Being based in Michigan gives us privileged access to a lot of lakes and rivers. This makes it pretty easy for the club to establish a connection to outdoor activities involving water such as: stand up paddle board, sailing, kayaking and canoeing , (ice) fishing, and whitewater rafting.
The Red Cedar runs right through Michigan State’s campus and feeds into the Grand River in Lansing. These two substantial rivers provide local opportunities for paddle sports. Canoers and kayakers may paddle along the these two rivers at many launch locations on campus along the Red Cedar or at Wonch Park in Okemos. For those who do not have a boat, find friends who do or go to Burchfield Park which offers kayak and canoe rental. Burchfield Park will also transport you and the boats upstream to Eaton Rapids so that you can enjoy a ~3 hour paddle adventure on the Grand River. There is also a kayak rental company close to downtown Lansing at the Lansing City Market open during the summer where you can enjoy some urban paddling.
One of the club’s biggest and most popular trip is the whitewater rafting trip that occurs in the fall. The club travels to West Virginia (~8 hour drive) in September/October to the New River Gorge where there is some of the best white water rafting in the U.S.. This trip includes one full day of whitewater rafting down rapids up to class 5 (class 6 is a waterfall)! Friday and S aturday night, the group camps at the rafting company’s (Adventures on the Gorge) campground. This trip is a great opportunity to meet new club members and have a fun experience together.
MSU Outdoors Club and its alumni started a traditional paddling race called “Campus to Coast”, which takes place on the Red Cedar River and the Grand River. The race is 160 miles long from MSU’s campus to the shore of Lake Michigan and occurs in mid-April. Due to weather, numerous portages, and a 57 hour time limit; it is a very dangerous and challenging race. Teams of 2-4 are required to have the proper gear, mental attitude, and endurance. At the finish line, teams receive a rewarding pint glass of beer.