OU’s Outdoor Club hikes through Kentucky


Photo courtesy of Emma Capelli

The Oakland University Outdoor Adventure club visited Kentucky the weekend of Oct. 15 in an effort to get close to nature.

When school becomes extra stressful, it’s nice for students to take a minute and go outside, connect with nature or take a walk. The Oakland University Outdoor Adventure Club (OUOAC) has a goal of being close to nature. The group went on a trip to Kentucky for the weekend of Oct. 15-17. 

“It’s [relieves so much stress] to be out there and not worry about school or anything — to just kind of take a break and do something like that,” said Emma Capelli, president of OUOAC. “I just really hope that a lot of the other students come out, have a good time like see something new or try something new.”

The group of 23 students stayed at a rock climbers campground near Red River Gorge Natural Bridge State Park. The trip’s activities included hiking, kayaking and camping. 

On Saturday, the group did a group breakfast at the campsite and then drove to their first hiking trail of the trip. The hike ended up being about eight miles long going to the actual natural bridge. They then continued to hike to a lookout point to see a view of the bridge from afar. 

“It’s just a perfect day-hike, and it’s a very cool spot to see the Red River Gorge just has so many different trails and cool rock formations and things to see,” Capelli said. “We did have a few members on our trip this year who are rock climbers who can go rock climbing and bouldering, at different spots on the trail.”

On Sunday, the group woke up and did another group breakfast. At this time, people packed themselves some sandwiches for lunch for their day of exploring nature. Then they did a drive through the Scenic Byway through the Red River Gorge. Select members of the group did a kayak trip through the Gorge Underground, an underground mine that flooded. People that did not sign up for the kayak trip did another trial through the Red River Gorge.

“I just felt like everyone got out at least some benefit from nature,” Megan Degeer, secretary of OUOAC said. “Also [we] made a few friends to continue to hanging out with throughout the year and after we graduated because most of us are seniors.”

In November, the group rented a cabin in Bald Mountain and plans to do some day hikes. They also are planning to do an ice cave trip within the winter months.

Also, every year at the end of the school year, the club does a five day backpacking trip. This year the group hopes to go to Georgia.  

The club is beginner friendly and allows anyone to join. For anyone that wants to join the club, go to GrizzOrgs, look up Oakland University Outdoor Adventure Club and press join. This adds you to their email list and provides information about meetings and upcoming trips the club is doing.

“[This club is] to get more people, especially students out into nature,” Degeer said. “Like connecting with nature and learning, like how to take care of her environment, appreciate our environment and just like being able to get outdoors more.”