The Outdoor Experience

Hiking at Hampden-Sydney College

If you like hunting, fishing, trap shooting, biking, or camping, Hampden-Sydney students have easy access to forests, fields, streams, and open water. It's not uncommon to stand behind a student wearing camo coveralls or blaze orange cap in the breakfast line, to see a johnboat parked on Fraternity Circle, or to join some guys grilling doves they shot that afternoon. Hampden-Sydney men enjoy being outdoors, and they have plenty of places on our 1,300-acre campus and nearby to do so.

As a student, you have opportunities to connect academic studies with your love of the outdoors, and many alumni go on to have rewarding and successful careers in outdoor fields. Just have a look at the Adventure Gallery to see what Hampden-Sydney men are up to.


Several of Virginia's premier fishing destinations are close by: there are three bass-fishing lakes on campus, Sandy River Reservoir nearby, and Briery Creek Reservoir-the crown jewel of Virginia bass fishing, boasting three of the top four state large-mouth records-just minutes away. Mountain trout streams are within an hour's drive.


Central Virginia boasts terrific whitetail habitat, sits on the edge of the Atlantic coast flyway, and offers numerous dove fields and quail preserves. If hunting is your thing, Hampden-Sydney is a great place to do it.


On campus the 3-mile Wilson Trail System will challenge all levels of mountain biker. For easier biking, five miles north of campus is the 35-mile High Bridge Trail, a converted railbed. Road bikers will appreciate the low levels of traffic on our highways and country roads-and the 5-county century ride one of our professors has mapped out, through the towns of Pain and Hurt.

Canoeing, Kayaking, and SUPing

Farmville is home of the nationally-acclaimed outfitter, Appomattox River Company, so you know that paddling is a big deal here, with lots of nearby rivers, lakes, and streams for canoeing, kayaking, or stand-up paddle boarding.


Hampden-Sydney students need only step outside to take advantage of the forests surrounding the College where 3 miles of the Wilson Trail provides hiking and biking paths.
Hampden-Sydney is only 45 minutes from several jump-on points to the Appalachian Trail. Two of our professors maintain stretches of the trail and will welcome your help-and maybe even let you use their sweet saw collection (no chainsaws allowed).


Top ski resorts, like Wintergreen, Massanutten, and Snowshoe, are short drives to the west. Hampden-Sydney students often make weekend trips, using the student discounts that are available. 

Service and Adventure

Beyond the Hill is Hampden-Sydney's service and adventure program. It takes the mission of the College beyond the gates, creating good men and good citizens by putting Hamden-Sydney Men in the field to participate in both adventurous and service oriented programs.


The Hampden-Sydney Paintball Club is for players of all experience levels. The club holds open practice about twice a month, and more experienced players may be invited to join the tournament team for local, NCPA, and national championship events."

Frisbee Golf

Hampden-Sydney has a regulation Frisbee Golf Course and the H-SC Fitness Center has frisbees for your use.

Nearby Parks and Recreation:

Prince Edward State Forest
The Prince Edward-Gallion State Forest is a short drive away from campus and has about 6,500 acres of excellent land for hiking, wildlife watching, biking, horseback riding, hunting and fishing.

Sandy River Adventure Park Ropes Course
The Adventure Park at Sandy River Retreat is a 40 element high ropes course. The course has 4 different challenge levels ranging from beginner to challenging. 

High Bridge Trail State Park
This 33.8-mile long multi-use trail is ideal for hiking, bicycling,and horseback riding.

Twin Lakes State Park
This historic park offers swimming, fishing, boating, lakefront picnicking. and overnight accommodations, including a campground and cabins. Hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians can take advantage of a multiuse trail developed in conjunction with Prince Edward-Gallion State Forest.


Alumni, share your outdoor experiences and careers
Contact Edward Thomas, or phone 434-223-6043