The Great Smoky Mountains

May 19, 2023

Written by Katy Ward, Assistant Director of Outdoor Adventure

The semester has come to an end. Some of you are heading home to a far-off state while some of you may be staying local. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited National Park in America! There are several reasons for this and they are all reasons that you should make you want to visit this summer!

It’s easy to get to, the park is within one day’s drive of 2/3 of the nation’s population!
It’s free to visit and always will be!
It has a MASSIVE amount of wildlife and is full of American history!

Now that I’ve convinced you to visit, what can you do there? How do you know where to go for each activity? Well, I have created a list with helpful resources to use when planning different trips to the  Great Smoky Mountains.
As most National Parks do, the GSM Park offers several camping options. From backcountry sites to group front-country sites, you can stay at the park in whatever avenue you desire. You can find all options here.
Open year round, Cades Cove Campground offers plenty of sites. You can reserve yours at . Once you arrive at your …

Pickleball in LaHaye

May 5, 2023

Written by Nathaniel Hutton, Facilities Coordinator

Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the entire world. Communities across the globe are picking up on this popular new sport and has become a hit. People of all ages are grabbing a paddle and heading to the court to have a great time with friends and family. You can be next!
What is Pickleball?
Pickleball is a fun new sport that combines many elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong.  Pickleball can be played both indoors and outdoors on a badminton-sized court and a slightly modified tennis net.  Certain rules are in place that are specific to the sport, like not being allowed to step inside a zone seven feet on either side of the net.  Don’t let the rules distract from how fun and exciting the game is. Pickleball was invented in 1965 near Seattle, Washington, but has recently gained much attraction.  The key to pickleball is that it is accessible to all age and skill brackets. It has a fun, social, and friendly vibe with rules that are simple for beginners to learn but can develop into a fast-paced competitive game for the more experienced players. Pickleball can be played with two players …

Celebrate Liberty 7.1K Course Guide

April 28, 2023

Written by Mike Ellsworth, Director of Outdoor Recreation

It has been quite a few years since we have created a new race at the Liberty University Outdoor Recreation department. The excitement has been building and we are feeling great about announcing this new addition to our trail race programming.  Partnered with Alumni, we are hosting our first annual running event that can be completed by anyone in the Liberty family!  Whether you are here in Lynchburg, an online student in Egypt or an alumnus in London, you can run with us!
Racejoy is the app that makes this event possible. We are working with our local timing company, Riverside Runners to host our event on Racejoy. Both events will use the integrative platform that allows you to have your own unique and personal race day experience!  Using the free app will provide you:

GPS tracking of your run. Including progress alerts, off-course alerts (if appropriate) and an interactive course map
A custom audio experience that features announcements and encouragements from our team!
Remote spectator cheer sending- you can send cheers and receive cheers from your family and friends!
Automatic result upload, live updates, and rankings

Event 1: Celebrate Liberty @ Liberty Mountain
This is an open trail, 7.1K challenge …

Celebrate Your Birthday at MVBA

April 21, 2023

Written by Gavin Schade, Montview Member Services Manager

The classic birthday party when you are little is a birthday party at the local bowling alley where you get to invite all your friends and drink lots of soda while eating some greasy pizza. Why does that only have to be for little kids, though? Why can’t a college student, a 30-year-old, or even a 50-year-old have a bowling alley birthday party? Well, I believe they can, and I think that the Montview Bowling Alley is one of the best bowling alleys to do this.
Birthday Party for All Ages
At the Montview Bowling Alley, we accept birthday parties for people of all ages. We have hosted parties for 5-year-olds, 14-year-olds, college students, and even 50-year-olds. We believe that age does not define whether you can be a kid or not and know that a birthday party at a bowling alley is some of the most fun you can have. The MVBA accepts reservations for lanes if requests are sent in two weeks in advance. Prices for these reservations vary depending on the number of lanes needed, how long the reservation will be, and whether it will be held on a weekday or weekend. To …

April is for CAMPING!

April 7, 2023

Written by Mike Ellsworth, Director of Outdoor Recreation

It finally feels like spring!  The weather is getting warmer and the campsite is calling!  At Outdoor Recreation, we want to help everyone get outside. We truly believe that nature can provide a special peace and rest from the day-to-day grinding. It can be an immersive experience that helps you cope with the stress and anxiety that often comes with the college experience. We also know that it can be intimidating for beginners and hard to plan even for the experienced camper. So, we’ve got lots of options to make it easier.
Camp with us
If you are new to camping and don’t know where to go, let us do the planning. Each spring we take a trip to Grayson Highlands State Park. This Virginia State Park provides excellent camping and unforgettable experiences within the Mount Rogers area. Mount Rogers is Virginia’s highest peak and the park provides beautiful mountain trails, waterfalls and “alpine-like” overlooks. The park also contains within its boundaries one of the last remaining herds of wild horses in the nation.
We provide the food, gear, travel and the experiences! All you need to do is show up and we will do the rest. …

