Adirondack Adventure is Hamilton College’s nationally acclaimed five-day outdoor program for incoming students. It’s a great opportunity to get acclimated, start college with a group of good friends, and while you’re at it, spend some time learning and having fun in the great outdoors.



There are eight trips that are purely hiking. Most trips follow roughly the same format. On the first day, you hike into a campsite or lean-to and set up a basecamp. The remainder of the trip is spent hiking nearby mountains carrying only what you need for the day. Others are point-to-point trips, which have shorter total mileage but will mean carrying a full pack most of the time.


All seven boat trips take place on flat or moving water (no whitewater involved). Many students who choose to canoe have never been in a boat before, or if they have, it was on a sixth-grade trip where they had grapes for lunch and some kid was sick on the bus home. There is plenty of time to learn, and the daily mileage is not unreasonable for beginners. Most of these trips also include a day hike up a nearby mountain, just so you don't spend the whole time sitting down.

Hiking/Canoeing Combination

The ever-popular combination trips have been refined over the years to give one of the best Adirondack experiences possible. All choices have two trips which start at either end of the route and work towards each other. When they meet in the middle, backpacks are switched for canoes and vice versa, and each trip continues on (except the triple combo - go to the page for more details on this burly trip).

Rock Climbing and Giant Mountain Combination Trips

This trip begins at Chapel Pond, on the outskirts of Keene Valley and will camp close by at a state-run campsite. We’ll go over everything you need to know, so don’t worry if you're a first-time climber. In fact, if you’re a strong (5.8 or higher) or experienced climber, this is not the trip for you. There will be plenty of other chances to meet climbers and crank the hard stuff when the climbing wall opens.

Sea Kayaking

There are two sea kayaking trips, and both travel approximately the same distance, about 25 miles. You should be prepared to paddle for five or six hours a day, getting a little out of breath just like you would on a hike. Lake Champlain is more spicy because the lake is bigger and the wind can pick up. 

Equipment List

Mountain Biking

Mountain biking is a great way to interact with the land, have fun and make new friends. It's a ton of fun! The trip operates out of a campground (showers every day!), sometimes driving to a new trail area, but always operating in terrain appropriate for each rider. Participants should be able to ride a bike for at least 45 minutes without stopping, at 10 miles an hour or more. Some mountain biking experience is strongly recommended. This is a spicy trip, you will be out of breath for extended periods of time; if you're not a seasoned bike rider, but are or have been an endurance athlete, then you'll do fine. Bring your bike or borrow one of ours. If you've never ridden off-road before, on a rough surface (not just bike paths or gravel roads, but on narrow trails), then this isn't the trip for you, but there are classes once the semester begins.


Fancy a little bit of everything? Need a little less of a wilderness setting? Then Basecamp is for you. You will be in the same-sized small group, camping in tents with dedicated trip leaders like any other Adirondack Adventure experience, only your trip will be based at a summer camp in the woods. Every day will be a mild to medium level day trip. There will be at least one day of hiking, one of canoeing and a third day of some other fun outdoors activity, like ropes course or whitewater rafting.


Andrew Jillings

Director of Outdoor Leadership

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