With the dawn of spring in the Midwest, outdoor adventures at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers a busy menu of outdoor activities in April (and late March) for student and public enjoyment.
Hiking, biking, camping, kayaking and rock climbing activities have been organized and range from a few hours in the evening to full weekend excursions.
Outdoor Adventures staff will provide instruction for each activity and previous experience is not necessary for participation.
Places are limited for each activity and pre-registration is required (including free activities). Register online or in person at the Outdoor Adventures Center, located at the corner of 14th and W streets on the city campus.
Morning coffee bike rides | March 25 and April 8
A Friday morning tradition in the spring. Riders depart from the Outdoor Adventures Center at 7 a.m. for a morning ride along Lincoln’s various suburban trails. Along the way, the group will find a place to stop for coffee, tea (or other morning drinks) and enjoy each other’s company. Bikes, helmets and drinks are provided.
Free for UNL students.
Sandhill Crane Hike and Migration Monitoring | March 27
The arrival of migrating sandhill cranes on the Platte River in central Nebraska is one of the greatest wildlife spectacles in North America.
This day trip includes a hike and guided conversation on the trails as you experience the awe-inspiring scene of over 80% of the world’s Sandhill Crane population converging on the Platte River Valley. The cost includes a lesson from a nature guide and two hours of access to an up-close birding awning.
$45 for UNL students.
Overnight camping by bike | April 2-3
Enjoy a 2 day weekend and learn the basics of cycle touring. The zero-emission journey departs Saturday at 10 a.m. from the Outdoor Adventure Center and takes riders along a crushed limestone trail to one of Nebraska’s peaceful recreation areas. We’ll carry all of our food and camping gear on our bikes on this truly self-guided overnight ride. The group will be back on campus around 5 p.m. Sunday.
Bikes, helmets, camping gear, food, and instruction are provided.
$35 for UNL students.
Lake Paddles @ Holmes Lake | April 6 and April 20
Enjoy an evening exploring one of Lincoln’s local lakes by kayak or stand-up paddleboard (SUP). All watercraft, paddling equipment and instruction will be provided by Outdoor Adventures.
$15 for UNL students.
Ice Cream Bike Rides | April 6 and April 13
Another springtime tradition on Wednesday evenings. Riders depart from the Outdoor Adventure Center at 5 p.m. for a fun and relaxed bike ride to the UNL Dairy Store via commuter trails connecting UNL town and the east campuses. Bikes, helmets and ice cream are provided.
FREE for UNL students.
Mountain bike ride in Van Dorn Park | April 12 and April 19
Explore one of the single track mountain bike trails located within the city limits of Lincoln. A perfect excursion for beginners who want to be challenged as well as more advanced riders looking to hone their skills. Bikes, helmets and instruction are provided.
$5 for UNL students.
Climbing weekend | April 15-17
A weekend of 2 nights. Located just four hours from Lincoln (along the Minnesota-South Dakota state line), Blue Mounds and Palisades State Parks are home to stunning Sioux quartzite rock cliffs. With quality ascents of 50 to 60 feet, there are challenges and fun for beginners and veteran climbers alike. The trip will depart at 2 p.m. on Friday and return to campus at 7 p.m. on Sunday.
All climbing and camping gear, food, and instruction are provided.
$95 for UNL students.
river kayaking | April 16
Spend a Saturday paddling the cool waters of a regional river and taking in panoramic views of Nebraska’s wilderness from a kayak or canoe. This full-day adventure will introduce you to the basics of paddling before heading out to navigate this diverse and winding waterway.
Kayaks, paddles, life jackets and instruction are provided.
$35 for UNL students.
Night hike | April 16-17
A 2 day weekend. Spend a night under the stars discovering scenery you can’t get just by driving along highways. This trip takes participants to a nearby state park to learn the basics of hiking – from packing your own backpack to cooking and sleeping outdoors. The group will carry all food and camping gear on their backs to create a truly self-sufficient trip.
All hiking related equipment, food and instruction are provided.
$50 for UNL students.
Mountain Bike Ride at Branched Oak Lake | April 23
Explore some of Nebraska’s best mountain biking trails. This 6 hour tour departs at 9am. A good activity for beginners who want a challenge as well as more advanced riders who want to hone their skills. Bikes, helmets and instruction are provided.
$30 for UNL students.