Situated nearly 4000 feet above sea level
460 acres of rolling hills and undeveloped forests
Experience all 4 incredible and inspiring seasons
Miles of hiking, running, and biking trails on campus
Located in the town of Banner Elk nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, Lees-McRae College has the highest elevation of any college campus east of the Mississippi. Boasting an invigorating and healthful climate, the Appalachian region is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream.
Area attractions include Grandfather Mountain, the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Pisgah and Cherokee National Forests, Beech and Sugar Mountain Ski Resorts, the Linville Gorge and Wilson Creek Wilderness Areas, and much more.
The Outdoor Programs Department introduces first year students to the stunning mountains that surround our campus through Fresh Tracks, a camping, hiking, backpacking and rock climbing orientation trip offered during the late summer and early fall. Students connect with their environment and with classmates who enjoy outdoor adventure like rappelling, kayaking, hiking, climbing, canoeing, skiing and mountain biking. Outdoor Programs sponsors several clubs and interest groups that explore the area through guided adventures.