Outdoor Adventures

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Adventure Center 

Hours of Operation

Monday - Friday
3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday
Closed

* The Adventure Center is closed during University closures and closures of the Student Recreation Center

Contact Information

The Adventure Center
815-753-9423

Assistant Director
Christine Lagattolla
clagattolla@niu.edu
815-753-9422

Team Manager
Maurice Jackson
mjackson8@niu.edu
815-753-9423

Rentals Student Manager
Tyler Pellegrini
tpellegrini1@niu.edu
815-753-9423

Day Trips

Day Hike at Starved Rock State Park 

Spend the day hiking through Starved Rock, one of Illinois best known state parks. Don't miss this great educational experience. Don't miss this great educational opportunity as we are honored to be hosted by Jolyn Wise Starved Rock's Natural Resources Coordinator with a presentation on bald eagles in the park. Bring your questions. Explore canyons, waterfalls, miles of scenic trails along the Illinois River, and learn about the rich history in this part of our state. Transportation and lunch will be provided by Outdoor Adventures.

Trip Level: 1

Min/Max Participants: 6/12

Date and Time(s): Sun, Nov 29, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

NIU Students Register Here

Faculty/Staff/Community Register Here

Registration cost and deadline: NIU Student $20.00, Faculty/Staff/Community $25.00 by Nov. 23


Bald Eagle Festival at Starved Rock State Park / Oglesby, IL

Spend the day at Starved Rock, one of Illinois best known state parks, looking for and learning about eagles and related topic presentations. Illinois is second only to Alaska for eagle watching and many are spotted at the deck of the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center, near the Illinois River dam, and from atop of Starved Rock. We are registered for John James Audubon presentation at the Illinois Waterways Visitor Center at 10:00 a.m. and the Illinois Raptor Center presentation at Starved Rock Lodge for 3:00 p.m. Included in the registration fee are presentation tickets, leadership, transportation, and lunch. 

Trip Level: 1

Min/Max Participants: 6/12

NIU Students Register  Here

Faculty/Staff/Community Register Here

Date(s) and time(s): Sun, Jan. 31, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Registration cost and deadline: NIU Student $30.00, Faculty/Staff/Community $35.00 by Jan. 28


SUP Yoga at NIU Gabel Hall Pool

What do you get when you combine standup paddle boarding and yoga? SUP yoga is a growing activity that can be challenging but tons of fun. Join us and give it a go! Included in registration is SUP equipment and instruction.   

Trip Level: 1

Min/Max Participants: 2/4

NIU Students Register Here

Faculty/Staff/Community Register Here

Date and time(s): Mon, Feb 1, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Registration cost and deadline: NIU Student $15.00, Faculty/Staff/Community $20.00 by Feb 1


NIU Students Register Here

Faculty/Staff/Community Register Here

Date and Time(s): Mon, Mar. 7, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Registration cost and deadline: NIU Student $15.00, Faculty/Staff/Community $20.00 by Mar. 7


NIU Students Register Here

Faculty/Staff/Community Register Here

Date and Time(s): Mon, Apr. 4, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Registration cost and deadline: NIU Student $15.00, Faculty/Staff/Community $20.00 by Apr. 4


NIU Students Register Here

Faculty/Staff/Community Register Here

Date and time(s): Mon, May 2, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Registration cost and deadline: NIU Student $15.00, Faculty/Staff/Community $20.00 by May 2


Indoor Climbing at Vertical Endeavors / Glendale Heights, IL

Have you ever wanted to try rock climbing? Climbing is a great workout. The newest Vertical Endeavors facility is largest rock climbing gyms in the United States! This incredible gym offers more than 44,000 square feet of climbing surface. It includes bouldering areas, auto-belays, top ropes, and lead climbing. This trip has something for everyone from first-timers to experienced climbers. Included in the registration fee are leadership, equipment (harness and climbing shoes), transportation, and gym entry fee.  

