Campus Facilities

Landmark Learning's two campuses are located on 40 acres of recovering southeast hardwood forested mountainside, with 3 clear springs, 1800' of creek frontage, and a plethora of wildlife, located up the "holler". 

 

The Upstream Campus Slideshow is Coming Soon!

The Downstream Campus

Downstream Campus slideshow and orientation

 

Getting Here

Driving Directions: Scroll to the bottom of this page, please. The Landmark Learning campus is located in Cullowhee, NC, 3 miles Southeast of Sylva off of Old Cullowhee Highway. WARNING! DO NOT use GPS or Google Maps or MapQuest to give you directions to Landmark Learning. They will take you along nearly impassable 4x4 roads and you will not get to us!

A Quick Tour

Landmark Learning was built from the ground up with the outdoor professional in mind, and its rustic foundation is complimented with modern amenities. Located on 40 mountain acres, Landmark hosts two complete campuses, the historic Downstream Campus and the state-of-the-art Upstream Campus. Each campus is complete with its own parking areas and lodging/kitchen options.

Downstream Campus

The Downstream Campus was built in 2000-2001, and is the first campus you will reach on Cane Creek Rd.

Landmark’s original 1200 sqft classroom is the first building you encounter as you walk onto the property. It houses an open floor plan with two bathrooms, showers, and rudimentary kitchen access (refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker) for student use. A pavilion is available for outdoor cooking – most students bring camp stoves to cook on and crates in which to store their dry goods. Around back, by the gear room, is an outdoor clean-up and recycle station.

Next to the classroom is the Cane Creek House, a 1920’s cabin renovated in 2008 to host Landmark’s main office. Any administrative needs (final tuition payments, missing paperwork) are handled by our support staff within regular business hours (M-F, 8AM-5PM).

Tent space is available and located near the classroom and parking area. You will need to provide all your own camping gear (tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, etc). We ask that you use a tent no greater in size then a two-person tent to ensure enough space for others. We do not provide space for RV's or pull behind campers.

Students can access the Nook, the Downstream Campus bunkhouses, via the private drive or by way of the trail up from the classroom area. All traffic to and from the Nook is by foot only, so plan accordingly - backpacks work best! It takes about 10 minutes to hike to the Nook. There are 4 bunks in each of 4 rooms which have electricity, heat, and fans but no running water. A port-o-john is located next door for convenience.

Continuing past the Cane Creek House, you will pass a private drive on your left - this drive is closed to student vehicles, but welcomes foot traffic.

Upstream Campus

Further up Cane Creek Rd you will find the drive to the Upstream Campus, which houses our 8000 sqft facility, also known as the Cane Creek Lodge. The single-lane drive is very steep, and it is paved. Downhill traffic always has the right of way - please pause at both the bottom and top of the drive to check for cars in progress, so traffic issues may be kept to a minimum.

The first floor is where you will spend the majority of your time at Landmark, if your course is being held at the Upstream Campus. Come into the lobby and the check-in info, along with your housing assignments, will be on the magnet board. Bathrooms are down the hall, and the spacious classroom is straight ahead. The classroom is open in the evening for studying and skills practice.

Upstairs, the Student Lounge and Kitchen are favorite spaces not only for meals, but after-class downtime and relaxing. Each student has a cubby for their dry goods, and there are 2 refrigerators to share. The kitchen is fully equipped to accommodate an entire class’s cooking needs. The bathrooms include showers for those opting for tent or vehicle camping.

Follow the drive up behind the Lodge to access the camping area and bunkhouses, again, by foot. The Village consists of two buildings each with 2 rooms that can sleep 4 max, split by gender. The two rooms share a common entry and covered front porch. Each room has its own shower/toilet/sink.

Again, tent camping is available, as well as ample hammock sites - please bring all your own gear. If you must camp in your vehicle, we can accommodate that in our parking lots - it does require the camping fee and grants you access to the amenities. Campers are welcome to use the showers within the Student Lounge area.

The campuses are set up for students currently enrolled in base courses. Landmark does not operate as a hostel and will not accommodate overnight guests. Students are required to be packed and off campus the day the course ends. Additional lodging beyond our facilities can be found on our Resources for Students Staying at Landmark page.

