Outdoor Recreation

Hike. Fish. Bike. Run. Boat. Play. If you desire the sun on your face and a breath of Appalachian mountain air, Union College is just the start of your outdoor adventure.

Our students can enjoy the Turner Outdoor Center, a 60-plus acre tract of land established in 1998 for wilderness preservation, ecological research and recreation. Turner Center is home to the Union College Cycling Team that maintains more than five miles of mountain bike trails for training and competition.

Brickyard Pond, located on Union’s 100-acre campus, offers students a boat dock for canoeing, fishing, an outdoor pavilion, grilling stations and a fire pit.

The campus is within walking distance to Thompson Park and Barbourville City Park. The park offers a wave pool, lazy river, water slides, picnic shelters, seven acres of fishing ponds, paddleboats, putt-putt golf, ball fields, playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts, and RV camping. Thompson Park sits alongside the Cumberland River and offers RV camping, playgrounds, a walking track with fitness equipment, covered shelters and a boat ramp for access to the river.

Sandy Bottoms is a hike and bike nature trail within walking distance to the west of campus. The winding trail offers more than two miles of trails that traverses through the woodland bottoms along a tranquil stream.

Dr. Thomas Walker State Historic Site is less than five miles from campus. It hosts a replica of the first house built by settlers in Kentucky in addition to playgrounds, basketball courts, mini-golf and picnic shelters.

Union’s campus is also just a short drive away from Pine Mountain State Resort Park, Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, Cumberland Gap National Park, the Daniel Boone National Forest and the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area.