Texas State’s Outdoor Center offers Bobcats adventures out of bounds
By Catherine Harper
Amid a beautiful campus and sunny days, it’s almost impossible to stay inside as spring approaches at Texas State. Luckily, there are many resources to facilitate outdoor activity provided by Texas State’s Outdoor Recreation Program — a fast and easy way to connect with campus and beyond in the great outdoors.
The Outdoor Center, located in Sewell Park, houses information about the program, offering students and faculty a direct path of interaction with Texas State’s beautiful surroundings. Among a wide variety of activities, the Outdoor Center provides access to regional and national outdoor resources as well as opportunities for trip planning and preparation guidance.
Additionally, the Outdoor Recreation Program is comprised of six main program areas including the RockWall Climbing Center, Sewell Park, Equipment Rental, University Camp, the GOAL Challenge Course and the Adventure Trip Program.
Jump into the six program areas below:
RockWall Climbing Center
According to a physiological study, the benefits of rock climbing include increased self-esteem, confidence and social awareness. And according to Outdoor Center student supervisor Taryn Asmus, Texas State’s RockWall Climbing Center — located in the Student Recreation Center — is a perfect place to practice different skills in rock climbing.
“The rock wall has a lot of smaller and easier routes as well as harder ones, so it tends to cater to everyone,” Asmus says. “It’s a great feeling when you accomplish it.”
With two 54-foot climbing towers and a 2,600-square-foot bouldering area, the rock wall is an accessible way to master the basics of climbing. Climbers can test their skills with tasks such as the “El Cap Challenge,” combining routes that equal the total height of the 7,659-foot El Capitan mountain located in Yosemite National Park, with a prize of entrance to the coveted Club de los Capitans.
The Texas State grounds would not be complete without the scenery of Sewell Park, which also is part of the program. Running alongside the San Marcos River, Sewell Park offers a wide range of activities for students, faculty, alumni and the community in a location central to campus. With river activities, a basketball court and open grounds for frisbee and cookouts, Sewell Park is a hotspot at the heart of Texas State life.
According to Asmus, Sewell Park is a prime location for many of the program’s activities including meet-ups for trips, kayaking and canoeing adventures and — particularly — free clinics for activities such as slack-lining and camp cooking.
“People like that the clinics are free and that they can learn about something they might not know much about,” Asmus says. “It’s also really fun for us while teaching it.”
Texas State’s equipment rental service is a one-stop shop for a wide variety of activities both on and off campus, and is located in the Outdoor Center. Students, faculty and alumni are eligible to rent equipment for activities such as kayaking, tubing, camping, hiking, backpacking, canoeing and more. By renting equipment that can be costly for students to buy on their own, the Outdoor Center offers an attainable way for students to connect with the outdoors in almost any location.
At the University Camp, or U-Camp, students have a chance to explore the great outdoors beyond the reach of the Texas State campus. Students can hike, bike, snorkel and fish — among numerous other activities — at the Texas State camping grounds located on the Blanco River near Wimberley.
The Texas State camp grounds range 126 acres with two lodges, six campsites, and four day-use areas including 3.5 miles of hiking and biking trails along with a softball field for rental fees specified on the U-Camp website. According to Asmus, the price of rental is small compared to the adventure one can have at the camp.
“It’s a cheap price, but it’s also so pretty,” Asmus says. “I don’t think a lot of people realize we have that resource, or that they have the ability to go out there and see part of the Hill Country they’ve never really seen before.”
GOAL Challenge Course Program
With the GOAL Challenge Course Program located on the U-Camp grounds, groups and teams can learn to build communication, trust, interpersonal relationships and more. Short for Group Oriented Achievement and Learning, the GOAL program uses Experiential Education principles and philosophy to help groups function with social, mental, physical and environmental training. Groups or teams can can make reservations for the course on the GOAL website.
Adventure Trip Program
Texas State’s Adventure Trip Program offers students the chance to travel to state and national destinations with fellow Bobcats, saving the time and money usually spent on an independent trip. Asmus says that the relatively low cost and experiences associated with the program are more than enough reason to get up and go.
“The price is great in that you get a lot more than you pay for, for both your wallet and the experiences you have,” Asmus says. “You get to know a lot of students that you might not have gotten the chance to get to know before. I met my now-best friend at a trip to Enchanted Rock. It was a great experience.”
Check out locations, registration dates and costs for upcoming trips below or on the Adventure Trip website. Happy traveling, Bobcats!
- Rock Climbing at Reimer’s Ranch: Feb. 18
Registration Deadline: Feb. 16
Cost: Students – $25 | Faculty/Staff – $30 | General Public – $35
- Lost Maples Backpacking: Feb. 24-26
Registration Deadline: Feb. 21
Cost: Students – $55 | Faculty/Staff – $60 | General Public – $65
- Carlsbad Caverns and Guadalupe Mountains National Park: March 10-16
Registration Deadline: Feb. 16
Cost: Students – $285 | Faculty/Staff – $315 | General Public: $350
- Rock Climbing at Reimer’s Ranch: March 25
Registration Deadline: March 22
Cost:Students – $25 | Faculty/Staff – $30 | General Public – $35
- Moonlight Paddle on San Marcos River: March 29 and April 29 at 6 p.m.
Registration Deadline: 5 p.m. day of trip
Cost: Students – $10 | Faculty/Staff – $12 | General Public – $12
- Fundamentals of White Water Kayaking: March 30 – April 1
Registration Deadline: March 29
Cost: Students – $40 | Faculty/Staff – $45 | General Public – $50
- Beach Camping/Surf Kayaking: April 13-15
Registration Deadline: April 10
Cost: Students: $55 | Faculty/Staff – $60 | General Public – $65
- Enchanted Rock Backpacking and Climbing: April 20-22
Registration Deadline: April 22
Cost: Students – $45 | Faculty/Staff – $50| General Public – $55
For more information about the Outdoor Recreation Program, visit their website, call Texas State’s Department of Campus Recreation at 512.245.2392 or e-mail CampusRecreation@txstate.edu. Also, you may visit the Outdoor Center’s Facebook page.