sunlight coming through trees

Looking for Outdoor Adventures This Spring Break?

You don’t have to travel far to have an epic spring break. Make this spring break the best yet and get outside!

The great outdoors is a perfect destination to relax and make memories, whether you prefer a structured group trip or exploring on your own. Check out these options.

University Recreation offers staff-led, low-cost trips.

For those who want a more structured trip, University Recreation is offering three different outdoor excursions for students over spring break. They offer advanced, intermediate and beginner trips for every level of outdoor enthusiast. 

For intermediate adventurers, the four-day trip exploring the beautiful Congaree National Park in South Carolina is perfect. On this trip, attendees will load up canoes, paddle a section of Cedar Creek, and hike through the forest of the park. This park, rich with fauna and flora, is home to old-growth bottomland hardwood forests. Attendees must be able to canoe and carry a light backpack on uneven terrain. 

For beginners, or those looking for a more relaxing spring break excursion, swimming with the manatees of Crystal River is sure to be a blast. On this trip, attendees will travel to Crystal River, Florida, to snorkel with manatees! These gentle giants, or “sea cows” are curious and adventurous, and might even play with swimmers. On this trip, the ability to swim is necessary.  

Advanced adventurers are sure to love hiking the Appalachian Trail. On this trip, attendees will spend five days camping and hiking the trail from shelter to shelter on a grand adventure! Participants must be able to travel over uneven terrain while carrying a loaded backpack. 

For those who want less structure, there are many Alabama state parks to explore.

If you’ll be in the state for spring break and you’re looking to get out of your dorm or apartment, Alabama has a lot to offer. From stunning waterfalls to miles of scenic trails, there are plenty of beautiful nature spots throughout the state to explore if you’re feeling a little stir-crazy. 

Visiting Mount Cheaha State Park is for those who want an exhilarating journey to the tallest point in Alabama!  Located about a two-hour drive east of Tuscaloosa, the park is located on the southernmost tip of the Appalachian Mountain chain and is the oldest park in Alabama. At Cheaha, there are many miles of trails for beginner to experienced hikers, and even two seasonal waterfalls! Cheaha also has two different museums available, the Civilian Conservation Corps Museum and the Walt Farr Native American Relic Museum. 

About two hours north of Tuscaloosa lies Dismals Canyon, a whimsical National Natural Landmark. Hike through a mossy canyon filled with waterfalls and rich plant life, with 350 different species of exotic flora. What makes this spot unique is the dismalites, bioluminescent fly larvae that glow an astonishing bright blue in the night. Dismals canyon is home to the largest population of these creatures anywhere in the United States. 

If you’re looking for an excursion a bit closer to campus, Oak Mountain State Park, located just outside of Birmingham, is the perfect day trip. Featuring more than 100 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking or horseback riding, you’ll find plenty to do here. This park even features a nature trail and boardwalk with six enclosures that house 12 birds of prey.