and get inspired in the outdoor classroom.

At The Outdoor Academy, we expand beyond the four walls of a traditional high school. Hands-on, experiential academics with real-world applications let our students get their hands dirty and engage in learning that is truly meaningful. Here, your classes will always be small and personalized. Your teachers will get to know you both on campus and on the backpacking trail. And you will never spend your days just staring at a screen. Instead, your honors-level classes will prepare you not only for college, but for life.


at its finest in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Our campus is nestled in one of the most beautiful and biologically-diverse ecosystems in the world, and that environment will become your classroom. The mountains, rivers, and forests of Western North Carolina provide a living laboratory for Environmental Science, a template for studying “sense of place” in Literature & Writing, a source for materials in Wood Carving, and an opportunity to problem-solve on backpacking treks.
Student-faculty ratio
Honors-level courses on your transcript
of your semester spent learning on the trails, rocks, and rivers
acres of outdoor classroom
Unforgettable High School Experience
50 community service hours
Designated study time and free time each day

“OA is a transformative experience that allows students to make meaningful relationships, learn how to build community and communicate effectively, and discover their gifts and potential while exploring their limits. The academic experience is intimate and hands-on, and the emphasis on engaging body, mind, and spirit in the outdoors will deepen and enliven your young person’s relationship to learning.”

 – Yanna, Fall 2023 Parent (Atlanta, GA)


OA’s dedicated and experienced faculty design courses that are:


In math, you and your teacher will investigate algebra’s real-world uses instead of just looking for answers to equations. You might develop a statistical analysis of campus energy usage or research the uses of logarithms in meteorology, always asking “Why does this matter?” instead of just “What’s the answer?”


In science, you and your peers will discuss a recent journal article on biodiversity, then head out into our 182-acre campus to apply what you’ve learned by studying human impact on our forest’s natural life. 


In English you will read works from a diverse set of authors, exploring the varied relationships humans have with place. You will simultaneously uncover the roots of your own relationship with place, expressing this through the many creative writing pieces that are staple of this course.


“I would want an interested student to know about the teachers who actually care about your education and experience, constantly pouring into you making classes fun and informative… The fun craft classes where you have great teachers, access to tools you wouldn’t normally have access to, plus a whole craft room! The outdoor adventures where you learn how to survive outside, paddle, and climb. And the loving community where you’ll learn about how to work with a team.”

 – Eva, Fall 2023 Student (Cornelius, NC)


Check out some of our students’ work!

Thanks to the interdisciplinary curriculum here at OA, students have the chance to really dive deep into topics that they’re passionate about. This leads to investigative, informative, and meaningful final projects that take on many different forms. If you have a minute, take some time to enjoy the samples below from recent semesters.


Sit back, relax, and listen to a few of the powerful podcasts OA students have created over the past few semesters.


Looking for some informative and beautiful reading? Here you go! These handmade zines go into detail on important topics and give us a great insight into the topics that matter to OA students.

"Wilderness" by Siena
"What makes us?" by Chloe
"Connection & the Bias of a Single Story" by Michael
"How does identity impact the outdoor experience?" by Char & Peaches
"Impacts With Fishing- East Coast" by Patrick
"War, Division and the Environment" by Jonas
English: Literature & Writing
Environmental Science
World or US Environmental History
Math (various levels)
PE & Outdoor Leadership
Art: Appalachian Craft
Health & Wellness: CIRCLEs