An Experience of a Lifetime
Rather than spending your last few days before Orientation at home, biting your nails, packing and repacking, we strongly recommend attending a Pre-Orientation Trip. On the Clarkson University Outing Club (CUOC) Pre-Orientation Trips, our trained student leaders will guide you through the beautiful wilderness of the Adirondack Park in northern New York for four days and three nights. We have backpacking and canoeing trips for every skill level and interest, and you are certain to make lifelong friends, learn about the Clarkson experience from upperclassmen, get a head start on the college experience, and even move into your residence hall room early!
Students attending trips move into their rooms early on Monday, August 17th and arrive back to campus on Friday, August 21st in time for Orientation. We even provide a special orientation for your parents and family members when you arrive on the 17th so they do not need to make a separate trip to Clarkson.
Each trip costs $180 which includes an on-campus dinner for you and two family members, a free t-shirt to commemorate your trip, all transportation and food costs during the trip, an on-campus barbecue exclusively for trip attendees, and extensive Wilderness First Responder training for your student trip leaders. Sign up for a trip by completing your checklist items on PeopleSoft. Login with your Clarkson username and password (same as your email) at www.clarkson.edu/peoplesoft.php.
NOTE: Students who are a part of the Clarkson School or Honors Program are NOT eligible for these pre-orientations experiences due to their own Orientation trip taking place at the same time.
Pre-Orientation Trips for August 2015 are still in development. Check back in April for details about 2015's upcoming adventures!
To get an idea of what to expect, check out 2014's trips below.
Each trip is led by two experienced leaders, and there are eight people (including leaders) per trip. Those wishing to go on a canoe trip must be able to swim. Hiking trips require a pair of well-fitting, broken-in hiking or work boots with good support, as all participants will be carrying large backpacks. All trips will be a primitive camping experience. No special equipment is necessary, but anyone wishing to bring his or her own gear is highly encouraged to do so.
Difficult Hiking: Participant must have experience. Participant must be in good shape. Carrying heavy packs (35-50lbs) for 4-7 miles and day packs (10lbs) for 7-12 miles per day. Rough Terrain. 5-10 peaks.
Moderate Hiking: Participant should have some experience. Participant should be in good shape. Carrying heavy packs for 3-5 miles and day packs for 5-10 miles per day. Rough Terrain. 3-6 peaks.
Easy Hiking: Participant doesn't need experience. Participant does not need to be in good shape. Carrying heavy packs for 2-4 miles and day packs for 3-7 miles per day. Moderate Terrain. 1-4 peaks.
Difficult Canoeing: Participant must have experience. Participant must be in good shape. Canoeing 10-15 miles per day and carrying canoes 2-4 miles. Also, carrying heavy packs 2-4 miles.
Moderate Canoeing: Participant should have some experience. Participant should be in good shape. Canoeing 6-12 miles per day and carrying canoes .5-3 miles. Also, carrying heavy packs .5-3 miles.
Easy Canoeing: Participant doesn't need experience. Participant does not need to be in good shape. Canoeing 2-7 miles per day and carrying canoes up to .5 miles. Also, carrying heavy packs for .5 miles.
Trip 1: Chilled Saranac
Leaders: Colin O’Brien and Erin Hughes
Difficulty: Easy (Canoeing)
Day 1: Put in at Floodwood pond. Paddle to Upper Saranac and camp on an island there.
Day 2: Paddle a little ways to the carry point. Short carry to Middle Saranac. Paddle to the mouth of Lower Saranac, camp there for the night.
Day 3: Paddle to an island on Lower Saranac, hang out, explore and swim for the rest of the day.
Day 4: Paddle to the pick-up point at Ampersand Bay.
Description: So much fun it’s back for another year! Join Colin and Erin for a relaxing and fun canoe trip through all three of the Saranac Lakes. A great way to chill before classes start, with plenty of opportunities for swimming, relaxing and fun! Not to mention some awesome camping on islands within the lakes!
