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Freshmen Outdoor Trips


Meet. Explore. Discover.

Due to Covid-19, we've changed up our multi-day outings to focus on the amazing outdoor activities that can be done in one day, in Duluth, and near campus. All outings will start right on campus, with some that include biking or hiking to sites. Pick an activity each day from our menu of outings. If you are an on-campus resident, check with Housing and Residence Life for your date to check-in (this will determine which days you'll be available to participate).


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 from throughout the UMD campus. NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY! ALL ACTIVITY EQUIPMENT IS PROVIDED!


Freshman Outdoor Day-Trips 2020

students stand-up paddleboarding the Lester River

Stand-Up Paddleboard the Lester River Lagoon and Lake Superior

Learn SUP strokes and maneuvers in the warm calm water of the lagoon and then venture out to the cool clear water of the big lake. Stand up or kneel down... Join your friends and look around. Choose your level of challenge from beginner to intermediate skill development. Instructors will help to create a safe and positive environment for you to try SUP for the first time, and offer new challenges to those who have more experience. The board, paddle, leash, wetsuit, paddling jacket and lifejacket are provided. You bring a swimsuit, shoes that can get wet, towel, snack and water bottle. We will be biking from campus to our destination on paved trails and short segments of roadways.
August 27, 28, or 30. 9am-6pm

students hiking the superior hiking trail

Superior Hiking Trail to Lake Superior Discovery Hike

Discover some of the best that Duluth has to offer on this hike - right from the UMD Campus. We'll start by heading over to Chester Park with beautiful forests, trails, and a fantastic overlook of Lake Superior. Then we'll connect to the Superior Hiking Trail and work our way down toward Lake Superior at Leif Erikson Park's rocky shoreline, where we'll have lunch. After a bit of rock skipping and possibly wading, we'll work our way along the lake to another parkway that leads us back to campus. All along the way we'll enjoy newfound friends, good exercise, and the beauty of nature. Approximately 7.5 miles.
August 27, 28, 29, or 30. 9am-6pm

student fat tire biking on a trail

Hike, Fat-Bike, & Relax

Join us and other new freshmen to discover amazing outdoor trails and parks close to campus. We'll start out by exploring Bagley Nature Area right here on campus. We'll hike to the top of Rock Hill, then grab some fat-bikes and ride the new Duluth Traverse trail to Hartley Park. There we'll work on our mountain bike skills and ride some loops that are fantastic. We'll have lunch on the top of Mount Baldy, then relax in a hammock. Then it's back on the bikes to explore more trails, including Congdon Park on the way back to campus. A great way to get to know the area with fun people.
August 27 or 29. 9am-6pm

students hiking in the fall

13 Mile Adventure Hike: Connecting the Parks

On this hike, we are going to be a bit more adventurous and cover more mileage while passing through a number of local parks, including Bagley, Hartley, Amity, Downer, and Hawk Ridge. These parks are amazing places, and once we get to Hawk Ridge, we'll get to one of the best views in the whole city of Duluth. Along the way, you will get to know new friends, learn about UMD, and discover the wild nature of Duluth.
August 27 or 30. 9am-6pm

student canoeing on Rock Pond

Fat-Bike, Hike, & Canoe Sampler

There are so many outdoor adventure opportunities right near campus. In this outing, we are going to grab fat-bikes and take to the trails to discover the awesome Duluth Traverse (a mountain bike trail that runs through campus), then we'll head over to a nearby park to bike a bit more, then hop into canoes and paddle on Hartley Pond. Afterward, we'll do a bit of hiking to see the view from Mount Baldy, then it's back to the bikes and more exploring. We'll take occasional breaks along the way to enjoy the places and people we are with. A fun time with new friends!
August 28, 29, or 30. 9am-6pm

students sea kayaking on Lake Superior

Sea Kayak Lake Superior

Paddle a sea kayak along sandy beaches as you get to know new friends! We may see an iron ore ship gliding silently past Duluth's wooded hillside on its way to the harbor. We'll head down to Park Point and UMD's Boat Shed. Weather dependent we'll either portage kayaks to the Lake side, or do a harbor tour, circumnavigating Herding Island or paddling to the Irvin, a docked 600 foot iron ore ship . We'll take breaks for beachcombing and picnicking. Our guides will lead us through fun activities throughout the day so we can get to know each other better..
August 27, 28, or 30. 9am-6pm

student climbing outdoors

Rock Climb in Duluth

Bike to one of Duluth's most popular climbing areas to climb! Right where East meets West in Duluth exists an awesome place to tie in and get climbing. This is especially good for first-timers or folks new to the sport, but it also holds some very challenging routes for those with more experience. Whoopie Wall, as it is affectionately known, hosts more climbers every year than any other climbing area in the city. The group will meet on campus, then hop on bikes to traverse the city's roads and trails to the base of the cliffs. Climbing staff will have ropes set, harnesses, helmets and other necessary equipment prepared. This promises to be a very fun adventure for all involved!
August 27, 28, or 30. 9am-6pm

August 27August 28August 29August 30
Stand-Up Paddleboard the Lester River Lagoon and Lake Superiorxxx
Superior Hiking Trail to Lake Superior Discovery Hikexxxx
Hike, Fat-Bike, & Relaxxx
13 Mile Adventure Hike: Connecting the Parksxx
Fat-Bike, Hike, & Canoe Samplerxxx
Sea Kayak Lake Superiorxxx
Rock Climb in Duluthxxx

Cancellation Policy
Due to the unique nature of the Covid-19 situation, there is the possibility of outings being cancelled on short notice. We reserve the right to cancel any of these programs if leaders show symptoms of Covid-19. We will notify participants as soon as we can, and provide a full refund.

Covid Safety
Please see your information document after registration to understand our safety protocols for participants in regards to Covid-19.

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.

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.

For more information, please email