Each trip listed below is co-guided by one Hobart and one William Smith junor or senior student. All guides are well trained in a variety of First Aid/CPR, Wilderness First Aid, EMT-B, and water safety. They are also comfortable with standard backpacking protocol and have experience on these specific trails. Our community service guides are also experienced in leading projects like the ones students will be participating in.
For all trips, students should keep in mind that POAP is an all-weather affair; preparation is crucial. The possibility exists that participants of the trip will experience inclement weather. The experience of the guides and the preparation of trip participants will make it an experience to remember. Be sure to assess your own difficulty level before choosing your preferred trip!
Please also remember that POAP is a substance-free program, including tobacco.
Beginner: No experience necessary! This is for students who have no outdoor or kayaking experience but would like to try new adventures with a positive attitude. These trips are low intensity, and the daily distance covered ranges from 2-4 miles on rolling terrain. If your focus is on meeting new people and exploring new possibilities in a wilderness setting, this is the trip for you!
Intermediate: Some experience necessary. Participants should be able to hike 5-7 miles daily comfortably on rolling-to-mountainous terrain. These trips find a great balance between experiencing the outdoors and challenging yourself with new friends. This type of trip is for students with capable fitness levels.
Advanced: Experience absolutely necessary. These trips are physically demanding but highly rewarding. Students must be prepared to hike 7-10 miles daily over mountainous terrain and potentially unkempt trails. For trips involving kayaking, students must have prior experience and be physically able to paddle 12-15 miles on open water. These trips are for the outdoor enthusiast!
The Finger Lakes National Forest, located on the southeastern end of Seneca Lake, is the only National Forest in New York State. The forest’s 16,212 acres are nestled on a high ridge overlooking Seneca Lake. The Forest has more than 30 miles of interconnecting trails that traverse gorges, ravines, pastures and woodlands. POAPers can expect to hike roughly 2-4 miles daily and explore the rest of the forest via day hikes.
The Adirondack Park is the largest publicly-protected wilderness area in the contiguous United States and boasts more than 3,000 lakes and ponds and 30,000 miles of streams and rivers. Along with one of the largest networks of hiking trails in the country, the Adirondacks serve as the perfect environment to backpack. Students on this trip will hike through the vast tracts of old growth forests, mountain meadows and bogs, while leaving adequate time for day trips to a mountain top or to cool off in the pool of a mountain stream.
The Finger Lakes Region is one of those places with something for everyone. This trip will capture the spirit of the Finger Lakes and bolster your sense of place. The POAPers will experience the waterfalls and gorges found throughout the region. The Finger Lakes Trail and its appendages cover almost 850 miles throughout New York State. Segments of the trail connect to the Appalachian Trail and provide an incredible backpacking adventure. Students will explore the southern end of Cayuga Lake, where vineyards, water, wind and views combine in an idyllic panorama.
The Adirondack Park is the largest publicly-protected wilderness area in the contiguous United States and boasts more than 3,000 lakes and ponds and 30,000 miles of streams and rivers. Along with one of the largest networks of hiking trails in the country, the Adirondacks serve as the perfect environment to backpack and kayak. Students on this trip will spend half of their time in kayaks paddling the pristine waters of the Adirondacks while spending the remaining time hiking through the vast tracts of old growth forests, mountain meadows and bogs.
Become better acquainted with the heart and soul of the region as you spend the days paddling the pristine waters of the Finger Lakes. Kayak the cool, deep waters of selected Finger Lakes on this four-day adventure. Participants will partake in a series of day trips on area waters as a way to explore the local region.
In the High Peaks of upstate New York, students will have the opportunity to conquer a mountain from base to summit each day. Students can expect new challenges and to be rewarded with spectacular views and the accomplished feeling of reaching the summit. This is a trip designed for students who are willing to physically challenge themselves and for those who have an ambition for hiking and backpacking adventure.
This trip is for students interested in engaging with the Geneva community through service and volunteerism. The trip seeks to orient students to the City of Geneva and surrounding communities, as well as help establish a foundation for continued volunteer service and civic engagement during the next four years. This trip provides students the opportunity to complete hands-on service work together, learn more about their new Geneva community and the issues it faces, and reflect more deeply on their own experiences. The trip is offered in conjunction with the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning.
To apply for this program, after being accepted to Hobart and William Smith Colleges, login to the Orientation website and complete the Pre-Orientation Adventure Program task (available in May).
Check out our pack list to find out what to bring!