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Adventure awaits in the wilderness, and the UT RecSports Outdoor program provides students, faculty, and staff the chance to experience nature and establish community through the Adventure Trips program.

UT is a prime location for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts alike. Traveling nearly any direction within a two-hour radius from campus can deliver outdoor explorers to a vast collection of some of the Southeast’s most beautiful destinations. The Adventure Trips program allows students to safely experience the outdoors in fun new ways.

The program offers a variety of outdoor activities including whitewater rafting, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, climbing, hiking, and mountain biking. Many of these trips take place in a single day or afternoon while others include overnight stays on weekends or over fall and spring break.

The cost for these trips ranges from $12 to $29 for day trips and approximately $300 for weeklong trips. These costs cover transportation and equipment for day trips, as well as food, camping, and other fees for overnight or weeklong excursions.

Most trips are geared toward beginners. Trip leaders undergo extensive training. They are certified in Wilderness First Aid and can teach participants the basic skills required for each activity.

Adventure Trips provide a chance to unplug, explore nature, and be part of a passionate community of adventurers. Trip leader manager Kevin Gage said his experience working for the Adventure Trips program has led to deep friendships and personal growth.

“On these trips, you’re getting out of your comfort zone,” Gage said. “That’s where growth happens.”

Gage often leads the climbing trips. His favorite Adventure Trips experience was during fall break in 2017 when he led a group to Red River Gorge in Slade, Kentucky.

Jackie Rose, a trip leader and junior in environmental and soil science, said her time serving as a leader in the program has helped her to relieve stress, learn more about responsibility, and gain greater confidence in her own knowledge.

“It has helped me improve my social skills,” Rose said. “I feel a lot more comfortable speaking out.”

“These trips are accessible to all,” Gage said. “There is nothing exclusive about them, and we would love to have anyone sign up for them.”

Visit the Adventure Trips calendar for more information and to sign up for upcoming expeditions.