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First Year Trips

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Types of Trips


Swimming Options:

no swimming No Swimming swimming optional  Swimming Optional (if take swim test)  swimming required Required (must take swim test)

Bathroom Facilities: 

woods are your bathroom The forest outhouseOuthouse porta-potty Porta-Potty flush toilet Flush toilet

Sleeping facilities: 

cabin Cabin shelter Shelter tarp Tarp tent Tent

Note: There are a few different trip itineraries for each level of hiking, so the icons correspond to ALL possible options on that level.

Any time a trip is not at the campsite and hiking, the only bathroom option on the trail is the woods. 


Adventure Quest swimming optional flush toilettarp

Adventure Quest Trips lead students through a problem solving adventure around Oak Hill. The first day involves orienteering and map reading. The second morning is formatted as a treasure hunt using the skills from the previous day, with games and prizes along the way. This trip gives people the opportunity to explore the Storrs Pond and Oak Hill areas, as well as gain some valuable orienteering skills.


Cabin Camping swimming optional outhousecabin

Cabin Camping Trips are an opportunity to relax in beautiful DOC cabins and explore the surrounding areas. You carry a frame pack or duffel bag while hiking to your cabin. Day hikes and other outdoor adventures are optional. The cabins were built by various Dartmouth students and alumni, through the Dartmouth Outing Club, and are set in beautiful spots in the woods with lots of space for nature exploration. This trip is great for anyone, regardless of your level of outdoor experience. 


Canoeing swimming requiredwoods are your bathroom tarp

Canoeing Trips paddle the flat-water on the gorgeous Magalloway River and are led by experienced leaders. Canoes, life jackets, and paddles are provided. Students canoe during the day and camp in the Second College Grant or by Lake Umbagog at night. Students are expected to bring their own frame packs or duffel bags and will be required to take a swim test upon their arrival in Hanover.


Climb and Hike no swimmingwoods are your bathroom tarp

Climbing Trips involve both rugged hiking and introductory climbing, but no prior climbing experience is needed. The first day of this trip involves a strenuous 7-mile hike up to a campsite where you will stay in a shelter or under tarps. You will spend the second day learning to climb. This trip is ideal for experienced hikers who wish to be introduced to the world of rock climbing.



Community Service swimming optional flush toiletshelter

Students on this trip will have the opportunity to explore different local service organizations in the Upper Valley. The first day is spent at the Storrs Pond Recreational Area. Activities on this day can range from swimming, easy hiking, to volleyball on the beach. On the second day, this trip will participate in a local service project and explore service opportunities in the Upper Valley area, guided by staff members at the Center for Social Impact.



Fishing swimming optional outhousecabin

Fishing Trips take place in the Dartmouth Second College Grant, a 27,000 acre wilderness area in northern New Hampshire. Fishing trip leaders are specially trained to attract fish with their good looks and charm, but occasionally the fish are uncooperative. Luckily, the Grant provides ample opportunity for hiking and nature study in addition to fishing. You are encouraged to bring your own fishing gear (but some is available!), and required to purchase a short-term New Hampshire fishing license for $28. Given the trip's proximity to water, you may want to take your swim test while in Hanover. 


Hike and Yoga no swimmingouthousecabin

Hike and Yoga Trips explore nature with a focus on aligning the body and soul with natural surroundings. The Hike and Yoga Trip involves hiking with frame packs into a spectacular student-built cabin on Moose Mountain, going on optional daily hikes, and giving students time to explore nature and yoga. Seasoned yoga experts as well as those interested in learning something new are welcome on this trip type.


Hiking 1 - Least Strenuous swimming optional woods are your bathroom outhousetarpshelter

If you're interested in hiking small stretches of trail in beautiful, less mountainous regions of New Hampshire, Hiking 1 may be the trip for you. You hike on the DOC trail system, experiencing beautiful views and staying in shelters or cabins. You can expect to hike up to five miles per day. One of the many Hiking 1 Trips hikes around Balch Hill and Storrs Pond near Hanover. Elevation gain: 0 to 1500 feet.


Hiking 2 - Moderate 

no swimmingwoods are your bathroom outhousetarpshelter

If you go on a Hiking 2 Trip, you can expect to hike five to ten miles per day over moderately difficult terrain. The peaks, such as Smarts Mountain, Moose Mountain, and Mt. Cube, afford beautiful views of New Hampshire, and hiking them involves more elevation gain than participating in a Hiking 1 Trip. Hiking 2 is great for those willing to accept a challenge in moderation. Hiking 2 Trips stay in shelters or under tarps. Elevation gain: 500 to 2500 feet. 

hiking 3

Hiking 3 - Harder 

swimming optional woods are your bathroom outhousetarpshelter

On Hiking 3 Trips, most of the hiking is above treeline, involving distances of up to ten miles. These trips are designed to provide similar views to those of the most difficult trips with less of the physical and mental challenge. Some Hiking 3 groups hike in the White Mountain National Forest and summit peaks such as Mt. Bond or Mt. Adams. Elevation gain: 2000 - 5000 feet. 


