Could it be three straight titles for Western Carolina University as the “Top Adventure College” in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic region?

Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine is expected to announce the results of its online poll Monday, May 16, with a feature article. WCU is poised for a “tree-peat,” to coin a phrase drawing on the outdoors and avoiding trademark infringement with former Los Angeles Lakers head coach Pat Riley, who holds the copyright on the term “three-peat.”

A Blue Ridge Outdoors readers poll determines the top adventure college.

A Blue Ridge Outdoors readers poll determines the top adventure college.

Following a “March Madness” theme, WCU progressed to the finals to face Emory and Henry College, of Emory, Virginia. Voting for the top spot began at 1 p.m. Monday, April 18, and concluded 9 a.m. Monday, April 25.

WCU has much going for it as an outdoor recreation hotspot, starting with location, location, location. Nestled in a scenic valley between the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky mountains, WCU is ideally located for mountain and road biking, hiking, rock climbing and rappelling, camping, paddle sports, fishing, skiing, and trail and road running. WCU opened a seven-mile multi-use trail system behind the Health and Human Sciences Building on its West Campus in 2013, offering hiking, running and mountain biking activities to members of the campus and surrounding community.

The university’s Base Camp Cullowhee, the outdoor programming unit at WCU, offers dozens of outdoor recreation trips to students annually, provides experiential education services and has an equipment rental service. Among the academic programs offered by WCU of interest to students pursuing careers in the outdoors are forest resource management, hospitality and tourism management, natural resources conservation and management, and parks and recreation management.

Blue Ridge Outdoors is a monthly magazine for outdoor sports, health and adventure travel in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, distributed from Baltimore to Atlanta. Learn more at