Outdoor Program Navigation

Outdoor Program

The Marlboro College Outdoor Program in July

We’re here to help you foster a relationship with the Green Mountains and beyond.

Marlboro College is a fabulous place to stay active outdoors. Surrounded by 17+ miles of trails, an ecological reserve, and numerous lakes and reservoirs, Potash Hill is a great place to balance rigorous academics with physical connection to the landscape and greater ecological community. 

Student-Driven Programs

The OP regularly runs programs such as hiking up Vermont peaks, caving, paddling at Harriman Reservoir, climbing, cross-country skiing, and backpacking on the Long Trail. Programs change based on student interest and the seasons–and are frequently led by OP student staff or other student leaders. Interested in something we don’t currently offer? That’s cool. We can help you change that. The OP is driven by motivated students who seek new, adventurous challenges and want to bring the community new places.

Expeditionary TripsStudent gazing out over Sylvan Lake in the Black Hills

The Outdoor Program usually makes one or two major expeditions each school year, with destinations and activities based on student interests. Winter explorations and wolf watching in Yellowstone National Park is a regular favorite, but past trips include canoeing and rock climbing along the Rio Grande, paddling through the Everglades, and other destinations such as Quebec, Jamaica, and Costa Rica.  Most recently, we traveled to the Smoky Mountain National Park and the Assateague Island National Seashore.


The Marlboro community gathers for our annual ski race.

Ski races, community trail maintenance, and Broomball punctuate the Marlboro school year as Outdoor Program and Student Recreation events.  The Wendell-Judd Ski Cup is a casual, but vigorous 10k ski race from campus, across South Pond, and back.  The community shreds up the ice during Broomball in early winter, with multiple student, staff, and faculty teams.  Trails Day pulls together folks from the college, the town, and the surrounding area to help maintain our 17+ miles of trails. 

Leadership Program

Students looking out over a lake in Southern Vermont

The OP is a hub of leadership skills, knowledge, and hands-on training. The Outdoor Leadership Class, offered in the Spring, covers basic leadership skills and provides space for personal leadership development. The Bridges Leadership Training helps students design and run 6-day orientation trips, and includes 3-days of field experience and the option to take Wilderness First Responder medical training. The Outdoor Technical Skills course is a perfect supplement to “soft” leadership skills where you can learn how to fit and fix a frame backpack, deconstruct a camp stove, and tie basic knots.

On the Hill

Students playing Quidditch on the soccer field at Marlboro College

Get warm in the sauna, find the stone circle monument on the campus trails, set a new route in the Climbing Wall, or try out Marlboro-style fencing in the auditorium.  The O.P. facilitates numerous activities on-campus as well as off.  Student leaders design and host many of the outdoor activities, meaning that activities change every year.  What are YOU interested in bringing to campus this year?


(a mostly random selection of Marlboro microdestinations)