White Water Kayaking

Wilderness TREK provides students the opportunity to build lasting friendships, initiate self-discovery, and explore the people and landscapes that are Vermont. For more than 30 years Wilderness TREK has been creating adventurous beginnings for student development at UVM.

As a TREKKIE, you will spend six days with your future classmates, hiking the rugged footpaths of our Green Mountain Long Trail, canoeing the rivers and lakes of the Adirondacks, sea kayaking the islands and unspoiled shoreline of Lake Champlain, climbing in Vermont and the Adirondacks, while white water kayakers travel to the legendary "Forks" of Maine.



Students on Wilderness Trek are immersed in the beauty of Northern New England’s diverse wilderness environments. TREKKIES develop a number of group and independent living skills including: meal preparation, stove operation and maintenance, shelter construction, basic first-aid, navigating with map and compass, problem-solving, low impact camping ethics and cooperative learning. Traveling in small groups you will subsist on a daily diet of wondrous surroundings, engaging peers and lots of trail mix! While group travel itineraries are planned with success in mind, they are always challenging. Canoe portages, long hikes, kayak paddles and bike rides are always the special of the day. Upon completing TREK, participants are usually quick to reflect on the importance of physical conditioning prior to their TREK experience.




Picture yourself sunning on a beautiful granite outcropping looking across Lake Champlain to the Adirondack Peaks beyond…your brow is sweaty, arms tired, veins coursing with adrenaline and chest filled with pride. You’re at the top of your climb, charged with excitement, awed by the support and grateful for encouragement shouted from Trekkies below. You begin to lower, reliving the climb mentally. You pass the challenging points, ready to give advice to the next climber… and on to your next climb! On Rock Climbing TREK, your daily experience is defined by moments like these!

Whether you are an absolute beginner, have climbed in gyms or have significant “sport” or “trad” climbing experience, you will learn volumes while on Rock Climbing TREK. Your professional guide and student TREK leader climbing team, will ensure you are well versed in the basics of rock climbing safety, equipment, belay technique, climbing technique and top roped anchor systems. You will visit legendary rock climbing sites in Vermont and the Adirondacks, progressing your skills at a comfortable rate and accepting new challenges daily…returning ready for life at UVM and participation in future Outing Club climbing opportunities!

Recommended Abilities: Climbing successfully in top roped sites requires tenacity, great use of feet and upper body strength helps. Climbs are chosen with beginners in mind and plenty of more challenging opportunities await the more experienced TREK climber.


Wilderness TREK hiking journeys take you to some of the highest, most remote and oldest footpaths in the country, on the long trail and in the Adirondacks! Hiking groups will experience the “dog days” of summer on jaunts of up to eight miles per day, wandering through hardwood, over trickling streams and learning of the North Country’s rich, natural history along the way. With your pack on your back and a kick in your step, you’ll pull into camp ready for a hot meal, relaxation and an evening sharing tales of the day at your shelter or lean-to.

Recommended Abilities: Days are spent walking in the woods between 5-8 miles per day, both uphill and down with a pack of up to 35lbs. In addition to personal belongings, hikers will be required to carry a proportionate amount of group gear & food. Hiking trips are physically the most rigorous of all the Wilderness TREK offerings.


On TREK canoeing journeys you’ll paddle and explore the expansive wilderness of the Adirondack National Park, the largest East of the Mississippi! Wonders of the natural world await you at every point on the Lakes or bend in the rivers. Occasional portages require TREKKIES to carry boats and gear in teams. You’ll stop late each afternoon at campsites en route, allowing time for group cooking, discussion and relaxation. If conditions are right, moonlit paddles afford the chance to experience the secrets of nocturnal activity. Loons blaring their distinctive call or the cacophony of energetic peepers are not uncommon while canoeing on TREK!

Recommended Abilities: Traveling successfully in the Adirondack Lakes and on Lake Champlain requires the ability to paddle multiple miles per day with all packs, gear and food in boats and at times… into the wind. Being able to swim competently and being comfortable in and around water are additional requirements


Navigating the bays, points and islands of Lake Champlain will tune you into the beauty and serenity of open water travel. Considered to be our nation’s sixth “Great Lake” by Vermonters, it is rich in ecosystem diversity and Native American cultural history. By day, TREKKIES collectively ply their paddling and navigation skills, traveling in flotillas. Pulling into designated wilderness camp sites along the champlain sea kayak trail late each afternoon, TREKKIES will pull the hatch covers on their boats to reveal shelter makings and a delicious dinner. On your last day of TREK, all bearings will point to the shore of Burlington’s bustling waterfront and the beginning of your journey as a UVM student!

Recommended Abilities: Traveling successfully in the Adirondack Lakes and on Lake Champlain requires the ability to paddle multiple miles per day with all packs, gear and food in boats and at times… into the wind. Being able to swim competently and being comfortable in and around water are additional requirements


Exploring the creeks & rivers of the Kennebec River in Maine provides students interested in whitewater kayaking, the opportunity to improve existing skills or develop basic paddling skills on moving water.  Student instructors and leaders are active UVM Kayak Club leaders and are American Canoe & Kayak Club (ACA) and Swift Water rescue certified. Your group will spend days on the water and evenings camping riverside.  With experienced UVM Kayak Club leaders guiding your way, WW Trekkies can expect to learn a ton about paddling kayaks, river hydrology & safety and life at UVM. 

Recommended Abilities: Trips require students to be comfortable in moving water and have the ability to swim competently.


Imagine rolling out of the sleeping bags each morning to make plans for the day, with your new TREK friends over a hearty breakfast. Focus then shifts to organizing your riding gear, filling water bottles and hydration packs, loading bikes and off you’ll head for a day of riding with your guides, having fun and developing riding skills in the beautiful Green Mountains!

MTB TREK provides Wilderness TREK participants a unique opportunity to explore the woods, hills and hollows of Vermont from the seat of a mountain bike. Whether an absolute beginner or a seasoned rider, Mountain Bike TREKkies will ride Vermont’s most iconic bike trail networks…some of the best in the country. Professional mountain bike guides and TREK leader riders will provide fundamental skills to ensure a safe, adventurous and fun week. Riding groups may be organized based on prior experience and ability to best accommodate student needs. MTB TREKkies will basecamp, returning each evening for meals and community time. For TREK 2018, we are excited to be partnering with our friends at 4 Points Vermont in Stowe for the launch of Mountain Bike TREK.

Recommended Abilities: Riding 3 to 5 hours every day is typical. All participants should be comfortable on and have experience riding a bike…but not necessarily in the woods. Mountain biking is physically demanding, fitness and determination are required. Bikes are available for rent for students who don’t own their own. Students who do will need to be sure their bike has been tuned and in sound, mechanic certified, working condition!



While Wilderness TREK programs differ in focus, daily activities are logistically similar. Days begin early with a nutritious breakfast followed by the ritual break down of camp. Leaders meet with TREKKIES, discuss route plans, and develop travel goals for the day. Next they’re off into the wild blue yonder to explore. Lunches are simple and prepared in the field. Energetic afternoons of continued travel and teamwork culminate with arrival at the campsite. After TREKKIES settle, unpack gear, construct their evening home and prepare a shared meal, discussion of the day’s activity, group games or relaxation time follows. As an orientation program, leaders will provide structured time for TREKKIES to ask questions about student life and experiences at UVM. No two days are ever alike on Wilderness TREK!

Contact Us

For more information about the TREK Programs, Costs, and financial aid options, please contact us:

UVM Department of Student Life
590 Main Street, Room 310
Burlington VT 05405
(802) 656-2060

TREK Questions: