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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 10 trips. Expand all into a list.

Dark Sky Park & Mackinac Island
June 15 – 17, 2018

Register here!

This trip is open to the public.

Dates

June 15 – 17, 2018

Price

$275 by Monday, June 11

What’s Included

  • Transportation
  • Group gear and telescopes for stargazing
  • Trip Leaders
  • Meals

Not Included

  • Meals while on the road
  • Personal Gear: Weather appropriate clothing, shoes, toiletries
  • Pillow (optional)

Pre-Trip Meeting

Monday, June 11 at 7:30pm at the Adventure Leadership Rental Center

About this Trip

Head up north with us for some crazy stars and Michigan’s iconic Mackinac Island! We will camp at Wilderness State Park on the shores of Lake Michigan, ferry to Mackinac Island for a day of hiking and biking, and at night visit the Headlands International Dark Sky Park with telescopes to get a dazzling view of the night sky.

Sleeping Bear Dunes & Mackinac Island
June 20 – 24, 2018

Register Here!

This trip is open to the public. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the linked page for registration for this trip.

Dates

June 20 – 24, 2018

Price

$450 by Thursday, June 7

What’s Included

  • Transportation including your Mackinac Island ferry ticket and half day bike rental
  • Group gear including tents and stoves
  • Sleeping bags, backpacks, sleeping pads available if needed
  • Trip Leaders
  • Meals and snacks

Not Included

  • Meals while on the road
  • Personal Gear: Weather appropriate clothing, shoes, toiletries
  • Pillow (optional)

Pre-Trip Meeting

Over the phone during the week of June 4

About this Trip

Come hike the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, one of the most beautiful places Michigan has to offer! The park was established for its outstanding natural features, including dunes, beaches, forests, and ancient glacial phenomena on the shores of Lake Michigan. We’ll spend the first night camping right inside the park before hitting the trail in the morning. We’ll cover around 8 miles of trail and set up camp, spending the evening exploring the dunes, taking in the sights, cooking a spectacular dinner, and hanging out around a roaring fire. After hiking out to the vans, we will head to the solitude of Wilderness State Park on the shore of a Great Lake and spend the following day on the historic grounds of Mackinac Island. We will explore the beautiful island by bike, the preferred method of transportation on car-free Mackinac. This will truly be a trip to remember, in places that beg to be returned to again and again.

First Ascent: Sleeping Bear Dunes & Mackinac Island
June 20 – 24, 2018

Register Here!

This trip is for incoming U‑M first year students only.

Dates

June 20 – 24, 2018

Price

$450 by Thursday, June 7

What’s Included

  • Transportation including your Mackinac Island ferry ticket and half day bike rental
  • Group gear including tents and stoves
  • Sleeping bags, backpacks, sleeping pads available if needed
  • Trip Leaders
  • Meals and snacks

Not Included

  • Meals while on the road
  • Personal Gear: Weather appropriate clothing, shoes, toiletries
  • Pillow (optional)

Pre-Trip Meeting

Over the phone during the week of June 4

About this Trip

Come hike the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, one of the most beautiful places Michigan has to offer! The park was established for its outstanding natural features, including dunes, beaches, forests, and ancient glacial phenomena on the shores of Lake Michigan. We’ll spend the first night camping right inside the park before hitting the trail in the morning. We’ll cover around 8 miles of trail and set up camp, spending the evening exploring the dunes, taking in the sights, cooking a spectacular dinner, and hanging out around a roaring fire. After hiking out to the vans, we will head to the solitude of Wilderness State Park on the shore of a Great Lake and spend the following day on the historic grounds of Mackinac Island. We will explore the beautiful island by bike, the preferred method of transportation on car-free Mackinac. This will truly be a trip to remember, in places that beg to be returned to again and again.

First Ascent: Sleeping Bear Dunes & Mackinac Island
July 13 – 17, 2018

Register Here!

This trip is for incoming U‑M first year students only.

