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Freshmen Outdoor Trips

freshman trips 2019

An Experience of a Lifetime!

Come to UMD early for an experience of a lifetime!

The Freshman Outdoor Trips and the Transfer Student Outdoor Trip (Note: We no longer offer the Transfer Student Outdoor Trip, but transfer students are welcome to join any of the Freshman Outdoor Trips) are a great way to transition to UMD through meeting friends and having fun! Each trip is well planned, has great leaders, and gets you out to explore wild places. Safety and fun are top priorities. These trips are led by experienced Outdoor Program student leaders and faculty from throughout the UMD campus. NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY!



Freshman Outdoor Trips

people canoeing


Canoeing the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area Adventure
New friends and fun will be launched as we paddle into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Explore the beauty and wonder of this wilderness with our experienced and enthusiastic leaders. Stargazing, stories and listening for hooting, owls and howling wolves are included on this trips itinerary. We will paddle across lakes near the Gunflint Trail and carry our gear over portage trails to remote and primitive campsites.
August 23-27, 2020
Cost: $365


people standing on a cliff


Northwoods Wilderness Sampler
In this, our most popular trip, you can sample canoeing, hiking, stargazing, nature based arts, rock climbing, saunas, fishing, blueberry picking and swimming - all within the same four day stretch. Your group will travel to the edge of the Boundary Canoe Area Wilderness with our experienced and enthusiastic leaders. We will lodge in rustic cabins, eat s'mores, and enjoy lively conversation with new friends around a campfire under the stars. If you are interested in what each of the Freshmen Trips has to offer, the Northwoods Sampler is for you.
August 23-27, 2020
Cost: $365


person climbing


Rock Climbing Lake Superior’s North Shore
Excitement. Friendships. Challenge. All these and more are included in this trip. You will experience some of the most amazing rock climbing locations in the Midwest. When we are not rock climbing Lake Superior’s North Shore, we will be hiking along the area’s beautiful trails. Whether you have always wanted to try rock climbing or are a seasoned veteran, you will experience fun challenges in a safe and supportive atmosphere. Our trained leaders will cover safety, equipment and technique. In the evening, listen for night sounds, share stories and s’mores with new friends.
August 23-27, 2020
Cost: $365


person sea kayaking


Sea Kayaking the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is a beautiful string of islands on Lake Superior’s South Shore. Our experienced leaders will introduce you to equipment, safety and paddling techniques. They will also share stories about voyagers, shipwrecks and island living. Explore sea caves and secluded beaches in double sea kayaks. We will camp on islands with sand beaches, stargaze, swim and hike with new friends.
August 23-27, 2020
Cost: $365


people fishing


Fishing the Boundary Water Canoe Area
Here is your chance to explore the Boundary Waters with new friends AND go fishing! Join us as we travel by canoes to a variety of lakes and fishing spots to discover the beauty of this pristine wilderness and have fun. We will be paddling, camping, and portaging in lakes off the Gunflint Trail. Bass, walleye, northern pike, and lake trout are all possibilities for catching when on this outdoor trip.
August 23-27, 2020
Cost: $365


photo of a stand-up paddleboarder


Stand-Up Paddleboarding Lake Superior's North Shore
Experience the North Shore in a whole new way! Join us as we paddle down rivers, discover hidden inland lakes, and tour the coastline of Lake Superior's North Shore all from a stand-up paddleboard. No experience in stand-up paddleboarding is required. Your trusty guides will provide all the paddling gear and teach you the skills necessary to have a safe and fun water adventure. When we're not on the water, we will hike legendary trails, make new friends, and enjoy stories around the campfire.
August 23-27, 2020
Cost: $365


students paddling in a very long canoe


Voyageur Canoe Apostle Islands
The Apostles are a beautiful series of islands that spread out into Lake Superior at the northern end of Wisconsin. From our 35 foot long Voyageur Canoe, we'll explore secluded beaches, sea caves, cliffs and old growth forests with newfound friends. Each day we'll paddle together, set up camp, enjoy good food and company along the way. There is time throughout the trip to play, relax, swim, hike, and explore sea caves, light houses, and stone quarries. Everyone will be involved with paddling, camp set-up, cooking, cleaning, and hiking.
August 23-27, 2020
Cost: $365



Beginning June 1, 2020 register online or call us at 218-726-7128, Monday-Friday, 8am-4pm.
All registrations are taken on a first come first served basis and full payment is required upon registration.

Cancellation Policy

A full refund will be given if a written cancellation is received by July 12, 2019 (or we can fill your spot with someone from the waiting list). A 50% refund will be given if a written cancellation is received by July 19, 2019. Due to the logistics involved with programming these trips, refunds will not be available after July 19, 2019. Early housing check-in is available only for those students participating in a First Year Outdoor Trip.

For more information, please contact:

Freshman Trips
fax: 218-726-6767

Recreational Sports
Outdoor Program
153 SpHC
1216 Ordean Court
Duluth MN 55812

UMD Admissions Office

UMD Housing Office

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Signs Up for Trips? 

Many types of students participate! We get students from all majors and interest areas. All were interested in meeting new friends, exploring UMD’s backyard and having a great experience.

Who Leads the trips?

Trip leaders are UMD Recreational Sports Outdoor Program student staff who are highly experienced. UMD professors and other staff join as assistant leaders. Student leaders have completed such trainings as Wilderness First Aid, Lifeguarding, American Canoe Association or Professional Climbing Instructors Association certifications and CPR. They are majoring in education, recreation, life sciences, outdoor education.

Can I check in to my UMD on-campus early even if I don't sign up for a Trip? 

No. Early housing check-in is available only to students registered for one of these Trips.

I'm a vegetarian, is this a problem?

Food allergies and special diets are not a problem. Just be sure to include that information on the health form and we will work out the menus.

Are these trips dangerous? 

Safety is always the highest priority in any of these trips. Not only are our staff qualified and prepared, they incorporate progressive safety techniques in their instruction. They will cover terminology, equipment use, and safe climbing, paddling, hiking strategies. For example, helmets are worn climbing, lifejackets while paddling and shoes while swimming. We won't put people into situations they are not comfortable with.