Take a hike, sail, snorkel or kayak

Tanika Snyder

Adventure Center offers three Spring Break trips

Hmm, which to choose? The Bahamas, the Great Smoky Mountains or the Everglades and Key West — that’s a tough one.

The Adventure Center is offering students the opportunity to pick one of these fine destinations for a fun-filled, adventuresome spring break.

For the past three years, the center has offered a spring break trip to the Everglades and Key West. New this year are trips to the Bahamas and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

“Spring break is a time the university dedicates to work or fun,” said Adam Matisko, adventure center manager and Everglades and Key West trip leader. “We wanted to give the students something fun and exciting to do. The big thing is that no experience is necessary.”

The day of departure, participants meet with others making the trip to begin the lengthy van drive to either Florida or Tennessee.

Depending on the trip, participants will be able to hike, kayak, camp, sail, explore, snorkel, sightsee or just relax.

“For all of our trips we really stress that this is your vacation,” Matisko said. “We have a set agenda, but we don’t push it. This is your trip, and you can do with it what you want.”

Each trip offers different opportunities.

Matisko said the trip to the Bahamas is very hands-on. Spring breakers will find a sailboat waiting in Miami where they will board and spend the next week sailing the beautiful Caribbean waters.

“We will actually be learning how to sail the boat,” Bahamas trip leader Jonathan Messer said. “It’s real pretty down there, and one of the most exciting things will be snorkeling. I’m really excited because a lot of work has been put into this trip.”

Not only has a lot of work been put into the Bahamas trip, but to the Everglades and Key West and Great Smoky Mountain National Park trips as well.

The trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the least expensive of the three and allows spring breakers to be home before Easter.

“With the trip to the Smoky Mountains, you really get a feel for the park,” Matisko said. “You spend three days backpacking, one day to relax and you get to explore Pigeon Forge and Clingman’s Dome, which is the highest point in the Smoky’s and Tennessee.”

Matisko is in his fourth year as leader of the Everglades and Key West trip.

“It’s an extravaganza; I can’t explain it,” Matisko said. “It’s a blast.”

On this trip, spring breakers will camp for three nights in the Everglades, hiking, kayaking and exploring, and then they travel to the southernmost point in the United States — Key West, Fla.

“While in the Everglades, we will probably be kayaking with alligators,” Matisko said. “They are like the black squirrels of the Everglades. They’re really docile and everywhere — I guarantee an alligator citing.”

Rachel Freeman, Everglades and Key West assistant trip leader works at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center and has decided to go on spring break with the Adventure Center this year.

“With all the crappie weather in Ohio, I want to get some sun,” Freeman said. “The thing I’m most looking forward to is kayaking in the Everglades.”

For information on the Great Smoky Mountains, visit www.nps.gov/grsm; the Bahamas, visit www.thebahamasguide.com; and the Everglades and Key West, visit www.biztravel.com.

A few spots for all trips are still available but will go fast. Some pre-trip meetings have already been held and others are soon approaching. Call the Adventure Center today at (330) 672-ROCK to secure a spot.

Contact fitness reporter Tanika Snyder at [email protected].