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Adventure Leadership

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

Adventure Leadership Trips:

Embark on thrilling adventures with our  Adventure Leadership Trips, available exclusively for University of Michigan students, faculty and staff. If this is your first trip, rest assured our trips are crafted with beginners in mind and all the necessary gear is included.

Custom Adventure Leadership Trips:

Open to University of Michigan students, faculty, and staff, our Custom Trips offer a tailor-made experience to suit your group’s unique requirements. We provide the essential gear and experienced trip leaders to ensure your expedition is successful. Design your adventure with us!

Questions: Call 734-764-3967 or email us at AdventureLeadership@umich.edu

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Ice Climbing Day Trip
January 20, 2024

Thank you for the overwhelming response to our Ice Climbing Day Trip, this trip is currently FULL.

Register Here!

Are you eager to embark on a thrilling new adventure this year? Ever dreamt of conquering a towering ice wall? If the answer is yes, join Adventure Leadership for an exhilarating ice-climbing expedition this winter! Situated just an hour north of Ann Arbor, Peabody Ice Climbing offers an ideal backdrop for both novice and seasoned ice climbers. This distinctive outdoor adventure promises to ignite your adrenaline and create lasting memories!

Cost: $115

Questions: Call 734-764-3967 or email us at AdventureLeadership@umich.edu

Ice Climbing Day Trip
January 21, 2024

Thank you for the overwhelming response to our Ice Climbing Day Trip, this trip is currently FULL.

Register Here!

Are you eager to embark on a thrilling new adventure this year? Ever dreamt of conquering a towering ice wall? If the answer is yes, join Adventure Leadership for an exhilarating ice-climbing expedition this winter! Situated just an hour north of Ann Arbor, Peabody Ice Climbing offers an ideal backdrop for both novice and seasoned ice climbers. This distinctive outdoor adventure promises to ignite your adrenaline and create lasting memories!

Cost: $115

Questions: Call 734-764-3967 or email us at AdventureLeadership@umich.edu

Dogsled & X-Country Ski
January 25 – 28, 2024

Thank you for the overwhelming response to our Dogsled & X-Country Ski Trip, this trip is currently FULL.

Register Here!

Embark on an exhilarating dogsledding adventure in Michigan’s picturesque Upper Peninsula! Dash through enchanting wooded trails guided by a skilled team of professional dogs, immersing yourself in the authentic essence of winter recreation. Following the dogsledding escapade, we’ll continue the thrill with cross-country skiing or snowshoeing (or hiking, if the snowfall is insufficient), allowing you to traverse the endless snowy landscapes of the northern mitten. Perhaps, we’ll even explore the breathtaking Eben Ice Caves.

No prior experience is necessary – just come ready to embrace the winter wonderland!

Cost: $445

Questions: Call 734-764-3967 or email us at AdventureLeadership@umich.edu

Dogsled & X-Country Ski
February 1 – 4, 2024

Thank you for the overwhelming response to our Dogsled & X-Country Ski Trip, this trip is currently FULL.

Register Here!

Embark on an exhilarating dogsledding adventure in Michigan’s picturesque Upper Peninsula! Dash through enchanting wooded trails guided by a skilled team of professional dogs, immersing yourself in the authentic essence of winter recreation. Following the dogsledding escapade, we’ll continue the thrill with cross-country skiing or snowshoeing (or hiking, if the snowfall is insufficient), allowing you to traverse the endless snowy landscapes of the northern mitten. Perhaps, we’ll even explore the breathtaking Eben Ice Caves.

No prior experience is necessary – just come ready to embrace the winter wonderland!

Cost: $445

Questions: Call 734-764-3967 or email us at AdventureLeadership@umich.edu

Graduate Students: Ice Fest & X-Country Ski
February 8 – 11, 2024

Thank you for the overwhelming response to our Ice Fest & X-Country Ski for Graduate Students, this trip is currently FULL.

Register Here!

Elevate your Michigan experience to the Ultimate Michigander status by joining us at the Michigan Ice Fest! This adventure offers you the opportunity to explore one of the state’s remarkable winter recreation events alongside fellow graduate students. Your excursion includes accommodation in a cozy and modern cabin, providing a comfortable retreat after your days of exploration in the picturesque Upper Peninsula.

Additionally, we’ll embark on cross-country skiing (or snowshoeing, or hiking, depending on conditions) around the Ice Fest showcase, featuring professional climbers and adventurers. Bring your winter-wonderland energy for this action-packed weekend!

Cost: $500

Questions: Call 734-764-3967 or email us at AdventureLeadership@umich.edu

Spring Break: South
February 24 – March 2, 2024

Register Here!