Dates

July 13 – 17, 2018

Price

$450 by Monday, July 2

What’s Included

  • Transportation including your Mackinac Island ferry ticket and half day bike rental
  • Group gear including tents and stoves
  • Sleeping bags, backpacks, sleeping pads available if needed
  • Trip Leaders
  • Meals and snacks

Not Included

  • Meals while on the road
  • Personal Gear: Weather appropriate clothing, shoes, toiletries
  • Pillow (optional)

Pre-Trip Meeting

Over the phone during the week of June 25

About this Trip

Come hike the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, one of the most beautiful places Michigan has to offer! The park was established for its outstanding natural features, including dunes, beaches, forests, and ancient glacial phenomena on the shores of Lake Michigan. We’ll spend the first night camping right inside the park before hitting the trail in the morning. We’ll cover around 8 miles of trail and set up camp, spending the evening exploring the dunes, taking in the sights, cooking a spectacular dinner, and hanging out around a roaring fire. After hiking out to the vans, we will head to the solitude of Wilderness State Park on the shore of a Great Lake and spend the following day on the historic grounds of Mackinac Island. We will explore the beautiful island by bike, the preferred method of transportation on car-free Mackinac. This will truly be a trip to remember, in places that beg to be returned to again and again.

First Ascent: Sleeping Bear Dunes
July 19 – 22, 2018

Register Here!

This trip is for incoming U‑M first year students only.

Dates

July 19 – 22, 2018

Price

$325 by Monday, July 5

What’s Included

  • Transportation
  • Group gear including tents and stoves
  • Sleeping bags, backpacks, sleeping pads available if needed
  • Trip Leaders
  • Meals and snacks

Not Included

  • Meals while on the road
  • Personal Gear: Weather appropriate clothing, shoes, toiletries
  • Pillow (optional)

Pre-Trip Meeting

Over the phone during the week of July 9

About this Trip

Come hike the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, one of the most beautiful places Michigan has to offer! The park was established for its outstanding natural features, including dunes, beaches, forests, and ancient glacial phenomena on the shores of Lake Michigan. We’ll spend the first night camping right inside the park before hitting the trail in the morning. We will cover around 8 miles of trail and set up camp, spending the evening exploring the dunes, taking in the sights, cooking a spectacular dinner, and hanging out around a roaring fire. After hiking out to the vans we will head to Sleeping Bear Point Trailhead to enjoy the gorgeous dunes by the water with a picnic lunch. The next morning we will enjoy the sunrise before making our way back to Ann Arbor.

Dark Sky Park & Day Hikes
Aug 10 – 12, 2018

Register here!

This trip is open to the public.

Dates

August 10 –  12, 2018

Price

$225 by Monday, August 6

What’s Included

  • Transportation
  • Group gear and telescopes for stargazing
  • Trip Leaders
  • Meals

Not Included

  • Meals while on the road
  • Personal Gear: Weather appropriate clothing, shoes, toiletries
  • Pillow (optional)

Pre-Trip Meeting

Monday, August 6 at 7:30pm at the Adventure Leadership Rental Center

About this Trip

Drive up north with us to see one of the most spectacular astronomical events of the year: the Perseid Meteor Shower! We’ll camp at Wilderness State Park on the shores of Lake Michigan, doing day hikes on trails around the park and soaking up the lakeshore scenery. At night, we will head to Headlands International Dark Sky Park with telescopes to observe the meteor shower and get a dazzling view of the night sky.

First Ascent: Ann Arbor Multisport
August 19 – 22, 2018

Register Here!

This trip is scheduled to coordinate with orientation for LSA International Transfer students, however is open to all incoming U‑M Freshmen.

Dates

August 19 – 22, 2018

Price

$295 by Thursday, August 9

What’s Included

  • Transportation
  • Group gear including tents, stoves, climbing gear/shoes, bikes, canoes
  • Sleeping bags, backpacks, sleeping pads available if needed
  • Trip Leaders
  • Meals and snacks

Not Included

  • Meals while on the road
  • Personal Gear: Weather appropriate clothing, shoes, toiletries
  • Pillow (optional)

Pre-Trip Meeting

Over the phone during the week of August 12

About this Trip

Come experience some of the finest recreation Southeastern Michigan has to offer and get to know your new home with us! Throughout our four day trip (with weather permitting) we will have a night zipline, beginner-friendly mountain biking, canoeing along the Huron River, climbing at the Team Center, and a casual walk to the Matthei Botanical Gardens!

First Ascent: Pictured Rocks A
August 26 – 30, 2018

Register Here!