Trip 2: Cranberry Pies and Blue Skies
Leaders: Jake Brown and Patrick Conlon
Difficulty: Easy (Canoeing)
Day 1: Enter at Wanakena and paddle down the Oswegatchie River into Cranberry Lake setting up camp at Janack’s Landing.
Day 2: Leaving the heavy stuff behind, hike Cat Mountain, then canoe to the main island
Day 3: Hang out at the island. Explore, swim, play games and have fun in the sun!
Day 4: Paddle out to the boat launch in Cook Corners.
Description: Spend four days canoeing at Cranberry Lake and hiking on Cat Mountain with Patrick and Jake. There’ll be plenty of water and fun for all. At the end of the lake is a nice mountain which we will climb on the second day and then we can do lots of swimming or canoeing. If you wish to have fun and get the best of both land and sea, then this is the trip for you.
Trip 3: Long Pond Caneoing with Eric and James
Leaders: Eric Davidson and James King
Difficulty: Moderate (Canoeing)
Day 1: Brief hike up Floodwood road to canoes. Short portage from canoes to the pond. Canoe out to campsite. Set up base camp.
Day 2: Canoeing and portaging from Long Pond to any adjacent ponds.
Day 3: Hiking trip up a Long Pond Mountain. Swimming in Pond. Hang around camp.
Day 4: Pack up camp. Canoe out for pick-up.
Description: Hang out with Eric and James for a fun canoeing and hiking trip in the beautiful Adirondack back-country. Plenty of time to explore, relax, and have fun as well as swim and eat delicious campfire food prepared by the “master” chef (James King). See the breathtaking views from the top of Long Pond Mountain and beautiful forests surrounding the numerous ponds. Come with us to experience the majesty of the Adirondacks.
Trip 4: Lila to Lows Paddle
Leaders: Tyler Arsenault and Evan Tougas
Difficulty: Difficult (Canoeing)
Day 1: An easy .5 mile portage into Lila, a 2-3 mile paddle to the first campsite.
Day 2: A .3 mile portage, followed by a 3 mile stream paddle to Harington Pond, where a 1.5 mile portage will begin to Clear Pond. A quick 1 mile paddle across Clear Pond to a .3 mi portage to Bog Pond, we will have the option to camp at Bog Pond or continue to paddle.
Day 3: We will paddle down Lows Lake towards Lows lower dam, staying at a campsite on Hitchins Pond.
Day 4: Pack up and paddle out to our pick up point.
Description: This one will be a difficult (but fun!) paddle trip.
Trip 5: Cranberry Go-Round
Leaders: Kyle Stone and William Callanan
Difficulty: Easy (Hiking)
Day 1: From Wanakena, hike to High Rock for lunch, then hike to High Falls and stay for the night.
Day 2: Hike to Cat Mountain and reach the summit, then head to Cowhorn Pond Lean-To.
Day 3: Hike to Janacks Landing Shelter, do some swimming and spend the night.
Day 4: Leave Janacks Landing early and return to Wanakena for bus pickup.
Description: Want to explore a different side of the Adirondacks but not exhaust yourself doing it? Join Kyle and Will in checking out Cranberry Lake, climbing a peak, swimming, and pond-hopping through the largest wilderness area in the Adirondacks. The hiking is flat and easy, and we’ll be covering about 23 miles total, so come looking for a leisurely exploration of the Adirondacks with great company!
Trip 6: Smoke on the Water and Fire in the Sky
Leaders: Sam Jortberg and Liam Harrison
Difficulty: Easy (Hiking)
Day 1: Start at the trailhead on Upperworks Road and hike in to the Calamity lean-to area.
Day 2: Hike Colden then hang out around Avalanche Lake.
Day 3: Hike Marshall or swim then move on to the avalanche lean-to.
Day 4: Hike out to ADK lodge and wait for our ride!
Description: Start off your college experience with this laid back hiking adventure with Liam and Sam! This trip gives you the chance to bag one or two high peaks, or to just relax around breath taking Avalanche Lake! On top of the peaks or even wading in the lake this trip will give you some of the best views the 'Dacks have to offer!
Trip 7: Unbeleafable!
