Outdoor recreation is a way for people to find adventure, explore new areas at the local and national level, in addition to learning skills needed to engage with nature. The Barnes Center at The Arch offers exciting ways for students, staff and faculty to enjoy outdoor recreation activities across all seasons.

Join an Outdoor Adventure trip, participate in team building events at the Challenge Course or cross country ski and snowshoe at Drumlins Country Club.

Adventure Trips

Throughout the year, the Barnes Center at The Arch offers a number of outdoor adventure trips that give students, staff and faculty the chance to explore the outdoors in new and exciting ways. Additional information and registration is available in the Wellness Portal.

Fall Adventure Trips

Explore Central New York in the fall, the perfect time for apple picking! Join us at a local orchard for their Fall Festival. Pick some apples, navigate the corn maze, take a wagon ride, fire the apple cannon, have your face painted and feed the farm animals. The program fee for undergraduate students is $6 and $12 for graduate students. This program fee includes roundtrip transportation to and from Syracuse University, access to all Fall Festival activities and a small “u-pick” bag of apples. Register for Apple Picking and view more details in the Wellness Portal.

Explore Central New York and experience the natural beauty of Highland Forest! Join us for a guided horseback ride and hike through the trails. The program fee is $10 for undergraduate students and $40 for graduate students. This program fee includes round-trip transportation to and from Syracuse University, a one-hour guided horseback ride, a one-hour hike and a boxed lunch. Register for Horseback Riding and view more details in the Wellness Portal.

Explore Upstate New York and experience the famous Black River rapids! Join us for a day of adventure filled with whitewater rafting. The program fee for undergraduate students is $25 and $80 for graduate students. This program fee includes round-trip transportation to and from Syracuse University, all rafting and personal protective gear, a three hour, professionally-guided rafting adventure and a full barbecue dinner. Register for Whitewater Rafting and view more details in the Wellness Portal.

Spring Adventure Trips

Explore Lake Placid, New York and experience the Olympic Center, home of the 1982 Winter Olympics. Join us for a day of all things Winter Olympics! Ride the Olympic bobsled and skeleton, tour various Olympic venues and ride on the Cloudsplitter Gondola to the top of Whiteface Mountain. The program fee for undergraduate students is $15 and $200 for graduate students. This program fee includes round-trip transportation to and from Syracuse University, the previously listed activities and a bagged dinner. This program is funded in part by the Syracuse University Undergraduate Co-Curricular Fee. Register for the Lake Placid Day Trip and view more details in the Wellness Portal.

Explore the Cross Country Ski and Snowshoe Center at Drumlins Country Club. Join us for a guided, moon-lit hike through the snow. This program is free for all SU/ESF I.D. cardholders and includes round-trip transportation from Syracuse University as well as snowshoe rentals. Register for the Moonlight Snowshoe Hike and view more details in the Wellness Portal.

Explore Central New York and take the slopes of Labrador Mountain! Join us on Friday or Saturday nights for this six-week program where you can learn to ski or snowboard or brush up on your current skills. The program fee for undergraduate students starts at $125 and $200 for graduate students. This program fee includes round-trip transportation to and from Syracuse University, lift tickets and equipment and lessons as needed. Register for the Ski and Snowboard Program and view more details in the Wellness Portal. (Participants register for the full six-week program and must select either Fridays or Saturdays.)

Outdoor Education Center and Challenge Course

Located on South Campus, the Outdoor Education Center and Challenge Course offers groups a variety of unique team building programs. Our facilitation staff will work with your group to help establish, build and maintain healthy relationships, trust and camaraderie; while engaging participants in active reflection throughout custom tailored programs. Options include both low and high element challenge courses, skill development workshops, as well as portable programs which can take place at a variety of off-campus locations. Please note that the Challenge Course closes from November 15 through April 15. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 315.443.9935.

Learn more below:

High Elements Course

Our High Element Challenge Course is designed to allow participants the opportunity to develop and utilize trust and communication while creating strong team bonds as they move through a variety of elements as a group. This course features elements ranging from 25 to 40 feet in the air as well as a dual zip-line.

In addition to the Odyssey Course, we have a Dynamic element course.

  • The leap of faith element involves a participant climbing to the top of a telephone pole and leaping in an attempt to ring a bell secured to a tether. During their climb and “leap” from the top of the pole, participants are secured with climbing ropes which are attached to 6 participants below them, on the ground, who not only work together to support them during their climb, but also work in tandem with our staff to secure them on their descent.
  • For the dynamic elements, participants will climb a pole to the element, then they will traverse the element using only the provided ropes. They will be secured to a staff member on the ground, who will belay them down after completing the element. Team mates can cheer them on and help them problem solve as they traverse the elements.

Low Elements Course

Our Low Element Course consists of a series of ground activities and initiatives that are designed to promote team building and group development. Your team will work together to accomplish various tasks that require building and using teamwork skills. After each activity, facilitators will lead a group discussion to help the team better understand their own group dynamics and strengths, how they may be able to capitalize on opportunities, and apply new skills and knowledge to life beyond the challenge course.

