Outdoor Adventure Program

Trip Information

About OAP Trips
The Outdoor Adventure Program, part of the Campus Recreation Center, seeks to offers a variety of outdoor trips for the university community. Our trips are designed for beginners who may have never hiked, camped, or paddled before. We seek to offer trips to meet every person's skill level in order to challenge each person to grow through the experience but also to have fun and develop relationships along the way. Below is more information about trip policies and procedures. To learn more information about specific trips we offer, see below. 

Backpacking Biking Crosscountry Skiing/Snowshoeing Downhill Skiing/Snowboarding Hiking
Ice Climbing Indoor Rock Climbing Outdoor Rock Climbing Surfing Whitewater Rafting

Hikinghiking acadia

Trip Description:
Some of the most picturesque mountains are only a few hours away from UMass Lowell. No matter the season, we explore these great locations. We hike up mountains like Mt. Moosilauke and Mt. Monadnock to watch the flaming fall colors or fresh green of spring. We experience the wonderland of winter on our winter day hikes. At times, we travel further afield to enjoy some other spectacular hiking locations such as Acadia National Park. Whether it is your first time or 50th, these hiking trips are packed full of fun and adventure.

Physical Exertion:
Low to Moderate- due to elevation changes, weather, and some steep trails and uneven terrain at times. No experience necessary.


Trip Description:
We are surrounded by mountains: from the Adirondacks in the South, the Appalachians in the West, the Green Mountains in the Northwest, and the White Mountains in the North, the wilderness is all around us! On these trips, we each pack a 5000 cubic inch pack with all we need including food, clothing, and shelter, before hitting the trail to spend our days and nights in the woods. Hiking in this manner allows us to go deeper into nature than we could on a day hike, and allows us to summit mountains or discover waterfalls that are only accessible by foot. We camp at established camp sites, shelters, or tent platforms- depending on the location. We sleep in tents, cook gourmet meals on backpacking stoves, and drink water we treated from local streams. Backpacking trips offer an opportunity to discover so much about ourselves, as we spend day and night in the wilderness, carrying only what we have in our packs.

Physical Exertion:
Moderate to High: due to elevation changes and uneven terrain to negotiate with heavy packs. No previous backpacking experience necessary. We recommend you be in good physical condition and have some experience hiking.


Trip Description: 
Our biking trips range from day trips road biking to overnight biking trips. There are many scenic areas nearby for us to enjoy by bike. This is an experience everyone who likes biking should try, no matter how good a biker you are. On day trips we enjoy local greenways like the Nashua Rail Trail or the Minuteman trail, biking a total of 20-30 miles. On overnight trips, we may travel to places like Cape Cod, Portland Maine, or Acadia National Park. We bike a total of 20-30 miles on scenic roads and greenways taking breaks to enjoy the beaches, light houses, parks, and small towns we pass along the way. After a fun day of biking, we meet our shuttle staff at the campground, enjoy some yummy food and some relaxing time around the fire or at the beach before heading to our tents for bed.

Physical Exertion:
Moderate - due to some hilly conditions. We can provide bikes to participants, but you must know how to ride a bike.


Trip Description:
Our surfing trips typically travel to Hampton Beach, NH in the fall, and Naragansett, RI in the spring. Anybody can surf, and we welcome beginners and experienced enthusiasts on our surfing trips. Wetsuit, surfboard, and instruction are included in trip cost. When we arrive at the beach we will suit up, and beginners spend the first 1-1.5 hours with a surfing instructor starting on land then getting into the water. The rest of the time is available to catch waves. You need to feel comfortable swimming and in the ocean, though that comfort level can vary. Some newer participants prefer to catch waves after they break and closer to the shore, while those with more experience move out past the breakers to deeper water and the longest rides. Make sure you know how to swim and can go under waves; we will teach you the rest on our fun days on the beach!

Physical Exertion:
Moderate - physical exertion will depend primarily on how hard and how much you want to surf that evening.

Indoor Rock Climbing

Trip Description:
Indoor rock climbing gyms offer the chance to learn a skill and hone climbing skills no matter the weather or season! OAP Staff and participants will develop belay and climbing skills on these evening trips off campus. We will travel to a local indoor climbing gym where we will climb and boulder to our heart's content. This is a great trip to try a new activity, improve technique, and meet others with an interest in climbing. No experience is necessary. Depending on the trip date, we climb at various local gyms including
Vertical Dreams of Nashua and Central Rock Gym in Worcester, Mass.

