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Adventure Leadership Trips

Our trips can take you anywhere: dogsledding in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, spelunking in North Carolina, backpacking the Grand Canyon, paddling the Huron River, and more. Whether you want to take off for a couple of hours, a day or a week, let us handle the details—like food, transportation, logistics, trip leaders, and outdoor equipment—while you take in the great outdoors.

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Find Your Trip

There are 3 trips. Expand all into a list.

Grand Ledge Climbing
November 4, 2018

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November 4, 2018



About this Trip

Whether you’re a seasoned sport climber or don’t know what a figure eight follow through knot is, this is a great opportunity to get climbing on real rock! Grand Ledge is a unique geologic anomaly in the Lower Peninsula in that there is exposed rock! Thirty-five foot cliffs are a great way to hone skills or try out top-roping for the first time.

Dark Sky Park and Day Hikes
November 9 – 11, 2018

Register Here!


November 9 – 11, 2018



About this Trip

Head up north with us for some crazy stars and beautiful day hikes! We will camp at Wilderness State Park on the shores of Lake Michigan, hike along the lake and inland, and at night visit the Headlands International Dark Sky Park to get a dazzling view of the night sky.

Dog Sledding & XC Ski
January 18 – 21, 2019

Registration Coming Soon!


January 18 – 21, 2019


$395 by Monday, January 7, 2019

About this Trip

Fulfill one of those lifetime goals you never knew about and come dogsledding in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula this MLK weekend! Fly down wooded trails led by a team of professional dogs and experience the true spirit of winter recreation! We’ll then spend a day visiting the amazing Eben Ice Caves, cross country skiing or snowshoeing. Cozy cabins, hot chocolate, new friends, this is what winter should be! No experience is required.

What’s Included

  • Transportation and Accomodations
  • All Group Gear, Snowshoes
  • Meals
  • Trip Leaders, Dogsledding Instruction

Not Included

  • Meals while on the road
  • Personal Gear: Weather appropriate clothing, shoes, toiletries

Pre-Trip Meeting

Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at 7:30pm at the Adventure Leadership Rental Center at 336 Hill St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109

First Ascent

The First Ascent program provides incoming U‑M freshmen with an opportunity to connect with fellow freshmen in small groups for camping, hiking, paddling and exploring the state’s natural areas. Casual campfire discussions are led by upper-level undergrads or grad students and center around the transition to college and all things U‑M. The goal of First Ascent is to help participants grow in self-esteem, self-reliance and confidence—and to have a great time!

All gear is provided. No experience is necessary.

We’ve worked with University Housing to coordinate our First Ascent trips with move-in. If your trip starts in late August and ends on an official move-in date, you can move your belongings in to your room before the trip begins.

First Ascent Trip Dates for Spring/Summer 2018

How to Sign Up

  1. Browse upcoming adventures to find one you’d like to attend.
  2. Register for the trip on our online store. You will be asked a few questions to complete the reservation.
  3. Look for an email confirmation upon reservation. Later on, we’ll also send along info like packing lists, trip logistics and a few forms that we’ll want you to complete and send back ASAP.
  4. If your trip has one, attend the mandatory pre-trip meeting. This meeting is held a few days in advance of each trip so we can talk together about trip details, logistics and our agenda.
  5. Arrive at the Rental Center on the day of your trip and have a great time on your adventure!

Your fee includes all adventure gear like tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, camp stoves, kayaks, etc. It also includes meals and snacks, and we’ll take care of getting you from U‑M to the adventure site and back.

Generally, you only need to bring trip-appropriate clothing, shoes, toiletries and money for meals on the road.

We’re always looking for enthusiastic and adventurous people to help plan and lead our trips. If you’re interested in becoming an Adventure Leadership Trip Leader, or if you just want to learn some new outdoor skills, come to our Michigan Outdoor Leadership Semester (MOLS) workshops. Taught by our staff, these workshops will instruct you on a variety of topics and are the first step in training to be a trip leader.

All classes are free and typically take place at the Adventure Leadership Rental Center from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm.

Topics include:

  • Backpacking 101
  • Maps/Compasses
  • Navigation, Tarps Knots, Survival
  • Backcountry Cooking
  • Risk Management
  • Group Dynamics and Leadership

Upcoming Sessions

Thursday, March 22, 2018 from 7:30 – 8:30pm

Join us for a special MOLS session at the local Ann Arbor outdoor retailer, Bivouac! We’ll cover backcountry cooking with a whisperlite demo.  The session is free and open to the public. Bivouac is located on 336 S. State Street.

Banff Mountain Film Festival

Explore exotic locations, stand on the highest peaks and be part of the gripping tales that make the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour. Join Recreational Sports’ Adventure Leadership program as they host the Ann Arbor stop of this thrilling film fest at The Michigan Theater!


April 9, 2019


The Michigan Theater, 603 E Liberty St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Wilderness First Aid Courses

Wilderness First Aid

This course covers all the basics you should know before heading out into the wilderness with family, friends, or by yourself. By providing a combination of medical knowledge and hands-on training this short, intense course prepares you to react appropriately accidents, injuries, and illnesses.


Coming soon!


Adventure Education Center, 1120 N. Dixboro Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48105

Wilderness First Responder

Our Wilderness First Responder courses are designed specifically to meet the needs of wilderness guides, expedition leaders, and outdoor instructors, and is the outdoor education and recreation industry’s standard for wilderness medical training. This is the wilderness medicine training course for outdoor professionals and the course you want your friends to have taken before you travel with them.   This course uses the Wilderness Medicine Training Center’s unique Distance Learning Project.  Participants complete a course of study and tests online prior to the start of the practical on-site training.


Coming soon!


Adventure Education Center at Radrick Property, 1120 N. Dixboro Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48105


Trip Refunds

Refunds for Adventure Leadership trips are given only for the following circumstances:

  1. You can find someone to take your place on the trip.
  2. You have a documented medical emergency and must cancel.
  3. There is an active wait list for the trip and we are able to fill your spot.
  4. You are cancelling at least 3 weeks prior to the trip. For Spring Break and First Ascent Trips, at least 4 weeks prior is required.

Specific Trip Policies

Each trip follows a different set of policies and guidelines. We typically cover this information in our mandatory pre-trip meetings. These meetings are held a few days before your trip; if you have questions at any time, contact us.

Your adventure starts here.
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