Trip Level: 1

Min/Max Participants: 6/12

NIU Students Register Here

Faculty/Staff/Community Register Here

Date and time(s): Weds, Feb. 10, 5:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Registration cost and deadline: NIU Student $20.00, Faculty/Staff/Community $25.00 by Feb. 10


NIU Students Register Here

Faculty/Staff/Community Register Here

Date and time(s): Weds, Mar. 2, 5:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Registration cost and deadline: NIU Student $20.00, Faculty/Staff/Community $25.00 by Mar. 2


NIU Students Register Here

Faculty/Staff/Community Register Here

Date and time(s): Weds, Apr. 6, 5:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Registration cost and deadline: NIU Student $20.00, Faculty/Staff/Community $25.00 by Apr. 6


NIU Students Register Here

Faculty/Staff/Community Register Here

Date and time(s): Weds, May 4, 5:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Registration cost and deadline: NIU Student $20.00, Faculty/Staff/Community $25.00 by May 4


Beginner Snowboard at Lake Carroll Ski Hill / Lanark, IL

Have you ever wanted to try snowboarding? Outdoor Adventure Trip Leaders are ready to teach and introduce you to the sport at this perfect beginner hill. There is nothing intimidating about this trip, you can take your time and learn the ropes at your own pace. The hill produces snow but if the weather does not permit, the trip can be rescheduled.  Included in the registration fee is transportation, lift ticket, instruction, and snowboard equipment (first-come first-serve equipment and sizing), along with hot cocoa and snacks but lunch is not included.  Don’t miss out on a chance to learn how to snowboard for a fair price tag!  

Trip Level: 1

Min/Max Participants: 6/10

NIU Students Register Here

Faculty/Staff/Community Register Here

Date and time(s): Sat, Feb. 13, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Early registration cost and deadline: NIU Student $25.00, Faculty/Staff/Community $30.00 by Feb. 5

Regular registration cost and deadline: NIU Student $30.00, Faculty/Staff/Community $35.00 by Feb. 11


Kayak Pool Workshop at NIU Gabel Hall Pool

This workshop will introduce you to basic kayaking skills, blending skill instruction with practice. During the 2-hour clinic you will learn how to fit a boat, wet-exit, reentry and rescue techniques as well as paddle strokes and bracing. Beginners and first timers are welcome.  Included in the registration fee is equipment (kayak, paddle, PFD) and hands-on instruction with a student instructor. (Min 3: Max 6)

Trip Level: 1

NIU Students Register Here

Faculty/Staff/Community Register Here 

Date and time(s): Mon, Feb. 15, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Registration cost and deadline: NIU Students $15.00, Faculty/Staff/Community $20.00 by Feb. 15

NIU Students Register Here 

Faculty/Staff/Community Register Here

Date and time(s): Mon, Feb. 29, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Registration cost and deadline: NIU Students $15.00, Faculty/Staff/Community $20.00 by Feb. 29


Snowboard/Ski Trip to Chestnut Mountain / Galena, IL

Join Outdoor Adventures for an evening of shredding on the area’s finest corduroy slopes under the lights.  Fellowship and gnarr await you! The resort produces snow but if the weather does not permit, the trip can be rescheduled. Included in the registration fee is a lift ticket ($25), transportation, instruction, and NIU snowboard equipment (first-come first-serve sizing). Hot cocoa and snacks will also be provided. Dinner is not included in the registration cost. Sign up soon as this trip fills quickly!  

Trip Level: 2

Min/Max Participants: 6/10

NIU Students Register Here

Faculty/Staff/Community Register Here

Date and time(s): Fri, Feb. 19, 1:30 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.

Early registration cost and deadline: NIU Students $40.00, Faculty/Staff/Community $50.00 by Feb. 12         
Regular registration cost and deadline: NIU Students $50.00, Faculty/Staff/Community $60.00 by Feb. 18


Cross Country Ski at Lowden Miller State Forest / Oregon, IL 

Join us for some fun in the snow! If you have cross country skied before or just interested in trying a great winter activity this day trip is for you. Instruction will be provided for beginners. Included in the registration fee is transportation, instruction, cross country ski package (boots, skis, and poles), and a snack.   This trip will try to be rescheduled if there are inadequate weather conditions. 

Trip Level: 1

Min/Max Participants: 6/12

NIU Students Register Here

Faculty/Staff/Community Register Here

Date and time(s): Sun, Feb. 21 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. 

Early registration cost and deadline: NIU Student $20.00, Faculty/Staff/Community $25.00 by Feb. 12
Regular registration cost and deadline: NIU Student $25.00, Faculty/Staff/Community $30.00 by Feb. 18


Evening Moonlight Snowshoe at Afton Forest Preserve / DeKalb, IL

Take a snowshoe hike under the glow of a full moon at Afton Forest Preserve. This trip is a great way to get acquainted with a local resource and meet new people with similar interests for the outdoors. Included in the registration fee is equipment, leadership, hot cocoa, and transportation. 

