Adventure Bound

Adventure Bound is GW's outdoor co-curricular program. Meet fellow students, learn more about life at GW, and build lasting memories in the great outdoors. Each Adventure Bound is led by experienced student guides to help you transition to GW and college life. Adventure Bound is open to first year students and transfer students on-campus or in the Washington D.C. area. The program for spring 2021 is currently at capacity. More information will be released over the summer about the fall program for students new to GW.

The spring 2021 program is currently full, please review the information below as an example of the program before the fall 2021 program is released this summer.

"I loved the bonding and friendship that evolved from the shared experiences. Being with everyone and fostering these new connections made it completely worth it."

2019 Participant

Start your semester off with adventure and building community through Adventure Bound's newly structured program following COVID-19 guidelines. The program supports students through virtual and in-person experiences! Our small group approach will help students make lasting connections through outdoor adventures in D.C. and small-group conversations. Your Adventure Bound experience starts meeting virtually the week of February 7, 2020! 

Choose two of the four activities below:

View of a bridge in the woods in Rock Creek Park

Hike in Rock Creek Park

Hike into D.C.'s most loved park and surround yourself in nature. Enjoy beautiful trails, trees, and streams. The hike is 6 miles round trip (including walk to metro and the trail head) with approximately 800 feet of elevation gain. Check out the trail map. This trip requires travel on the metro. 

Two people biking on the C&O canal next to the Potomac River.

Bike along the C&O Canal

Enjoy a flat and scenic trail along the Potomac River for a biking half day trip. The group will walk up to Georgetown to collect the rental bikes before hopping on the C&O Canal trail. There will be limited time on the roads as most of the biking trip will be on the trail. Expect to bike around 10 to 15 miles total.

View of DC monuments at night.

Monument Evening Walk

Bundle up and enjoy an evening stroll to view the monument lights along the Tidal Basin with hot chocolate, coffee, or tea supplied by Bourbon Coffee. Evening is the best time to avoid the crowds and experience the city in a new light. Dress warmly for a walk around 4 miles. 

View of the Potomac heritage trail and the rock wall.

Hike on the Potomac Heritage Trail

Explore beyond D.C. as we hike into Virginia! This trail winds along the Potomac River and is customizable for the group to hike a total of 6 to 8 miles with approximately 1,000 feet elevation gain. The trail features a small rock scramble (optional), views of the Potomac, and a river-side waterfall. This option is recommended for those looking for a challenge! Check out the trail map.

Our outdoor adventures take place over two separate weekends on either Saturday or Sunday. When you register can preference the day and select the type of outdoor activities you want to participate in. All of the activities are open to beginners or the more experienced, including people who have never hiked before! For the bike trip you need some previous experience riding a bike, enough to feel comfortable on a flat bike trail for about 10-15 miles total. 


of students agreed that they made a new friend on their Adventure Bound trip


of students agreed they gained skills that will help them be successful in college


of people can apply the Leave No Trace skills learned in AB to a future outdoor activity

During Adventure Bound, the group (10 people total) meets four times. Students will also have the added benefit of participating in small group conversations three additional times. These groups will either meet in-person with social distancing guidelines or virtually, depending on the student's preference. The small groups are led by one of the student guides and only have 3-4 incoming students per group. These conversations are a great time to ask questions about college, learn about topics important to students at GW, and reflect on the shared experience. 


Adventure Bound Details

Program Dates: 

The approximate dates for Adventure Bound meetings are February 7 - March 28. There are a few virtual activities before the week of February 7th. The outdoor adventures are already set for two weekends, February 13 or 14 and March 6 or 7. During registration students can preference Saturdays or Sundays. The entire program is based on student availability, so apart from weekends, meeting days and times will vary between groups. The last group activity, a socially distanced campfire, will take place on-campus in the evening on March 27 or 28.

Program Fee: 

Adventure Bound is $30, covering the rental equipment cost, s'mores, campfire cost, and coffee/hot chocolate. Metro fare for the Rock Creek Park hike is not included. 

Outdoor Adventures:

Each group will participate in the same activities together. During registration students will be able to preference which activities they would like to participate in and will try and match students to have their top two choices. Students will participate in a total of two outdoor adventures listed above. The program will end with a third outing, either a socially distant campfire evening or a group walk along the tidal basin. 

Small Group Meetings: 

Each small group will meet three times across the span of the program. Each small group will have a particular topic to address, but it is also a time for students to form better connections. These meetings are based on student availability.


Registration is open to GW first year or undergraduate transfer students on-campus or in the D.C. area. Registration for the program is now closed after reaching capacity.


Check out our FAQs below or email Rebecca Burwell, Program Coordinator for Outdoor Leadership.

Photo of a campfire in a fire ring.


Frequently Asked Questions

Adventure Bound is planned by the staff in the Office of Student Life, including help from our student coordinator. We have over 40 trained Trails Guides, certified in Wilderness First Aid, CPR, and AED use that lead Adventure Bound. 

You will be contacted through your GW email account. Please check this account periodically. Not only will we email you, but additional information for your upcoming year will be sent to you throughout the summer.

If you believe you may be in need of financial assistance to participate in Adventure Bound, we may have fee waivers available to students. For more information, please contact Rebecca Burwell, Program Coordinator for Outdoor Leadership.

Generally no! Adventure Bound is open to beginners and those that have more experience in the outdoors. For the bike trip you need some experience riding a bike, enough to feel comfortable on a flat bike trail for 10-15 miles. 

The price covers the cost of the bike rentals, s'mores and camfire supplies, and coffee/hot chocolate. The price does not cover the Metro cost, which is only needed for the Rock Creek Park hike and is estmiated at $4 round trip. Participants will be asked to bring their own snacks/lunch & water on the trips. 

The outdoor adventure's length depends on the activity. All scheduling information will be sent to students ahead of time. In general, the outdoor trips will last between 3 and 6 hours. 

Groups will meet oudoors on-campus and then travel together to the locations across D.C. Big Wheel Bikes, the bike rental store, is also about a 30 minute (1.3 miles) walk from campus. For the Rock Creek Park hike, the group will walk 15 minutes (0.5 mile walk) to the metro station and travel to the park on the metro for about 20 minutes. All other locations include a walk from campus. 

  • All participants and guides will be asked to wear masks for the duration of the trips and in-person meetings. Some exceptions will include eating or drinking water, but students will be asked to keep more than 6ft apart at those times.
  • Social distancing guidelines will be required, each person will keep a distance of at least 6 feet.
  • Group sizes have been reduced from 20-30 people, to 10 people maximum, including the student guides. 
  • We have eliminated meals and students will be asked to provide their own snacks and water. Programs will not go past meal times. 
  • Some components of Adventure Bound are virtual, to reduce the need for in-person meetings for information. 
  • Students will be asked to bring their own hand sanitizer and students will be encouraged to wash their hands, when possible. We will also provide additional hand sanitizer or wipes, as needed. 
  • COVID-19 transmission is lower risk when outdoors and we utilize outdoor space throughout the program instead of meeting indoors.
  • These guidelines are constantly evolving and may change to best support the community at GW. 

We monitor the weather forecast carefully and work with our outfitters to determine beforehand if we will need to reschedule an outdoor activity. You will receive an email from us if we need to reschedule an activity due to inclement weather. Adventure Bound activities operate rain or shine (as long as there are no thunderstorms, heavy snow or ice!) Plese be prepared to bring a rain jacket and participate in activities if there is light rain.