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Try This: Hiking Bailey Mountain with Mars Hill University students

The Bailey Mountain hike is an annual tradition for Mars Hill University’s new students to get outside, challenge themselves, and connect with faculty, staff + the world around them.

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MHU students on Bailey Mountain

Bailey Mountain was recently incorporated as an official part of the Mars Hill campus and is maintained by staff, students + volunteers.

Photo by the AVLtoday team

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Hey, Asheville, Stephanie here. 👋 Last week, I popped over to Mars Hill University to experience one of their special annual traditions — the Bailey Mountain Hike.

MHU President Tony Floyd created and hosts this tradition for new students each year, alongside faculty members. In his words, the experience is a great metaphor for students’ first year of school: more challenging than they expect, but incredibly rewarding if they stick with it.

What we tried:

It was a beautiful day in Mars Hill, and everyone was super excited to hit the trail. But before we got started, students + faculty enjoyed: a live performance by MHU’s award-winning Bailey Mountain Cloggers to get us into the Mountain Lion spirit. 🥾

What not to miss:

Bailey's Mountain Cloggers

The Bailey Mountain Cloggers in action.

GIF by the AVLtoday team

The Bailey Mountain Cloggers are 20-time national champions — and they did not disappoint. After their performance, we started our hike to the top.

What we’re still talking about:

The view from Checkpoint 1 is breathtaking. Not only can you see the base of the mountain where the hike began, but also down into campus and the lines of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Checkpoint No. 1 Bailey Mountain

Checkpoint No. 1 is a perfect spot for a picturesque photo op, or to simply sit and enjoy the view.

Photo by the AVLtoday team

President Floyd was right — the hike is challenging, but very rewarding. I loved watching students put their phones away and connect with teachers, each other, and their beautiful campus on a deeper level during the hike. This year, ~350 students participated in the hike.

Mars Hill University students at the top of Bailey Mountain

A big hike deserves a great photo op.

Photo by the AVLtoday team

How you can experience this:

This hike is open to all Mars Hill University students, alumni, and the public. If you’re a prospective student (or know one), Fall 2023 applications are now open.*

Things to know if you go:

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