Hampden-Sydney's 1,300-acre campus and the surrounding areas offer bountiful opportunities to explore the outdoors and hunt, fish, hike, camp, shoot trap, and mountain bike. If you're at home in the woods or on a stream with a fly rod in your hand, Hampden-Sydney is the place for you.


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 - is just minutes away. Mountain trout streams are also within an hour's drive, so don't be surprised to find guys practicing their roll casts on the lawn in front of your dorm. 


Central Virginia boasts terrific whitetail habitat, sits on the edge of the Atlantic coast flyway, and offers numerous dove fields and quail preserves. Many H-SC students find great waterfowl hunting in the area as well, and the College's Ducks Unlimited chapter is very active. Some students have even been known to arrive at mid-morning classes wearing camoflauge and hip-waders, fresh out of the duck blind. 


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 can be sure that paddle sports are a big deal here, with many nearby rivers, lakes, and streams for canoeing, kayaking, or stand-up paddle boarding. Don't forget to check with the Office of Student Affairs to reserve your vessel of choice!


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 also 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 WintergreenMassanutten, and Snowshoe, are short drives to the west. Hampden-Sydney students often make weekend trips - remember to take advantage of the available student discounts!

Service and Adventure

Beyond the Hill is Hampden-Sydney's service and adventure program. It takes the mission of the College beyond the gates, forming good men and good citizens by putting Hamden-Sydney men in the field to participate in both adventurous and service-oriented programs. Whether it's fly fishing in New Mexico or serving those in need in places like Belize and the Dominican Republic, Beyond the Hill has a trip for you. 

Frisbee Golf

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

The H-SC community always supported and actively encouraged outdoor adventure, so the school cultivated our desire to explore the edges of the map. In addition, the social dynamic of the Honor Code reinforced in us the idea that challenges, successes and failures should all be faced in a personal way.

Will Houtz ‘10

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.

Outsiders Club Takes on the Gauley River

FREE Equipment Rental

Want an adventure, but don't have the equipment? Borrow it from the Office of Student Affairs!

Students showing off their outdoor gear at H-SCIt's really easy, so gather a group of friends, come check out our inventory , or contact us!

What we offer:

  • Golf passes to The Manor
  • Tents and tarps
  • Camping essentials
  • Cornhole boards and bags
  • Kayaks, canoes, & SUP
Contact Student Affairs Staff