Travel To and From Landmark’s Base

Please do not use MapQuest/GPS to our base. The “direct route” that is GPS-oriented is no longer passable, due to hurricanes and erosion.

If you plan to fly or take a bus instead to Landmark, please do not make reservations prior to 30 days before the course. You will receive a course confirmation email at 30 days, letting you know if the course is committed or canceled due to enrollment; at that time you may make your travel reservations.

If you require a ride from the Asheville airport (Asheville, NC) there are several shuttle services that run from the airport to Landmark (Cullowhee, NC).

Your other option is to coordinate a ride with another student. Contact the Student Services Coordinator at (828) 293-5384 to authorize the release of your contact information to the students in the course.

When planning your departure from Landmark, keep in mind that your course does not officially end until 5pm. It is an hour drive from Landmark to the Asheville airport. We suggest that you give yourself at least 2.5 hours buffer for departing evening flights or plan to stay overnight in Asheville and leave the following morning.

Please do not drive up the gravel road to the bunk houses or past the Landmark Learning office. This is for your safety and the preservation of our roads.

No Car at Landmark? We frequently have students attend our courses from all over the country and internationally, resulting in them not having a car while here on base. Western NC is not a pedestrian community (no sidewalks and miles from town), it’s easy to share a ride and expenses with other classmates to grocery stores, clinical sites, trailheads, or river areas, all of which are within easy access of the Landmark base in Cullowhee.

Transportation During Course: In courses that require travel to backcountry, trailheads, river sites, participants are responsible for transportation. We may arrange carpools to sites together as a class. At all times we attempt to find suitable parking options; however, Landmark assumes no responsibility for vehicles left unattended.

Parking at Landmark: Landmark’s campuses are squeezed up into an Appalachian “holler”…there is very limited flat space and so parking is extremely limited. If possible, please try to carpool to limit the number of vehicles. For the Downstream Campus, in the first parking lot on your left, please pull in close to the next vehicle, facing either the mountain or the creek. When the main parking lot is full, there is overflow space a bit further up Cane Creek Rd on the right, next to the creek – small vehicles fit better than trucks in this space. Beyond that is staff parking and then a turn-around area that needs to remain clear. The Upstream Campus parking lot can accommodate 22 cars. Please park facing either the creek or the Lodge, near to the next car to make room for others. There is overflow space at the bottom of the steep drive, across from the Directors' private drive. Be sure to pull fully into the space to accommodate turning traffic. And if there is space you can also utilize the Downstream Campus parking areas.

The Classrooms

Please bring an extra pair of “inside” shoes, slippers, or sandals for use in the classroom. We ask folks to remove their “outside” shoes upon entering, in order to cut down on clean-up, and for hygiene reasons would like people not to go barefoot.

No food or open containers are allowed in the Upstream Campus classroom - please be sure to have a covered mug for your coffee or tea. Water bottles are always welcome!

Phones/Computers/Faxes

Landmark courses are designed with outdoor professionals and recreationists in mind. There is no phone available for personal use on either campus. A phone is available in the office should you need to call 911 in an emergency, or for incoming emergency calls. We do request that cell phones be turned off during class hours. Cell phone reception is quite spotty here in the mountains, but most carriers are accessible in town, just ten minutes away.

Wireless access is available at both campuses. If your course is at the Upstream Campus, there are two computer stations available for student use outside of class hours. There are several locations in Sylva and Dillsboro where free internet access is available - see the office for details.

You may receive or send faxes from our office for a fee of $0.25/page…this service is available for faxing needs pertaining to class administration ONLY. The Post Office in Cullowhee and several businesses in Sylva have faxing service available for personal or personal business needs.

Community Living

Much of the instruction will be led as a participatory and hands-on activity, with microlecturettes for specific topics and workshops. In any campus course, each person is expected to participate fully within the class context, as well as in the living community during non-class times. This includes participating in general chores like classroom power cleans, collecting and maintaining classroom gear and equipment, but also include managing personal living needs within the context of the group, and assisting others with their needs as they become apparent. In a Backcountry Classroom setting, each person will be responsible for helping out as an active part in the group’s everyday camping tasks including: cooking, cleaning, equipment set up and break down, water purification, etc. Living with other people in close conditions requires practice in understanding and tolerance. All participants should be prepared to work within the group's dynamics.