Leaders: Dylan Gilgallon and Matt Wagner
Difficulty: Moderate (Hiking) *All mountains hiked without heavy packs
Day 1: Leaving from Upper Works, hiking in for relatively easy first day past calamity pond and spending our first night near Feldspar Brook.
Day 2: Get ready, because on our second day we’re climbing the great Tahawus (Marcy), and then heading over to Mt. Haystack for the most spectacular view in the ADKs.
Day 3: Our third day we’ll summit Mt. Colden and then head through the scenic Avalanche Pass where we’ll spend our last night in Avalanche Camp.
Day 4: Hike out to the ADK Lodge.
Description: What does MACHed mean? Well let me tell you!
M is for Marcy, Where the trees are pretty sparse-y
A is for Avalanche Pass, Don’t you give me no sass
C is for Colden, At the top of your golden
H is for Haystack, This rhyme is whack
So come along and enjoy the fun, You’ll make some great friends before the trip is done!
Trip 8: Hiking the ADK Mile
Leaders: Nick Multari and Jared Carson
Difficulty: Moderate (Hiking) * Somewhat lengthy trip, but not much elevation change after the first day
Day 1: Starting off from Corey’s Road and hiking in to Horse Trail Shelter, then dropping packs and climbing Seward, maybe Donaldson and Emmons.
Day 2: Hiking around the Seward Range via Duck Hole to get to Shattuck Clearing where we will spend the night.
Day 3: A nice, long, relatively flat hike out to Kaitlin’s Bay on Long Lake for some swimming and relaxing.
Day 4: Just a quick jaunt to where we will be picked up.
Description: This is going to be one awesome trip. We will start our journey by summiting one of the ADK High Peaks. Day two we will head over to Duck Hole for some lunch and swimming. The rest of the trip will be spent along the Northville-Placid Trail. We will enjoy swimming, eating, and possibly a swamp crossing. Last day we will depart Catlin’s Bay for a short hike to where we meet up at the bus and leave with some fun stories to bring back to campus.
Leaders: Dan Allen and Katie Dunn
Difficulty: Moderate-Difficult (Hiking) *Some difficult sections
Day 1: Enter at the Adirondack Loj, Heart Lake facility. Hike into Lake Colden through the beautiful Avalanche Pass route (don’t worry, there aren’t any avalanches now!). Set up camp at campsites or lean-tos at the base of Lake Colden.
Day 2: Leaving our bulky things behind, leave camp and hike up Marshall, Redfield and Cliff Mountains. Head back to home sweet home at Lake Colden for a good night’s rest.
Day 3: Pack up camp in the morning, taking everything up and over Mt. Marcy (highest peak, YEAH!) and maybe Grey Peak to lovely Johns Brook Valley and the Johns Brook Lodge. Set up camp at lean-tos or campsites near JBL.
Day 4: Break camp in the morning, head to Keene Valley for pick up and the highlight of the trip: Noonmark Diner PIE!!
Description: If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around, does it still make a noise? Doesn’t matter to me, I’d rather watch it happen! If you’re looking for some superb scenery, marvelous mountains, and fantastically fun times, come join us on this adventure. At the end of our expedition, we can guarantee some delicious pie and some groovy grub. If you’ve got the burning desire to hike and haul some gear, the come tag along!
Trip 10: The Grand Tour
Leaders: Paul Doerner and Kolby Ziemendorf
Difficulty: Difficult (Hiking)
Day 1: Enter at the Adirondack Lodge and hike Wright, Algonquin, and Iroquois. Then camp at Beaver Point.
Day 2: Hike Marcy (the highest point in NY), Haystack, and Skylight. Then return to Beaver Point.
Day 3: Sleep in and enjoy a relaxing day of hanging out at the beautiful Lake Colden or, a favorite of many hikers, nearby Avalanche Lake. If you're in the mood for more, Mt. Colden is an option. Later, prepare to be serenaded by you trip leaders' possible guitar and harmonica "jam sesh" (Guitar song requests will be taken, but as for harmonica I hope you like "Piano Man").