Trip Level: 1

Min/Max Participants: 6/12

NIU Students Register Here

Faculty/Staff/Community Register Here

Date and time(s): Mon, Feb. 22, 8:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Registration cost and deadline: NIU Student $10.00, Faculty/Staff/Community $15.00 by Feb. 22


Day Hike at Starved Rock State Park / Oglesby, IL

Spend the day hiking through Starved Rock, one of Illinois best known state parks. Explore canyons, waterfalls, miles of scenic trails along the Illinois River, and learn about the rich history in this part of our state. Included in the registration fee is transportation, leadership, and lunch.

Trip Level: 1

Min/Max Participants: 6/12

NIU Students Register Here

Faculty/Staff/Community Register Here

Date and time(s): Sat, April 9, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Early registration cost and deadline: NIU Student $20.00, Faculty/Staff/Community $25.00 by Mar. 30
Regular registration cost and deadline: NIU Student $25.00, Faculty/Staff/Community $30.00 by Apr. 7


Day Cave at Maquoketa Caves State Park / Maquoketa, IA

Let’s get down and dirty! Explore the caves on your hands and knees in the Raccoon Creek Valley of Iowa located two hours west of DeKalb.  Beyond the astonishing caverns and crevasses, the park is home to a restored prairie and six miles of trails that access the 16 limestone caves.  Great sights include the “Natural Bridge”, the 17-ton “Balanced Rock”, the 1100’ “Dancehall Cave” and the infamous “Wye” cave. This trip is known to fill up fast so do not wait to sign up and you can find out what makes Wye cave so infamous. Included in the registration fee is leadership, equipment (caving helmet with headlamp and pads), transportation, and lunch. 

Trip Level: 1 

Min/Max Participants: 6/12

NIU Students Register Here

Faculty/Staff/Community Register Here

Date and time(s): Sun, April 17, 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Early registration cost and deadline: NIU Student $25.00, Faculty/Staff/Community $30.00 by Apr. 6
Regular registration cost and deadline: NIU Student $30.00, Faculty/Staff/Community $35.00 by Apr. 13


Canoe Paddle and Pedal on the Fox River / Yorkville, IL

Spend the day canoeing down the Fox River from South Elgin to St. Charles for a 7.5 mile paddle. Bring your bike along or reserve one of the Adventure Center’s Trek mountain bikes to bike along the Fox River Bicycle Trail after the paddle. Included in the registration fee are leadership, equipment (boat, paddle, pfd), rental bike, transportation, and lunch. 

Trip Level: 1

Min/Max Participants: 6/10

NIU Students Register Here

Faculty/Staff/Community Register Here

Date and time(s): Sun, April 24, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Early registration cost and deadline: NIU Student $30.00, Faculty/Staff/Community $40.00 by Apr. 13
Regular registration cost and deadline: NIU Student $40.00, Faculty/Staff/Community $50.00 by Apr. 21


Day Climb at Devil’s Lake State Park / Baraboo, WI

Climbing? Climb on! Head up to Devil’s Lake State park and spend the day climbing with Outdoor Adventures. Devil’s Lake has some of the best climbing not only in the area, but in the country! Enjoy a day of climbing and gorgeous scenery. Basic instruction will be provided for beginning climbers by our staff. Included in the registration fee is climbing equipment (harness and shoes), as well as transportation and lunch. 

Trip Level: 1

Min/Max Participants: 6/12

NIU Students Register Here

Faculty/Staff/Community Register Here

Date and time(s): Sat, April 30, 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Early registration cost and deadline: NIU Student $30.00, Faculty/Staff/Community $40.00 by Apr. 20
Regular registration cost and deadline: NIU Student $40.00, Faculty/Staff/Community $50.00 by Apr. 28


Yoga Hike at Shabbona Lake State Park / Shabbona, IL

Enjoy a break from your studies with a lot of relaxation. We will be hiking at Shabbona Lake State Park and practicing yoga in a scenic open space. Christine Lagattolla certified yoga teacher, will be guiding you through a nature inspired sequence and restorative session.  Included in the registration fee is a nutritious vegetarian lunch, instruction, yoga mat (if needed), and transportation.

Trip Level: 1

Min/Max Participants: 6/12

NIU Students Register Here

Faculty/Staff/Community Register Here

Date and time(s): Fri, May 6, 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Early registration cost and deadline: NIU Student $20.00, Faculty/Staff/Community $25.00 by Apr. 27
Regular registration cost and deadline: NIU Student $25.00, Faculty/Staff/Community $30.00 by May 4