Liberty’s Climbing Community

March 23, 2023

Written by Julie Rogers, Rock Wall Manager

The climbing community across the country has a reputation of being friendly and engaging to newcomers. The community at Liberty’s rock wall is no exception to that statement. At the LaHaye Rock Wall you will find a variety of students with different majors and interests all coming together to enjoy one hobby. The rock wall is a wonderful place to get involved and interact with a unique mixture of the Liberty student population. This spring semester we have many events and ways to be involved.
First Time at the Rock Wall?
When visiting a new place or trying out an activity for the first time ever, there are always fears of the unknown in not knowing what to expect. Hopefully this information will answer some questions for any newcomers. When arriving at the rock wall you will be greeted by our amazing staff members at our equipment checkout desk. They will direct you to swipe in your flames pass and ask you what kind of climbing you are looking to partake in. We have the options of bouldering (which does not require a harness) and route climbing on the tower (which requires the use of our auto …

Ask And You Shall Receive

March 10, 2023

Written by Kailey Bandara, Intramural Sports Coordinator

In the Intramural Sports department, we hand out surveys at the conclusion of every tournament and league because we truly want to hear feedback from the participants. We try to provide the best possible service every year, and it is only by hearing from the students that we can make effective changes. While some that have competed may have been annoyed by having to take these surveys, they might not be complaining when they see the changes or additions we make from semester to semester.
Increased Interest in Pickleball
While we wish we could offer any sport you could think of, realistically that is just not possible. However, when we continued to see on our surveys that students were asking for pickleball, we were shocked due to it having the stereotype of being a “senior sport” only. Much to our surprise, pickleball is USA’s fastest-growing sport. In fact, in the last two-year period, it has seen a growth rate of 39.3% while the number of players playing pickleball has nearly doubled in the last seven years. In addition to all of that, perhaps the most relevant statistic is that 27.8% of players are in the age …

What do Horses Eat?

February 24, 2023

Written by Suzanne Flaig, Director Liberty Mountain Equestrian Center

The well-being of any animal is largely dependent on having appropriate nutrition and feeding strategies. Horses are no different and we feed a lot of them at the Liberty Mountain Equestrian Center! Here are some of the basics related to taking care of horses and the general categories of feed that they need.
The bulk of any horse’s diet should consist of quality forage. Forage is generally considered pasture grass or hay (dried grass). Horses are designed to graze throughout the day. Think of horses in the wild that roam to find enough food to sustain themselves.  Or, if you ever see a grassy field with horses in it, chances are you will see horses with their heads down eating. Forage takes some time for a horse to chew, so they intake small, consistent amounts over time. They can eat up to 15 pounds or more of forage a day. Forage provides calories, protein, vitamins and nutrients and if it is good quality, horses do not need much more!
For most horse owners, concentrates are usually called “grain”. Many horses require additional grains to meet their daily nutritional needs depending on factors such as:  age, …

Shoot the Breeze

February 10, 2023

Written by James Williams, Range Safety Officer

Shotguns are multi-purpose pieces of equipment that can be used for a variety of outdoor activities. Hunting, self-defense, and competition are some of the main uses with this style of firearm. Within competition shotgun sports, machines are used to throw orange clay targets that are also called “birds”. The shooter says “Pull!” which signals they are ready for their bird to be thrown. Here at Liberty Mountain Gun Club, we have three main games we offer. These games include trap, skeet, and five stand.
The game of trap involves one machine located in front of five shooters. The shooters are oriented in a horizontal line, equally spaced out. The machine will be directly in front of the middle shooter. The machine rotates 22 degrees to the left or right randomly before every bird is thrown. The shooters go one at a time starting at the left and moving right. Once the last shooter has gone, the first shooter on the left goes again. This process is done five times. After those five shots, everyone moves one station to the right. The person on the far right rotates all the way around to the left. The game …

80’s Step Aerobics

January 27, 2023

Written by Emma Kongs, Group Exercise Manager

Whether you have seen it in a classic ’80s movie or participated in the Wii Fit version, step aerobics is often one of the top classes people think of when asked about group fitness. But how did step classes become so popular, and how are they making a resurgence today? Want to step into a class soon? Below is a little backstory and the potential benefits of the classic step aerobics class.
The ’80s were full of big hair, bright colors, and the increased popularity of group exercise classes. Early in 1982, aerobic dance workouts were all the rage; however, there was a substantial increase in injuries to participants and instructors due to the high intensity of classes and lack of modifications for beginners. Gin Miller, a well-known instructor at the time, suffered from continual stress fractures due to the high intensity of aerobic dance workouts. To rehab the injury, Gin was told by her doctor to step up and down on a milk crate. This sparked the idea of a low-impact workout that anyone, whether beginner or expert, could accomplish. The first aerobic step classes were choreographed at a slower pace with simple choreography, with …