Day 4: Pack up and return to the ADK Lodge for pick up.
Description: Escape civilization for four days to experience some of the most breathtaking views in the High Peak Wilderness Area of the Adirondacks. Join the current president of CUOC, who has climbed all 46 High Peaks, and another who is aspiring to do the same! Prepare to stand on six or more picturesque summits, including the highest point in New York, and make lifelong friends on this journey you are sure never to forget!
Trip 11: Extreme Gardening
Leaders: David Desmond and Adam Graham
Difficulty: Difficult (Hiking)
Day 1: Get dropped off at the Garden, hike in and hike up Big Slide then spend the night at Johns Brook Lodge.
Day 2: Hike Haystack, Basin, Saddleback and spend another night at JBL.
Day 3: Hike Gothics, Armstrong, Upper Wolfjaw (Sawteeth and lower Wolfjaw are optional).
Day 4: Hike out to the Garden for pick up.
Description: Davam is a match made in outdoorsmen heaven. This goofy yet skilled duo is sure to lead you on the trip of a lifetime filled with laughs and unbelievable views! This trip will also get you 9 of the 46 Adirondack high peaks under your belt! Kick off your college career with four days on top of the world! (Or the Adirondacks at least.)
Leaders: Austin Skoog and Grace Hevey
Difficulty: Difficult (Hiking)
Day 1: Hike in to the dam then hike Phelps. Tabletop if time and willpower permits.
Day 2: Hike to campsite on Colden Lake, hike Marshall or go swimming.
Day 3: Hike Iroquois, Algonquin and Wright.
Day 4: Hike out to ADK Loj for pick up.
Description: Join Grace and Austin on a fun-filled adventure through the Adirondacks. It will be a delightful but rigorous hike, bagging up to 6 High Peaks over the four day excursion, with a few lighter days and possibly some swimming. This will be a great opportunity to meet some new people and enjoy nature before beginning the school-year.
Name: Eric Davidson
Name: James King
Name: Kyle Stone
Name: William Callanan
Name: Colin O'Brien
Name: Erin Hughes
Name: Jake Brown
Name: Patrick Conlon
Name: Samuel Jortberg
Name: Liam Harrison
Name: Tyler Arsenault
Name: Evan Tougas
Name: Paul Doerner
Name: Kolby Ziemendorf
Name: David Desmond
Name: Adam Graham
Name: Dan Allen
Name: Katie Dunn
Name: Dylan Gilgallon
Name: Matt Wagner
Name: Nick Multari
Name: Jared Carson
Name: Austin Skoog
Name: Grace Hevey
HOW TO APPLY: Sign-ups for pre-orientation trips happen from April 15 to July 15. Sign up for a trip by completing your checklist items on PeopleSoft. Login with your Clarkson username and password (same as your email) at www.clarkson.edu/peoplesoft.php.
CUOC Pre-Orientation Trip Travel Policy and Release, Consent, and Waiver Form
Have questions we didn't answer? Try our Trip FAQs. Still didn't find your answer? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mini Orientations: A mini-orientation on Monday, August 17th is available for families of students who are participating in pre-orientation trips. This session is held for your family’s convenience so two trips to Potsdam for Orientation events are not necessary.
IMPORTANT: Due to the nature and location of many of these trips it is direly important that you bring any medication that you could possibly need on your trip. This is even more important to students with conditions such as asthma or allergies to bee stings. If you have ever needed an inhaler, BRING IT, if you have any reason to need an Epi-pen, BRING ATLEAST ONE, we cannot provide this type of medication. If for any reason you normally wear a medical alert bracelet due to drug allergies you MUST wear it the WHOLE trip. Please come prepared with all medications you could need, and inform your leader personally of any possible medical complications you may have.
Top 5 reasons to go on a pre-Orientation trip:
5) Get an awesome T-Shirt.
4) Move in early (get all the good stuff in the room).
3) Have fun in the ‘Dacks and get settled before work sets in.
2) Meet interesting people and make new friends even before classes start.
1) Become part of the coolest club on campus!