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Wilderness Trips

There is a strong tradition of wilderness tripping at Green Cove. Ever since our founding, we have felt that spending time in nature is vitally important to a young girl’s education. Our tripping program has drawn strength from the expertise of our staff over the years, and we have loved watching it grow!

When Green Cove started in 1945, it was founded on the premise of encouraging young girls to seek outdoor adventures, by providing activities that most other camps were not offering to girls at the time. While we still taught “the basics,” such as tennis, swimming, and crafts, Green Cove also taught girls how to paddle down rivers, hike mountain trails with back packs, and ride horses. We were one of the first all girls’ camps in the area to teach activities that had a strong focus on being out in the woods, and as our program grew, we continued to add to the adventure. In the 60s, rock climbing was added to the program, and Mountain Biking entered the picture in the mid 80s. In the beginning, our girls explored the mountains using only keen judgment, the skills they learned at camp and primitive gear, such as wooden canoes and bundles for packs. And while we have upgraded our gear a bit, we still teach the campers the skills they will need to go out on these wilderness adventures before they ever leave camp property, to ensure safety and fun. Our campers have access to the trips that correspond with their skill level and work hard to continually progress with their skills, in order to earn the opportunity for new challenges.

Trip Map

This interactive trip map will let you discover some of our favorite places to explore in the western North Carolina mountains surrounding the camp.

Regular Trips

During each camp session, we regularly run trips as a complement to our in-camp program. We go out by canoe, kayak, sailboat, horse, mountain bike, and of course, on foot. Most trips go for one to five days; some are longer. There are trips for all skill levels in each activity. Campers must qualify for a trip – which means they must demonstrate the necessary skills during lessons here at camp. They then sign up for the trips that they wish to go on. New trips are announced almost every day. Age is not a requirement, though it may be a factor in selecting an appropriate trip.

A Trip Schedule From a Recent Summer

(In addition to all of the in-camp activities!)


A one-day intermediate level rock climbing trip went to Gilbert’s Rock; a five-day advanced level Linville Gorge hiking/climbing expedition left; a backpacking group went out with them, planning to spend five days hiking from Linville to Mt. Mitchell; a Down Green whitewater canoeing trip went out on a day trip; and a mountain biking trip left for a three day ride in Pisgah.


Today the Hillsiders (one of the older age groups) went to Pisgah Slides; a rock climbing trip for younger campers went to Gilbert’s Rock; and a tubing trip went for an afternoon on the Green. A one-day Nantahala canoeing trip left right after breakfast. A Green Cove sailing group exchanged with a Mondamin group at Lake Fontana (near the Smokies), to stay out for three days. A “Mystery River Recon” (for advanced beginner paddlers) left later in the morning for a 3-day trip, destination unknown (to the campers, at least). The Nature Lab took a field trip.


Mid-week, the Nature Lab took another outing; a group of beginning whitewater paddlers headed off for the lower Green River; an intermediate paddling group left for a three-day on the Tuckasegee River. The Pisgah biking three-day was picked up and brought back to camp.


Today there was a climbing trip to Looking Glass Rock; a 3-day intermediate canoe trip departed for the Tuckaseegee. That day also, the Mystery River Recon canoeing trip was picked up, and a Mondamin group replaced Green Cove’s sailors at Fontana. In the evening, the caving trip returned.


Another Down Green canoeing trip left, and the Mt. Mitchell backpacking trip was picked up. A group of horseback riders took the six horse trailer to Bent Creek for a day of trail riding. The Tuckasegee River canoeing trip was picked up.


Today was for picking up loose ends. A Gilbert’s Rock climbing trip went out for the day. The Tuckaseegee canoeing trip came in.