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Adventure Tourism & Outdoor Recreation

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For more information, complete the Interest Form OR contact us by: Phone: 276-964-7703,  Email:

Why Choose ATOR at SWCC?

Do you want to explore your passion for the outdoors, gain leadership experience, and learn in a hands on, experiential environment? Join the Adventure Tourism & Outdoor Recreation program at Southwest Virginia Community College to gain the outdoor skills and nationally recognized credentials to land your dream job in the tourism & outdoor recreation industry.

What will I study?

The Adventure Tourism and Outdoor Recreation curriculum prepares students to be entrepreneurs in the tourism, parks, and recreation industries, and the program is designed to prepare students to work in or operate a small business in the tourism industry. Course work will include small business management, accounting, payroll, marketing, communications, technology, and outdoor recreation courses related to their discipline of interest.  The difference from other small businesses and entrepreneurs from this type of entrepreneur is the focus on outdoor recreation activities which could range from bed and breakfasts to an outfitter providing guided hiking, biking, kayaking or climbing trips.

This curriculum provides an entry-level credential for those interested in working in an outdoor recreation, parks/recreation, adventure tourism, or trail related job. Outdoor recreation activities are available in most areas, and visiting state and national parks is popular regardless of the state of the economy. State, national and other park services employ many employees in various types and classifications of jobs. At the heart of outdoor recreation activities, an integrated trail system and waterway infrastructure is necessary for adventure tourism and outdoor recreation activities such as hiking, biking, kayaking, canoeing, and ATV riding.  The adventure tourism and outdoor recreation curriculum embraces the relationship between entrepreneurship, tourism, hospitality, parks, and outdoor recreation.  Add additional skills with stackable credentials or preparation to transfer to continue your education.

Upcoming Activities and Events

Due to COVID-19 interruptions, all activities and events are cancelled until further notice.

For more information on or to register for any of these, please contact us by:
phone: 276-964-7703 or email:

Program Spotlight: RPK 170 - Recreational Backpacking

The Recreational Backpacking class (RPK 170) just finished an estimated 12+ mile hike and camping trip on the Appalachian Trail. The class started at Carvers Gap (5512 ft elevation) in Tennessee and hiked to Overmountain Shelter at Yellow Mountain Gap (4550 ft) on the trail and back to the start location. The group traversed several mountain locations on the trail like Round Bald (5826 ft), Jane Bald (5807 ft) and Grass Ridge Bald junction (5900 ft) until they descend to the shelter location. The group enjoyed meeting A.T. through hikers, sectional hikers, weekend warriors, and other people just enjoying different segments of the trail.

Click here to read more Program and Student Spotlights.

Information Request

Career Possibilities

There are a variety of career opportunities in this field - the only limits are your own!

Potential careers include:

Park Ranger
Wildlife Officer
Camp Director
Environmental Interpreter
Park Manager

For course information, contact Faculty Advisor