Outdoor Programs | www.hampshire.edu

Outdoor Programs

The OPRA staff is committed to providing outstanding services and programs to the community. Learn respect for self, others, and the environment while enjoying a fun and educational experience on our worldwide trips.

Our primary goal is to manage risks to offer rewarding experiences in flatwater and whitewater kayaking; rafting, canoeing, rock and top rope climbing; hiking; backpacking; show shoeing; cross country and downhill skiing; and backcountry navigation. Activities cater to beginner and intermediate skill levels.


Beginning Whitewater Kayaking

This course focuses on the beginning-level paddler. Learn the fundamentals of whitewater kayaking in the pool and on local rivers.

Intermediate Whitewater Kayaking

For students with previous whitewater kayaking experience. This course runs through the end of October and will help students improve their whitewater techniques on class 2-3 water on local rivers.

Top Rope Climbing

This course is for beginning and experienced rock climbers, covering basic safety techniques, rope work, knots, and climbing techniques. We will visit many local climbing areas, as well as Hampshire College's indoor climbing wall. Beginners are especially welcome.

Introduction to Sport Climbing

This is a style of climbing in which a person uses fixed protection to lead climb. This class will focus on teaching the technical skills and training techniques for better climbing. Students must have strong rope climbing skills before advancing to sport climbing. Perfect for experienced rock climbers wanting to learn to lead climb; this is prerequisite for the spring traditional lead climbing class. 

More information about classes is available on TheHub and CEL-1 credit is available.

Outdoor Trips

Weekend outdoor trips are a great way to sample the many types of activities OPRA has to offer! During winter and spring break, more extended trips are offered. These have included rock climbing in Greece, Spain, and Mexico; paddling in North Carolina, Texas, and the Grand Canyon; skiing in Canada and the United States; and canoeing in Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina. 

Weekend Trips

Date Trip/Activity Cost
9/9/17 Whitewater Rafting on Deerfield River $15*
9/9/17 Whale Watch - Cape Ann $45*
9/10/17 Outdoor Rock Climbing - Pioneer Valley $15*
9/16/17 Kayaking - Farmington River $15*
9/16/17 Canoe Tully Lake $15*
9/16/17 Hampshire Fun Hike - Mt. Holyoke Range 15*
9/17/17 Bike & Brunch - Pioneer Valley $15*
9/23/17 Kayaking - West River $15*
10/1/17 Whitewater Rafting - Deerfield River $15*
10/15/17 Rock Climbing - Pioneer Valley $15*
10/15/17 Horseback Riding - Mt. Toby Stables $60*
10/29/17 Mountain Biking - Pioneer Valley $15*

* Discount of $10 off trip prices for Hampshire students if you use your Hampshire College email address and discount code HCSTUDENT when making payment on the OPRA website. This discount offer is not valid for OPRA's training classes and certification courses offered on the website. 

Cancellation Policy

  • Participants who notify OPRA prior to the registration deadline will be charged a $5 registration fee.
  • Participants who register and do not attend the trip will be charged a $10 cancellation fee (Hampshire students only) and will forfeit any registration fees.
  • Participants who cancel after the registration deadline will be charged a $10 cancellation fee (Hampshire students only) and will forfeit any registration fees.

Only Hampshire and Five College students may participate in these trips/activities, except where noted.

All OPRA events are substance-free.

October Break Trips 

Trip grants are available for Hampshire College financial aid recipients only.

Apply for a grant

Rock Climbing - Rumney, NH - October 7-9

Spend October break rock climbing on the famous swirled schist at Rumney, a sport-climber paradise! Climbs for all levels of climbers, camp in the national forest, and enjoy New Hampshire fall foliage. No previous experience necessary and all abilities are welcome.

Hampshire Students: $60 (DO NOT use Hampshire student discount code); Five College and community: $105. Includes transportation, food, equipment, and instruction. Register on TeamSports using credit or debit card. This is a non-refundable trip.

Sea Kayak Trip - Lake Champlain Islands, VT - October 7-10

Explore the bays and beaches of Lake Champlain in northern Vermont, camping each night on a beautiful remote island. Fall foliage will be at its peak. Sea kayaking skills will be taught. Prerequisite: Must be able to swim and have some previous paddling experience in kayaks or canoes.

Hampshire Students: TBD; Five College and community: TBD. Includes transportation, food, and equipment.  Register on TeamSports using credit or debit card. This is a non-refundable trip.

Trips & Activities
Sign up must be completed by noon the Friday morning prior to the trip.
Join OPRA for day, weekend, and extended trips.
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Outdoor Programs, Recreation, and Athletics (OPRA)
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002