Head south this spring break for sun, warmth, and sand! Start your trip by driving down to the Smoky Mountains to stay a night in a modern cabin before driving to south Georgia to stay at Crooked River State Park. The next morning we will embark on a ferry ride filled with anticipation as you approach this hidden gem on the coast of southern Georgia. We will be hiking 3-7 miles a day to find a place to set up our cozy campsite, surrounded by the serenity of nature and the peaceful crash of the surf in the distance. You’ll get to know other fellow adventurers around a crackling campfire, roasting marshmallows and sharing stories under the starlit sky.

But that’s not all! You’ll spend your time hiking among old ruins, looking for seashells with wild horses nearby, and sleeping under the stars for four full days before returning to Ann Arbor with a heart full of memories, a camera full of snapshots, and new friends to cherish.

Cost: $745

Questions: Call 734-764-3967 or email us at AdventureLeadership@umich.edu

Spring Break: Mountains
February 24 – March 2, 2024

Register Here!

Head south this Spring Break to chase some waterfalls (despite what TLC says), tour caves, see the Great Smoky Mountains, and even spend a day climbing some mountains in the Red River Gorge on a Via Ferrata. We will spend our nights in cabins or tents, our days hiking through beautiful scenery in two national parks, and our evenings relaxing with ‘smores and stars. This part of the USA contains many exciting natural wonders that are perfect for outdoor activities. Join us for an awesome Spring Break you will never forget!

Cost: $745

Questions: Call 734-764-3967 or email us at AdventureLeadership@umich.edu


Michigan Outdoor Leadership Education Series (MOLES)

Get ready for an adventure to discover Michigan’s breathtaking landscapes with Adventure Leadership as your guide! If you find the great outdoors to be a bit overwhelming, let us introduce you to the Michigan Outdoor Leadership Education Series (MOLES).

MOLES is designed to empower you with the skills and confidence required for your outdoor journey. Our experienced workshop leaders will serve as your companions, leading you through immersive experiences that not only fuel your passion for exploration but also unveil the authentic stories of the public lands we cherish.

Forget about the gear – we’ve got that covered. All you need to do is show up, eager to participate. No prior outdoor experience is necessary; whether you’re a complete beginner or looking to enhance existing skills, we welcome you. Each workshop will delve into essential outdoor competencies, including navigation, backpack packing, campsite cooking, and embracing Leave No Trace principles. Your Michigan adventure begins here – join us on the path to outdoor discovery!

Questions: Call 734-764-3967 or email us at AdventureLeadership@umich.edu

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Outdoor Skills for Groups

Do you have an employee group, department or organization that’s looking to get outside and learn a new skill?  Whether you’re looking to relax around a campfire with s’mores or work up a sweat cross country skiing, we’re certain our unique activities will help you reconnect and engage together.

Set Up Your Group

Email adventureleadership@umich.edu with the outdoor skill(s) you’re interested in, a preferred date, and your group size.

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Adaptive Slacklining

Is it a sport? An art? A balancing act? Let Adventure Leadership staff introduce your group to slacklining –  a fun and safely socially distant outdoor activity! Become aware of your body and mind while trying something new, and discover a new way to hang around with friends outside.

Available Locations

  • Grove outside of the CCRB
  • An alternative wooded location
Backpacking Basics

Backpacking is the perfect way to immerse yourself in nature for a weekend or longer. Come join us for a hands-on session of the basics: tents and shelter, clothing, cooking, water treatment, navigating, first aid, Leave No Trace principles. Anywhere from one to three hours, depending on how deep and detailed you want to get.

Available Location

  • Adventure Leadership Rental Center
Bike Tours

Options include a bike tour around and through campus to the Nichols Arboretum, where we will hike down to the river then back to our bikes for the return ride. A perfect way to spend a couple hours away from screens, enjoying campus and nature.

For a longer ride we can start the day with a relaxed 45-minute bike ride through campus, past the hospital, along the Huron River and to the Matthaei Botanical Gardens. Almost the entire route is on car-free bike paths, with the final stretch on a newly paved award-winning nature trail. Once there we will enjoy a bag lunch and explore for about an hour with a hike through woods and fields, including trails along Fleming Creek. We will then re-mount our bikes and ride back.

Trip leaders and bikes are included, although you’re welcome to ride your own bike. Please bring a bike, helmet, bike lock (or use one of ours), weather-appropriate clothing, and a small daypack.

All bike tours start at the Adventure Leadership Rental Center.

Bonfire & S’mores

What more do we need to say? We provide fire, graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows. You get to find sticks in the woods for roasting. Trip leaders will provide tips on how to create a perfect golden-brown marshmallow, or a completely burnt marshmallow, if you are into that sort of thing.

Available Location

  • Adventure Education Center
Camp Cuisine Exploration

Cooking while camping ranges from minimalist to gourmet. We’ll teach you the basics, including how to use three different camp stoves, and then you’ll get to try your hand at preparing some food. Sessions at the AEC may include cooking over a fire.

