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Southern Appalachia Student Travel

We travel to places where the culture is as unique and rich as the environment, and for Southern Appalachia, our first domestic destination, that’s just the starting point. As with each of our handpicked locales, we have the intimate knowledge and connections that allow you to engage with the locals and the stunning natural environments in authentic and deeply meaningful ways. Gretchen Ferrell, a Chill Expeditions guide and trip planner since 2004, will host us in her community at the base of the tallest mountains on the east coast. Surrounded by breathtaking national forest, and set in one of the most diverse temperate ecosystems in the world, her small farm provides the perfect base from which to explore the rivers, mountains, music and community that make up rural North Carolina. On a Southern Appalachian Expedition with us, you will spend time on farms learning the basics of homesteading such as gardening, food preservation, cheese making, soap making, wildcrafting medicinal herbs, learning traditional crafts and developing primitive skills. You can hike, zipline, whitewater raft and kayak through the breathtaking mountain landscapes and gorges, and connect with a colorful history through storytellers and musicians who share ballads and “old-timey” music. You will also explore the concepts of sustainability- economic, social and environmental – from an urban environment on the cutting edge to a rural community who has been at it for decades. Join us for the eco-immersion experience of a lifetime, right here in our own country.

To find out more, CONTACT US or call today 800-551-7887.

Why we Love Southern Appalachia

Far from the lights of the city, we invite you to a place where the stars put on a show each night, and the flowing creeks and mountain winds make up the background noise. Waterfalls, rock outcroppings and moss gardens dot the ancient mountains and valleys, creating precious, intimate beauty that is not replicated anywhere on Earth. This is a place where family comes first; where invaluable knowledge of how to live with the land has been passed down for generations; a place with deep roots.  Southern Appalachia opens the door to eco-immersion at it’s best – a place where geology, history, culture, conservation, economy, agriculture, language and ecology are interwoven to create an intricate and exquisite modern-day cultural landscape.  As we adventure through the mountains, we will help to put all of these pieces together through our unique approach, allowing students to grasp a real-life understanding of this special region of our country.

Day On Expedition

We savor a fresh farm breakfast this morning at Open Ridge Farm, a small family farm where we enjoy fresh-baked organic bread and other seasonal delights. Afterwards, our guides share of their secret spots with us on an exhilarating hike within this one-billion year-old mountain chain. Here we discover one of the world’s most biodiverse temperate forests, home to more salamanders than any other place on earth, as well as over 4,000 species of plants, 2,000 species of fungi and 500 species of mosses and lichens.
We enjoy a packed lunch on our hike and maybe a dip in the creek. This afternoon we participate in a Primitive Skills workshop with Christina, a dairy goat farmer from Georgia. Some of the skills she may teach us include fire by friction, hide tanning, basic cordage and foraging. Tonight we have the opportunity to meet with a local musician, Bruce. He gives us an overview of traditional music in the southern Appalachians – its roots, how it fits into the culture, its importance, and how it has changed since the mountains were first settled. He will play examples of these sounds on fiddle, banjo, as well as unaccompanied songs and ballads. Throughout the night, Bruce shares anecdotes about some of the people he learned from and the stories they passed down to him.

Best Value in Southern Appalachia

Chill Expeditions offers the absolute best value for an unparalleled experiential learning experience in Southern Appalachia. Each of our expeditions is customized to meet your educational vision and trip interests, so pricing varies by itinerary – most of our student expeditions to Southern Appalachia range from $225-$275 per student per day (land cost). We offer 1 free chaperone land cost for each 10 paying students, and our expeditions are completely all inclusive- including visa processing – no add-ons or hidden costs while on the road. View Pricing Information