Hiking 4 - Most Strenuous

swimming optional woods are your bathroom outhousetarpshelter

Hiking 4 Trips are meant for experienced hikers and/or students in very good hiking shape. Trips of this level of difficulty involve some of the most rugged hiking conditions on the East Coast. Most of the peaks you climb are above treeline.  Distances average ten miles a day. Hiking 4 Trips spend nights in shelters or under tarps. Examples of routes include Franconia Ridge and the Kinsmans. These are tough trips, but the spectacular scenery makes them well worth the effort. Elevation gain: up to 5,000 feet.


Horseback Riding no swimmingflush toilettarp

Horseback Riding Trips take place at the 180-acre Dartmouth Riding Center at The Morton Farm. Intended for riders with some experience, these trips feature riding in both outdoor and indoor arenas. Horseback riders camp on a portion of the farm property, and rise early to tend to and tack up the horses. Sturdy boots are a must for this trip, but all other riding equipment (including horses!) is provided.


Kayaking Flatwaterswimming requiredwoods are your bathroom tarp

Flatwater Kayaking Trips paddle along the tranquil Connecticut River. You will get to see the scenic Upper Valley and learn basic kayaking skills. We provide all kayaking equipment and no kayaking experience is necessary or expected.  Kayakers will be required to pass a swim test upon arrival in Hanover.


Kayaking Whitewater 

swimming requiredwoods are your bathroom tenttarp

Whitewater Kayaking Trips begin with basic instruction on kayaking, including strokes, rolling and basic boat movement. Afterwards, participants practice on small rapids. Whitewater trips start on the Magalloway River and paddle the Errol Stretch whitewater near Errol, NH. We provide all kayaking equipment and no kayaking experience is necessary or expected, but you must be a strong swimmer. Kayakers are required to pass a swim test upon their arrival in Hanover. 


Mountain Bikingswimming optional porta-pottytarp

Mountain Biking Trips explore mountain biking trails at Oak Hill, which is five minutes from Hanover. No mountain biking experience is required, but Mountain Biking Trips are intended for people who are comfortable on bikes. The first day of this trip involves mountain biking instruction and practice on a skills course. On the second day, trips go on a morning trail ride through the beautiful Oak Hill area. Mountain biking is rated as a 'moderate' difficulty Trip, as there is some uphill pedaling. We recommend you take a swim test upon arrival in Hanover in case you wish to swim in nearby Storrs Pond during the trip.


Nature Exploration

swimming optional porta-pottycabin

Nature Exploration Trips provide an incredible opportunity to explore New England’s landscape by adventuring in the woods. Local guest experts share their knowledge of local ecology, history, flora and fauna. One Nature Exploration Trip camps out at the DOC’s Hinman Cabin and has the opportunity to swim in Reservoir Pond and/or hike Smarts Mountain, both of which are within walking distance. This trip is great for people without a lot of hiking experience.  


Nature Photography

swimming optional outhousecabin

Nature Photography Trips are a great opportunity for students with an interest in photography to photograph New Hampshire's White Mountains. Students stay in a cabin and take short, moderate day hikes. Most Nature Photography Trips take students to the Second College Grant, where they have the option of hiking Diamond Peak Mountain. This is a great trip type for people without a lot of hiking experience. Students are required to bring their own cameras (any kind will do!)


Nature Writing and Artswimming optional outhousecabin

Nature Writing and Art Trips are an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the wilderness while engaging in art and writing. Participants stay in DOC cabins, explore the Second College Grant or the foothills of the Presidential Range on short hikes, and are invited to use nature as inspiration for expression and creation. You can write, paint, share, and discuss as much or as little as you want. Nature Writing and Art Trips are great for people without a lot of hiking experience. 


Organic Farmingswimming optional outhousetarp

Organic Farming Trips take place at either the Dartmouth Organic Farm or Luna Bleu Farm (owned by Dartmouth alumni) in Vermont. You learn the basics of organic farming while helping out with various projects, which might include milking cows or harvesting vegetables. Organic farming trips eat extremely well (fresh local produce!) and have the option to swim in the Connecticut River, so participants should take the swim test if they’d like to swim while at the farm. 


Dartmouth Yacht Club Sailingswimming requiredflush toiletcabin

Sailing trips will spend two days at the Dartmouth Yacht Club, where they will be instructed on basic sailing skills. Trips will get to explore Mascoma Lake and relax on the beach. No prior sailing experience is needed. 

treesTrailworkswimming optional woods are your bathroom tarp

Trailwork Trips are based at Oak Hill, just five miles from campus. We teach you everything you need to know to appreciate trailwork and have fun maintaining Dartmouth's network of trails at Oak Hill. These trips provide an excellent introduction to some of the care-taking that is done by the DOC.  In addition, this trip will be able to explore Oak Hill and the Storrs Pond area, doing a range of activities from swimming, to easy hiking, to volleyball on the beach. 

Last Updated: 3/23/18