This trip is for incoming U‑M first year students only.

Dates

August 26 – 30, 2018

Price

$395 by Friday, August 17

What’s Included

  • Transportation
  • Group gear including tents, stoves
  • Sleeping bags, backpacks, sleeping pads available if needed
  • Trip Leaders
  • Meals and snacks

Not Included

  • Meals while on the road
  • Personal Gear: Weather appropriate clothing, shoes, toiletries
  • Pillow (optional)

Pre-Trip Meeting

Over the phone during the week of August 20

About this Trip

Join your future classmates to explore the pristine and picturesque Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore. Sandstone cliffs, beaches, waterfalls, forest and Lake Superior are all highlights of this trip. This pristine wilderness offers outdoor enthusiasts the opportunity to experience an area truly unique to the Midwest. The bulk of the hike follows the coastline atop sandstone cliffs that erupt 200 ft. out of the vast Lake Superior. Pictured Rocks A is the same as Pictured Rocks B, the only difference is the direction you hike the 2nd-4th days. They both meet at the same point the third night for a fun gathering and van key swap!

First Ascent: Pictured Rocks B
August 26 – 30, 2018

Register Here!

This trip is for incoming U‑M first year students only.

Dates

August 26 – 30, 2018

Price

$395 by Friday, August 17

What’s Included

  • Transportation
  • Group gear including tents, stoves
  • Sleeping bags, backpacks, sleeping pads available if needed
  • Trip Leaders
  • Meals and snacks

Not Included

  • Meals while on the road
  • Personal Gear: Weather appropriate clothing, shoes, toiletries
  • Pillow (optional)

Pre-Trip Meeting

Over the phone during the week of August 20

About this Trip

Join your future classmates to explore the pristine and picturesque Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore. Sandstone cliffs, beaches, waterfalls, forest and Lake Superior are all highlights of this trip. This pristine wilderness offers outdoor enthusiasts the opportunity to experience an area truly unique to the Midwest. The bulk of the hike follows the coastline atop sandstone cliffs that erupt 200 ft. out of the vast Lake Superior. Pictured Rocks B is the same as Pictured Rocks A, the only difference is the direction you hike the 2nd-4th days. They both meet at the same point the third night for a fun gathering and van key swap!

First Ascent: Sleeping Bear Dunes & Mackinac Island
August 26 – 30, 2018

Register Here!

This trip is for incoming U‑M first year students only.

Dates

August 26 – 30, 2018

Price

$450 by Thursday, August 9

What’s Included

  • Transportation including your Mackinac Island ferry ticket and half day bike rental
  • Group gear including tents, stoves
  • Sleeping bags, backpacks, sleeping pads available if needed
  • Trip Leaders
  • Meals and snacks

Not Included

  • Meals while on the road
  • Personal Gear: Weather appropriate clothing, shoes, toiletries
  • Pillow (optional)

Pre-Trip Meeting

Over the phone during the week of August 13

About this Trip

Come hike the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, one of the most beautiful places Michigan has to offer! The park was established for its outstanding natural features, including dunes, beaches, forests, and ancient glacial phenomena on the shores of Lake Michigan. We’ll spend the first night camping right inside the park before hitting the trail in the morning. We’ll cover around 8 miles of trail and set up camp, spending the evening exploring the dunes. taking in the sights, cooking a spectacular dinner, and hanging out around a roaring fire. After hiking out to the vans we will head to the solitude of Wilderness State Park on the shore of a Great Lake and spend the following day on the historic grounds of Mackinac Island. We’ll explore the beautiful island by bike, the preferred method of transportation on car-free Mackinac. This will truly be a trip to remember, in places that beg to be returned to again and again.


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.


Wilderness First Aid Courses

Wilderness First Aid

Register here!

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.

Date

February 9 – 11, 2018

  • Friday, February 9 from 3:00pm – 9:00pm
  • Saturday, February 10 from 8:00am – 5:00pm
  • Sunday, February 11 from 8:00am – 5:00pm

Price

$195

Location

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

Wilderness First Responder

Register here!

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.

Dates

April 30 – May 4, 2018

Price

$595

Location

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


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!

Date

TBD, 2019

Location

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


Policies

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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