Indoor Challenge Course

The Indoor Challenge Course is located in the Flanagan Gymnasium and is open to Syracuse University faculty, staff and students only. Programming options include high climbing elements as well as ground level team activities and initiatives. Our facilitators will work with your group to design a custom program that meets your needs.

Portable Programs

Portable team building programs allow us to bring the fun to you! Our facilitation staff will work with you to develop a customized program that will meet the specific needs and goals of your group. Our portable programs can vary and are based on the size of the group, size of the space, time frame and program goals.

Common Portable Programs Include:

  • Urban and Campus Adventures
  • Leadership Assessments
  • Theme Based Workshops
  • Traditional Team Building Activities and Initiatives

For more information, please call 315.443.9935.

Please note that all program rates are per person. A fifty percent deposit of the total program cost or interdepartmental order form is required to reserve a program date. All group reservations require a fifteen participant minimum. Groups with less than fifteen participants will be charged at a fifteen participant rate.

1-2 Hours

  • Syracuse University and SUNY ESF Students: $15
  • Syracuse University and SUNY ESF Faculty/Staff: $20
  • Non SU/ESF Student Groups and Non-profit Organizations*: $25
  • Corporate Groups and Other Organizations*: $35

3-4 Hours

  • Syracuse University and SUNY ESF Students: $25
  • Syracuse University and SUNY ESF Faculty/Staff: $30
  • Non SU/ESF Student Groups and Non-profit Organizations*: $35
  • Corporate Groups and Other Organizations*: $45

5-6 Hours

  • Syracuse University and SUNY ESF Students: $35
  • Syracuse University and SUNY ESF Faculty/Staff: $50
  • Non SU/ESF Student Groups and Non-profit Organizations*: $55
  • Corporate Groups and Other Organizations*: $65

7-8 Hours

  • Syracuse University and SUNY ESF Students: $45
  • Syracuse University and SUNY ESF Faculty/Staff: $60
  • Non SU/ESF Student Groups and Non-profit Organizations*: $65
  • Corporate Groups and Other Organizations*: $75

*Outdoor Course only.

Please note that all program rates are per person. A fifty percent deposit of the total program cost or interdepartmental order form is required to reserve a program date. All group reservations require a fifteen participant minimum. Groups with less than fifteen participants will be charged at a fifteen participant rate.

1-2 Hours

  • Syracuse University and SUNY ESF Students: $10
  • Syracuse University and SUNY ESF Faculty/Staff: $15
  • Non SU/ESF Student Groups and Non-profit Organizations*: $20
  • Corporate Groups and Other Organizations*: $30

3-4 Hours

  • Syracuse University and SUNY ESF Students: $15
  • Syracuse University and SUNY ESF Faculty/Staff: $20
  • Non SU/ESF Student Groups and Non-profit Organizations*: $25
  • Corporate Groups and Other Organizations*: $40

5-6 Hours

  • Syracuse University and SUNY ESF Students: $25
  • Syracuse University and SUNY ESF Faculty/Staff: $30
  • Non SU/ESF Student Groups and Non-profit Organizations*: $35
  • Corporate Groups and Other Organizations*: $50

7-8 Hours

  • Syracuse University and SUNY ESF Students: $35
  • Syracuse University and SUNY ESF Faculty/Staff: $40
  • Non SU/ESF Student Groups and Non-profit Organizations*: $45
  • Corporate Groups and Other Organizations*: $60

*Outdoor Course only.

When in season, the Challenge Course is available seven days a week by reservation only. Make a reservation today through the Challenge Course Reservation Request Form. Once your reservation is confirmed, please be sure to complete the Challenge Course Assumption of Risk and Waiver of Liability Form.

  • Aerial footage provided though SKYTOP Aerials, LLC. is available. Please inform us of your interest, and we can provide you with more details.
  • Catering is available through Syracuse University Campus Catering with a wide variety of options. Please contact us at 315.443.9935 with any questions or to submit a catering order.
  • Cellphones are not permitted on the high elements course.
  • Participants should dress in athletic clothing with closed toed shoes.
  • Please refrain from wearing
    • jewelry,
    • Crocs,
    • dress shoes or
    • sandals.
  • Prepare with weather appropriate layers as we are often outside for extended periods of time.

Cross Country Ski and Snowshoe Center

The Cross Country Ski and Snowshoe Center located at Drumlins Country Club offers winter recreation opportunities for the Syracuse University and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) campus community members.

Outdoor Equipment Checkout 

Want to go on an outdoor adventure on your own but don’t have all the equipment you need? Use ours! Syracuse University or SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) student I.D. holders and Barnes Center members 18 years of age or older, can check out equipment for their next camping or backpacking trip. Check out tents, backpacks, sleeping bags, ground pads, head lamps and more! Located in the Climbing area, come check out your equipment, today! More information on how to reserve equipment is available in the Wellness Portal.