Outdoor Classroom


YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly offers environmental education opportunities for groups of all ages.  Our rushing mountain streams, forested woodland habitats, and diverse wildlife provide the ideal backdrop for a variety of activities that encourage exploration and awareness of the natural world.

Our unique programs have the ability to instill a greater respect for the environment and deepen students’ connection to nature through observation and discovery.  For School Groups, this hands-on, experiential learning fits the National Science Education Standards of “Science as Inquiry” and other state curriculum standards for grades 4-8.

Mountain Stream Discovery

Explore the mountain streams around Blue Ridge to discover aquatic creatures in their natural habitat, and to determine water quality and other environmental conditions.

Sessions: 1.5 hours
Ages: 4 Years - Adult
Participants: 6 – 24


Participate in an ecological simulation game demonstrating predator-prey relationships, survival, and the food web through a strategic game of tag in the woods. Action-packed and lots of fun!
Sessions: 1.5 hours
Ages: 9 Years - Adult
Participants: minimum of 15

Survival in the Woods

This wilderness survival class involves creative problem solving, survival information, group decision-making, and leadership skills as we learn two of the most basic survival skills, shelter building, and fire building.

Sessions: 2 hours
Ages: 9 Years - Adult
Participants: 6

Interpretive Nature Hike

Explore Blue Ridge’s ecologically-diverse hardwood forest on an interactive and informative guided hike. The route can be modified to fit the group’s abilities and time availability- a shorter hike on our lower trails, or a more intense hike to the peak of our mountain.

Sessions: 1.5 or 3 hours
Ages: 5 Years - Adult
Participants: 6 - 24

Night Awareness Hike

Utilize a range of sensory experiences in a fun and interactive evening hike in a dark, but safe, nocturnal setting.

Sessions: 1.5 hours
Ages: Elementary - Adult
Participants: 6 - 48

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 84 Blue Ridge Circle Black Mountain, NC 28711

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At YMCA Blue Ridge, we impact lives for a lifetime.