Wilderness Adventure - First-Year Outdoor Education Pre-Orientation Skip Navigation

Wilderness Adventure

Pre-orientation program
Meet new friends, discover Colgate, and explore the outdoors. Wilderness Adventure is a great way to kick-start your Colgate experience!

About Wilderness Adventure

Each summer, roughly 150 first-year students participate in Wilderness Adventure to make friends, learn about Colgate, and have an absolute blast! Living and traveling with a small group of new students and two or three highly trained leaders, you will hike, paddle, climb, or bike through stunning New York wilderness. 

No previous wilderness experience is needed for any of our trips, just a willingness to have fun, learn, and meet new people.


  • Start college with a group of great new friends and upperclassmen mentors.
  • Practice outdoor skills under the guidance of experienced student leaders.
  • Try something new, and maybe a little bit challenging — just like college.
  • Learn about classes, dorms, food, clubs, activities, and more from your leaders.
  • Jumpstart your entrance into community living and active citizenship.
  • Discover the Adirondack Park and Central New York – your new home.

Available Sessions

We offer two sessions of Wilderness Adventure in August, each with a unique variety of available trips, from hiking to sea kayaking.

Registration Deadlines

Registration is closed, as all trips are at capacity.

Select an option below to review the full registration timeline and all relevant deadlines. Registration deadlines are the same for both Session 1 and Session 2 trips. 
Early decision registration: April 20, 2017
Students accepted to Colgate through early decision have the opportunity to register for Wilderness Adventure early. This is especially helpful for arranging travel to campus in August.

Note that early decision students may register for Wilderness Adventure early, or as part of the regular registration process.

Early registration timeline
Event Date
Early registration deadline;
Pay deposit
April 20, 2017
Students notified of their Wilderness Adventure session (1 or 2) Early May 2017
Pay balance;
gear request deadline
May 13, 2017
Medical history and waiver due July 1, 2017
Regular registration: June 1, 2017
All incoming first-year students (both early- and regular-decision applicants) may register for Wilderness Adventure according to the following schedule.

Regular registration timeline
Event Date
Regular registration deadline;
Pay deposit
June 1, 2017
Students notified of their Wilderness Adventure session (1 or 2) Mid-June 2017
Pay balance;
Gear request deadline;
Medical history and waiver due
July 1, 2017
Registration is closed, as all trips are at capacity.


Note: Only proceed to balance payment and gear borrowing after you have received a trip assignment by email.

Fees and Financial Aid

The fee for all trips is $475. Students may also borrow much of the required gear from Colgate at no charge. You may request gear after receiving your trip assignment.

Financial aid is available for those receiving aid from Colgate. We typically match 80-90% of the aid given by Colgate. For example, if you receive 80% aid from Colgate, you would receive 64-72% aid on your WA fee.

If interested in receiving aid, please indicate so when you register. You will be informed of your aid award when you receive your trip assignment. If you have any questions about financial aid for WA, please contact us.

Contact Us

We are here to help with any questions about the Wilderness Adventure experience.

Mailing Address

13 Oak Dr.
Hamilton, NY 13346