Camp Daggett Wilderness Trips offers campers ages 13-15 an exciting opportunity to challenge themselves and learn new skills in a wilderness setting. Wilderness Campers will meet fellow campers from all over the state, country and sometimes even the world. You will bond over the shared experiences backpacking and canoeing as we explore the awe-inspiring wilderness of Michigan and leave with lifetime memories and lasting new friendships.
Wilderness Campers arrive Sunday afternoon for check-in, experience a day of adventure and teambuilding on our ropes challenge course on Monday, and depart for their Wilderness Trip on Tuesday. The group will then put their newfound skills to the test as they head off on a four-day, three-night adventure in the wild – arriving back at Camp Daggett on Friday.
Although the trips vary in location and difficulty, each focuses on “Leave No Trace” backcountry ethics, basic survival abilities, and the general history and ecology of the area. Campers will learn skills such as filtering water, thumbnail navigation with a map, hanging a bear bag, and more. Pathfinder campers will also experience “dispersed camping” some nights, meaning they will not be in a campground; instead, they will find a nice place along the trail. Campers will have to filter water from streams, dig holes to bury human waste, eat while sitting on the ground instead of a picnic table, etc.
PATHFINDER: June 23 – June 29, 2024 | Fife Lake/Manton Area
Explore the high banks and rollways of the Manistee River, one of lower Michigan’s favorite backpacking destinations! Our group will hike 8-10 miles per day on the North Country National Scenic Trail, using state forest campgrounds some nights, and dispersed camping other nights. This is a beginner-friendly hiking trip – no previous backpacking experience is necessary.
ADVANCED PATHFINDER: July 7 – July 13, 2024 | North Country Trail
Follow the North Country Trail through the scenic woods, swimming in Lake Michigan and inland lakes each day! Our path will take us north of Harbor Springs, through Wilderness State Park, and into Mackinaw City. Hikers will practice backcountry camping skills, enjoy scenic views of Lake Michigan, and end their trip in one of Michigan’s most well-known tourist attractions! This trip will involve a few nights of dispersed camping and one night in a campground. This trip involves hiking up to 10 miles per day–campers should prepare by going on some longer hikes, wearing the shoes they plan to use for this trip.
CANOER I: July 21 – July 27, 2024 | AuSable River
Explore the scenic AuSable River, one of lower Michigan’s gems! We will begin in Grayling, using paddle-in State Forest campgrounds to tent-camp along the way. Each day, paddlers will set up and break down camp, pack their canoes, swim, and enjoy campfires and camaraderie in the evening. We may be paddling up to 5-6 hours a day – paddling experience and physical stamina are recommended.
CANOER II: August 4 – August 10, 2024 | AuSable River
Are you ready to paddle further? This four day, three night river excursion begins in Mio where the “Canoer” trips the last two years left off. We’ll be traveling east toward Alcona, paddling a section of the AuSable designated as a “National Scenic River” in 1984. We will use paddle-in campgrounds to tent-camp along the way. Each day, paddlers will set up and break down camp, pack their canoes, swim, and enjoy campfires and camaraderie in the evening. Canoers may be paddling up to 5-6 hours a day – paddling experience and physical stamina are recommended. (Participation in Canoer I last year is not necessary to participate in this trip.)
2023 Wilderness Trip Rates
- In-Area Campers: $583
- Out-of-Area Campers: $913
Adventure Trip Goals
- To enhance self-confidence while building teamwork skills and traits.
- To learn responsible and safe backcountry travel, camping and survival skills.
- To foster an appreciation for the natural world and wild places.
- To have new and fun experiences in unique and adventurous settings!
Each trip will be led by two knowledgeable and experienced staff members—one male and one female guide. At least one guide per trip will have CPR, first aid, and lifeguard certifications.
Please review our Wilderness Trip Packing List here.