Questions? Call NCOAE Support (910) 399-8090
The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE) understands that the wilderness is beneficial to all people during all chapters of their lives. Give yourself a week to unwind and focus on yourself. This course is about your journey, both physically and mentally. Let us help take you where you want to go.
- 8 days
$1,650.00See Available Dates
At NCOAE, we’re firm believers that the backcountry provides the perfect backdrop for personal growth and self-exploration. Carrying your necessities on your back and walking step-by-step on a trail requires a subtle pace. We only go where our feet can take us.
Our North Carolina – Women’s Wilderness course is intentionally designed for women who are not regular backpackers and rafters. Although this course is stimulating in many ways, the trail through the wilderness is mostly flat and the river is relaxing — no massive rapids to negotiate. For your adventure, you’ll spend the first four days hiking approximately five miles each day, and you’ll spend your final three days paddling down a calm river.
Things terrifically slow down when you’re on the trail, which allows you to relax, establish a sense of place, and develop a connection with nature. As part of this course, we create a culture of reflection and gratitude, and give you an opportunity to connect with other women.
And at the end of this course —you’ll be able to return to your daily life with a renewed sense of purpose and a focus about your direction in life.
- Duration: 8 days
- Minimum Age: 18
- Tuition: $1,650.00
Choose your challenge individually. Our professional guides will help you develop personal and technical goals to design your adventure the way you want it.
- NCOAE core curriculum
- LNT Awareness training
- Gain experience in backcountry travel planning, wilderness risk management, campsite selection, backcountry navigation, and more
Why Take This Course
- Develop essential wilderness knowledge and skills — while living and learning in North Carolina’s wild, beautiful places.
- Immerse yourself in a wonderland of densely forested hills, cool mountain streams, cascading waterfalls, and stunning rock formations.
- Refresh your spirit & build lifelong friendships
- Acquire the outdoor skills needed to travel in pristine destinations around the world!
Where You’ll Be
- Pisgah National Forest
- Black Balsam Knob
- French Broad River Trail
Created by women, for women, the Women’s Wilderness Initiative course is a 8-day outdoor adventure in the Pisgah National Forest — where student participants are immersed in a wonderland of densely forested hills, cool mountain streams, cascading waterfalls, and stunning rock formations.
You will spend about half your time developing the technical skills to navigate mountains and rivers, and the other half communing with nature, building lifelong friendships, and refreshing your spirit.
Ages of students range from 18 to 60 years old with an average of about 30 years.
You will engage in a number of fun, exciting, and challenging activities, including
- Whitewater rafting
In the context of your wilderness adventure, you develop essential wilderness knowledge and skills, such as how to
- Safely navigate the backcountry on foot
- Read maps and find your way in the wilderness
- Identify and set up the perfect campsite
- Prepare meals
- Master flat-water and whitewater paddling strokes and maneuvers
- Appreciate river ecology
Plenty of time is set aside for yoga, journaling, art, and solitude.
You can expect to hike about three miles a day on average, but distances vary; you may hike six miles one day and not hike at all on another day.
No. The beauty of this course is that you develop the knowledge and skills required to survive and thrive in the wilderness in the context of the wilderness adventure.
You don’t need to be a triathlete to participate, but you do need to be able to
- Carry a 40 pound or more backpack over rough or rugged terrain
- Maintain a positive attitude while carrying your own equipment and some of the group gear
- Sit and paddle for long periods of time during the rafting sessions
- Walk on rugged, slippery shorelines or through water while carrying or pulling your raft
Yes. The course allocates a full day to spend alone in the backcountry. The casual pace and team support provide additional opportunities to enjoy the peace and solitude of nature.
Two instructors lead each group, and course size is limited to eight students, so each instructor has no more than four students. In addition, a course director is assigned to each group to attend to group and individual needs and to facilitate transitions from one activity to the next.
This course is NOT currently eligible to receive college credit through the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. If you are interested in earning credit for a course, learn more about our Outdoor Educator and Semester / Gap Year courses which may be eligible for up to six college-level credits through The University of North Carolina – Wilmington.
This 8-day course is for you if you want to have fun backpacking and river rafting with a group of like-minded women.
Where do you want to go (physically, mentally, socially, etc.)?
Our Women’s Wilderness Initiative provides a supportive community in a remote setting to allow you to slow down, relax, and (figuratively) climb mountains. And, the constant and tranquil flow of the river provides a great opportunity for release and personal goal-setting.
How will NCOAE help you get there?
Our all-women team of certified instructors will help you reconnect with yourself and re-establish your personal path to happiness. We also provide the instruction to help you develop your outdoor skills, which will give you the confidence to create your own outdoor adventures.
This Women’s Wilderness Initiative is only offered through NCOAE, which is why we’re excited to offer it in North Carolina.
Travel & Logistics
Meet your group at Baggage Claim at Wilmington North Carolina International Airport (ILM) in Wilmington, North Carolina, on Day One of your course. The starting point for your training will be The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education campus in Wilmington. You will depart for home from Wilmington North Carolina International Airport (ILM) on the last day of your training.
Questions about travel and logistics? Call NCOAE headquarters Mon.-Fri. between 9am-4:30pm ET — (910) 399-8090.