Available Locations

  • Adventure Leadership Rental Center
  • Adventure Education Center
Cross Country Ski

If we have snow (at least 4”), we can ski! A basic lesson and try-out on Elbel Field at the Adventure Leadership Rental Center, or a few hours out at the Adventure Education Center (hot chocolate included!). Nothing beats the peacefulness of a snow-covered landscape, and nothing beats Seasonal Affective Disorder like outdoor exercise.

Available Locations

  • Adventure Leadership Rental Center
  • Adventure Education Center
Interpretive Hikes

Let nature tell you a story! Learn about the plants, animals, and other ecological features that make up the Great Lakes region.

Available Locations

  • Adventure Education Center
  • Nichols Arboretum
  • Or an alternative location!
Night Hikes

The best times to take a night hike are during a full moon, when the night world is bathed in ethereal, faint white and grey, or the new moon, when stars are most visible. Join us for a unique walk in the woods and fields of the Nichols Arboretum or the Adventure Education Center. Even if it’s cloudy, walking through the woods at night is a great experience. Headlamps provided. Time frame is generally between 8:30pm and 10:30pm.

Available Locations

  • Adventure Education Center
  • Nichols Arboretum
Orienteering

Take your team building in a new direction by learning to navigate without a GPS unit or cell phones. Discover the parts of a compass, measure your pace, and try triangulation. Once you’ve gotten your bearings, complete a practice course to solidify your skills and work collaboratively with your team to solve a puzzle!

Available Locations

  • Adventure Education Center
  • Nichols Arboretum
Wellness Walks

Engage all of your senses while connecting your body and mind with nature. Allow yourself to break away from daily distractions and pressures to live in the present moment. Join us for an opportunity to practice mindfulness and learn body regulation skills at our beautiful wooded facility at the Adventure Education Center, or any other quiet outdoor location of your group’s choice.

Available Locations

  • Adventure Education Center
  • Nichols Arboretum
  • Or an alternative location!
Wilderness Survival 101

The most important aspect of survival is to be prepared – both with appropriate supplies and the ability to work with your environment in critical situations. Increase your knowledge of fire and shelter building, practice cooperation and team decision-making skills, and expand your capacity for resourcefulness in the outdoors.

Available Locations

  • Adventure Education Center

Available Locations for Outdoor Skills

  • Adventure Leadership Rental Center: Stationed near Elbel field, this location is ideal for a short commute to find a big adventure – and pick up all the gear you need for your excursion!
  • Nichols Arboretum: A prominent and notable campus feature within walking distance of most student housing and university office spaces.
  • Adventure Education Center: Our most remote and secluded-feeling location, within a short drive or moderate bike ride from campus.

Register Here!

Wilderness First Responder courses are designed specifically to meet the needs of wilderness guides, expedition leaders, and anyone traveling in the backcountry with friends or family. This is the industry standard for outdoor professionals and the course you want your friends to have taken before you travel with them. Using the Wilderness Medicine Training Center’s unique Hybrid Course, participants complete a course of study and tests online (Part 1) prior to the start of the practical on-site training (Part 2). This training is focused and thorough. The online portion requires serious study and the in-person portion requires commitment and effort. Refunds are generally not available for those who do not successfully complete the course. Call with questions or for more information at 734-764-3967.

Dates

Coming Soon

Price

  • $625 (Part 1 and Part 2)
  • $395 (Part 2 only)

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Purchase Tickets!

Ignite your passion for adventure! The Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour will exhilarate you with amazing big-screen stories when it comes to the Michigan Theater, hosted by Adventure Leadership.  Journey to exotic locations, paddle the wildest waters and climb the highest peaks. This local showing is sponsored by Bivouac.

Date

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Location

Michigan Theater @ 603 E Liberty Street, Ann Arbor

Price

In advance: $16 for adults, Student Tickets $12
Day of show: $20 for adults, Student tickets $16

Register Here!

Let us boost your teen’s summer with a healthy dose of fresh air, forests, and growth!

Recreational Sports Adventure Leadership Camps are 5-day adventures packed with opportunities for campers 13-15 years of age to build courage and independence, develop new friendships, expand their outdoor skill set, and put leadership theories into practice. Based out of the University of Michigan’s Adventure Education Center, we invite campers to explore the property’s shaded woodlands, open fields, and peaceful Fleming Creek. Paddling and challenge course activities are also included to ensure campers hike out with the confidence and problem-solving skills to enjoy the great outdoors.

Camp Sessions:

  • July 15 – 19, 2024
  • July 22 – July 26, 2024
  • August 5 – 9, 2024

Price:

  • $329 per week

Schedule:

  • 9:00am – 9:30am Drop-Off
  • 4:30pm – 5:00pm Pick-Up

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