Whether you're looking for information about a particular adventure-based activity or are searching for a trip to take you somewhere new and amazing, the Adventure program is here to provide the ISU community with innovative and exciting trips and activities every semester.
Adventure Program trips and activities are designed to be collaborative, actively engaging experiences. They are an opportunity to build community, contribute to a group, create relationships, and have fun! Participants are encouraged and supported to overcome challenges as they try activities and develop skills. Participants are also counted upon to assist with trip tasks, such as: loading/unloading equipment, cooking, and cleaning. The Adventure Program understands that success is not merely defined by how high a person climbs or how well they paddle, but can be as simple as getting out there and trying something new.
Feel free to browse our upcoming activities and trips. Sign up online by clicking the “Register Now” link under each trip or activity or sign up in person at the Adventure Connection or Welcome Desk. Have an idea for a new trip? Contact us! We’d love to know what you want to do!
Register online using the link listed under each trip/activity below, or register at the Bob and Julie Dobski Welcome Center in the Student Fitness Center. Note: To receive the student/member rate, participant must be enrolled in classes or have a current SFC membership. Faculty/staff that do not have a membership will receive the nonmember rate.
Registration for Spring events starts January 16. There will be two Interest Meetings for those planning to register for the Spring Break Multi-Sport Adventure on January 29 (4 - 5 p.m.) and February 15 (5 - 6 p.m.) in the SFC lobby. You must attend one of these to register for this trip.
February 10, 7 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Mandatory Pre-Trip Meeting: January 29 from 4 - 5 p.m. in SFCM 184
Register by February 6, $40 for students/members, $50 for faculty/staff nonmembers
Snowstar Winter Park
On this day trip, we will drive to a nearby ski slope (about 2 hours away) in northern Illinois to spend the day enjoying favorite winter sports of skiing or snowboarding. Dress warm, and expect to have some fun rides on the slopes. Ski/Board rentals are included in the cost of the trip; lessons are not included but can be reserved through the lodge for the day of the trip.
February 17, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Mandatory Pre-Trip Meeting: February 13 from 4 - 5 p.m.
Register by February 13, $15 for students/members, $20 for faculty/staff nonmembers
Starved Rock State Park
On this first hike of the season, we will explore the area located in the western half of the park including: French Canyon and Wildcat Canyon with their sparkling waterfalls, and Starved Rock itself which provides clear views of the bald eagles that nest along the Vermillion River. Transportation, instruction, and yak tracks are included. Lunch is NOT included but a snack bar is available at the visitor center.
February 24, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Mandatory Pre-Trip Meeting: February 20 from 4 - 5 p.m.
Register by February 20, $15 for students/members, $20 for faculty/staff nonmembers
Starved Rock State Park
On the second hike to this park, we will explore the less-traveled canyons located in the eastern half of the park including: LeSalle canyon, where an overhang allows hikers to circle the entire frozen falls, and Tonti canyon, which offers a long, thin waterfall through which colors shimmer. Transportation, instruction, and yak tracks are included. Lunch is NOT included.
March 10 - 17
Mandatory Pre-Trip Meeting: February 27 and March 6 from 4 - 6 p.m.
Register by March 6 at 6 p.m., $390 for students/members, $425 for faculty/staff nonmembers
Pisgah National Forest, NC
This Spring Break, we are returning to the Appalachian Mountains for a multi-sport adventure! We will spend half our time hiking up mountains to overlooks, down through valleys to waterfalls, and experiencing iconic features in the Pisgah National Forest, including Looking Glass Rock. In-between hikes, we will enjoy a wild ride down the French Broad River in whitewater rafts. We will spend another day rock climbing on a 600 foot granite dome. We will also spend a day of service cleaning trails to support the continued care of protected natural areas. Expect to camp in tents, to share stories around the campfires, and to have a blast.
**In order to register for the trip you must first attend an Interest Meeting (January 29 or February 15) and have appropriate hiking boots by the start of the trip (these will be discussed as part of the interest meeting). If you are unable to attend the scheduled interest meetings, you should contact Rachel Iversen at Adventure@IllinoisState.edu.
March 25, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Register by March 20, $15 for students/members, $20 for faculty/staff nonmembers
Sugar Grove Nature Center, McLean
Adventuring on your own can seem impossible to someone who has never learned to read a map or use a compass. On this trip, we will travel to a nearby natural area and learn just that. Participants will use a topographic map, magnetic compass, and land navigation skills to find your way through a series of checkpoints. Compass and maps are provided.
March 29, 4 - 7 p.m.
Register by March 25, $10 for students/members, $15 for faculty/staff nonmembers
Comlara County Park
On this short afternoon, we will enjoy the local gem that is Comlara Park. The park offers a variety of well maintained trails through forest or prairie, all surrounding the beautiful Evergreen Lake. We will make the short 20 minute drive together, hike when the weather has warmed up, and depart before sunset. Trails may be muddy, so wear appropriate footwear. It is not uncommon to see deer, egrets, and even beavers in this beautiful nature area.
April 13 - 15
Mandatory Pre-Trip Meeting: April 11 from 4 - 6 p.m.
Register by April 10, $85 for students/members, $95 for faculty/staff nonmembers
Devil's Lake State Park
Devil's lake, formed over the course of a billion years through glacial activity, is nestled between large quartzite bluffs. In addition to great views, these bluffs offer some of the best climbing in the Midwest. We will spend our weekend hiking up to these bluffs and climbing them (top rope only). A wide variety of routes and difficulties are available for climbers of all skill levels. Transportation, instruction, equipment, and food for all camping days is included. Additionally, two free Gym to Crag workshops are available for all registered trip participants. These workshops help you build your technical climbing skills to prepare you for the outdoor climbing experience.
MANDATORY: Pre-trip meeting will be held on 4/11 from 4-6 p.m. in the SFC lobby. For those who do not have a belay card with ISU Campus Recreation, a mandatory Belay Workshop will be offered from 6-8 p.m. on 4/3. NOTE: Registered participants must be able to depart campus by 3 p.m. on Friday.
April 24, 5 - 8 p.m.
Register by April 19, $10 for students/members, $15 for faculty/staff nonmembers
Comlara County Park
On our second afternoon hike at Comlara Park, we will explore more trails through the forest and prairie that surround Evergreen Lake. We will warm up with an hour long hike, before spreading out on the shores of the lake for an hour of Restorative Yoga while the sun marches towards the horizon. This is a great opportunity to take a break from studies, breathe in some fresh air, take in bright sunshine, and renew yourself before returning to the books.
April 27, 3:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Register by April 24, $15 for students/members, $20 for faculty/staff nonmembers
Join this evening paddle to nearby Evergreen Lake. We will paddle along the shoreline as temperatures cool, and enjoy the sunset while floating on the water before heading back to campus in the twilight. Transportation, instructions, and equipment are included.