Belay Clinics:  Participation in a Belay Clinic is mandatory for indoor rock climbing trip participants.

Belaying is a system by which an individual, or belayer, (attached to a climber who is ascending rock) employs techniques on a rope to create friction, which stops or slows the fall of climber. That way climbers can safely ascend long distances with limited risk of injury from a fall. Belaying is an essential skill that anyone who climbs should learn and practice correctly. 

Indoor climbing walls have regulations about who can belay, and usually require belayers to take a "belay test" to ensure technique is safe for the climber while in their gym. Belay Clinics offer 2 hours for beginners to learn and practice proper belay technique from trained staff. Clinics are offered on a separate day from the climbing trips to allow for more opportunities to climb on the day of a trip, and to allow beginners plenty of time to learn and practice. If you register for an indoor climbing trip and already have belay experience, you can be assessed by a trip staff at the beginning of a Belay Clinic and, if technique is accurate, you will be excused from participating in the full two hours.

Belay Technique: We practice the PBUS, or Pull, Break, Under, Slide, belay technique and ask that participants practice this technique on our trips. Rock and Ice Magazine provides a great article about how to belay, and Climbing Magazine provides a great instructional video on this technique as well.

Physical Exertion: Moderate - physical exertion will depend primarily on how hard and how much you want to climb that evening. climbing routes meet a range of ability levels from beginner (5.5-5.6 on the Yosemite Decimal System) to advanced (5.10+)

Outdoor Rock Climbing Day Trips

outdoor rock climb crow hillTrip Description:
Whether you are looking to try something new, or to hone your skills on real rock, our outdoor rock climbing trips are for you. Our highly popular climbing trips will venture up to OAPs favorite local top-rope climbing sites such as Crow Hill in Leominster State Forest, and Quincey Quarries. This beginner friendly trip is designed to teach basic climbing skills such as: climbing technique, proper and safe belaying, climbing site etiquette, and much more all within a beautiful natural environment.

Physical Exertion: Moderate - physical exertion will depend primarily on how hard and how much you want to climb. Climbing routes meet a range of ability levels from beginner (5.6-5.7 on the
Yosemite Decimal System) to advanced (5.10+)

Ice Climbing

Trip Description:
Ice Climbing is a different activity than climbing in the other 3 seasons. It's very cold and hot at the same time. Although ice is hard and has a varied surface like rock, ice climbing requires different equipment and offers a unique experience to those willing to try. There are a number of great ice climbing sites available to us, both South, in Auburn, Ma, and North in Keene, NH. Our experienced guide from Vertical World Adventures will take us to a prime location to try out this sport. If you are looking for a different kind of experience in the middle of winter, bring all your warm layers and come on!

Physical Exertion:
Moderate to High - due to cold, snowy, and icy conditions and amount of equipment needed. Ice climbing routes meet a range of ability levels from beginner to advanced.

Whitewater Rafting

Trip Description:
Whitewater Rafting is Nature's roller coaster. For those looking to get their adrenaline pumping, who don't mind getting wet or swimming through a few rapids, this is a great trip! We travel to West Forks, ME to explore some of the NorthEast's best whitewater. Depending on the season, participants may wear wetsuits, and gather in groups of 8-10 per raft. Each participant is taught then expected to help paddle and maneuver the 15 foot rafts through moving water and waves on the river. Anyone can participate in this trip!

Physical Exertion:
Low to Moderate - anyone can come on this trip; expect to paddle while on the river, and relax while when you get off 1the water.

Downhill Skiing/Snowboarding

Trip Description:
New England Winters are known for the snowfall. Our skiing/snowboarding trips take advantage of winter conditions to get participants out on the white. We spend one weekend at a popular location like Killington, VT which offeres a wide variety of trails. While there, we spend the night at local luxury condos, and two full days on the slopes. We spend an evening/night on the slopes at Crotched Mountain, which also offers bonfires and live music to enjoy in addition to the slopes.

Physical Exertion:
Varies - physical exertion will depend primarily on how hard and how much you want to ski or snowboard.

Cross Country Skiing/Snowshoeing

Trip Description:
Winter offers opportunities to try new and fun activities including cross country skiing or snowshoeing. February is a great time to explore the gentler slopes and trails in the area. We travel to the Monadnock Region of Southern New Hampshire to enjoy the beautiful landscape of farmland, forests, streams and ponds. The ski area offers trails for people of all skill levels. This pleasant day trip has something to offer everyone.

Physical Exertion:
Moderate - to to some hilly conditions and weather.