. You can go sledding up at Snowflex any time of the year! The smaller slope below the lodge has a designated space apart from the skiers and snowboarders where you can go sledding anytime. We provide the sleds and the slope, and you bring the fun.

              Olympic Trampoline

              Another one of the unique offerings at Snowflex is the Olympic trampoline next to the beginner slope below the lodge. This isn’t your typical backyard trampoline. Keep jumping and you’ll see just how high you can go! Bring your friends to show off your tricks and flips, but only one person is allowed to jump at once. You get the whole trampoline to yourself!

              Barrick-Falwell Lodge

              If none of the activities interest you, come visit Snowflex for the breathtaking views of Lynchburg and its surrounding mountains from the lodge balcony. They’re also in the process of adding an outdoor fire pit which is perfect for a relaxing autumn night with friends!

              Inside the lodge:

              • couches for studying
              • a large community table (this will occasionally be reserved for an event)
              • a fireplace to warm up by in the winter
              • drip coffee from The Muse Coffee Co. and other snacks for sale at concessions
              • Snowflex branded merchandise
              • taxidermy Virginia wildlife on display
              • a relaxed atmosphere with music – just like a coffee shop!

              The Barrick-Falwell Lodge is definitely a hidden gem on campus. If you love a coffee shop atmosphere, we highly recommend coming up to Snowflex to get away from the bustle of campus and have a quiet place to do work or chill with friends.

              If you’re injured or physically handicapped, you can still access the lodge through our entrance from the side parking lot and newly built elevator.

              Snowflex really does have something for everyone, and everything at Snowflex is free for students! Whether you want to snowboard, ski, tube, sled, jump on the trampoline, or chill in the lodge, you can do it all for free. The staff can help direct you to wherever you want to go, and there’s plenty of seating for studying upstairs.

              So what are you waiting for? Come visit us today!