Safety

It is our primary mission to provide outdoor adventure programming while paying close attention to plans for risk management. The outdoors and outdoor activities are inherently dangerous. We have chosen equipment and program sites carefully. Our instructors are outdoor professionals who hold current certification in Wilderness First Responder or Wilderness EMT, and professional level CPR. In the event of an accident, Landmark staff will aid in medical care of the ill or injured until EMS arrives or evacuation is executed. Any costs of medical care and evacuation beyond the initial medical care given by our staff, is the sole responsibility of the ill or injured.

Pets

Please leave your animal companions at home. Due to allergies and preferences of other people in your course and neighbor relations, it is inappropriate to bring them. If a pet is with you upon arrival we will direct you toward a kennel for the duration of the course. If this is unacceptable, you will be withdrawn from the course and cancellation policies will apply.

Down Time

Landmark is just ten minutes from downtown Sylva and a variety of grocery stores, restaurants, and fast food places. Sylva boasts a movie theater, bowling, and Appalachian cultural opportunities. Landmark is located near some of the toughest trail running and mountain biking areas around. We are minutes from the Tuckaseegee River, the “Slab”, Devil’s Dip, and the Nantahala River. If you wish, come prepared to be active during your after-class free time. All recreational opportunities are at your own risk and Challenge by Choice!

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Directions to the Landmark Campus

From the North, West or East (Asheville, NC or Knoxville, TN):

  • Take I-40 to Exit 27 (the Great Smokey Mt. Parkway), west of Asheville, and follow 74/23 South past Waynesville to Sylva.
  • Take Exit 85 into Sylva. The road T’s into 107. Turn left, following it South, out of Sylva.
  • When you pass the Burger King light, leaving town, look for Old Cullowhee Highway on your left (If you went over Catamount Gap and are at Western Carolina University, you went too far).
  • At stop light, before bridge, turn Left on Old Cullowhee Highway.
  • Go 1.5 miles and Turn Left onto Cane Creek Rd.
  • Go 1 mile up Cane Creek Road to the end of the pavement where the gravel road begins.
  • Go 50 yards on the gravel road, past the purple house on the left. The next drive on the left is the Downstream Campus parking lot. There is also space just up a little further on the right if you can't get into that driveway. If your course is at the Upstream Campus, continue up Cane Creek Rd about 150 yards to the paved drive on the left - continue up the drive and park facing the building or the creek.
  • Parking space is limited! So please park either facing the creek or hillside.
  • From the parking lot, you can see the classroom. Follow the trail up to the classroom and be welcome!

From the South (Atlanta, GA):

  • From i-85 North, exit Left onto I-985. I-985 will turn into GA 365 and will then merge with 441 North.
  • Follow 441 North to Dillsboro, NC. At the light in Dillsboro, just over a bridge, turn right onto Business 23.
  • Follow Business 23 through Dillsboro and Sylva to Highway 107 South intersection. Go straight through intersection and follow Highway 107 South out of Sylva.
  • When you pass the Burger King light, leaving Sylva, look for Old Cullowhee Highway on your left (If you went over Catamount Gap and are at Western Carolina University, you went too far).
  • At stop light, before bridge, turn Left on Old Cullowhee Highway.
  • Go 1.5 miles and Turn Left onto Cane Creek Rd.
  • Go 1 mile up Cane Creek Road to the end of the pavement where the gravel road begins.
  • Go 50 yards on the gravel road, past the purple house on the left. The next drive on the left is the Downstream Campus parking lot. There is also space just up a little further on the right if you can't get into that driveway. If your course is at the Upstream Campus, continue up Cane Creek Rd about 150 yards to the paved drive on the left - continue up the drive and park facing the building or the creek.
  • Parking space is limited! So please park either facing the creek or hillside.
  • From the parking lot, you can see the classroom. Follow the trail up to the classroom and be welcome!