Two-day ‘Adventure Summit’ at Wright State includes speakers, demos, recreation vendors and more

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Inspiring, informational and motivational, the Adventure Summit is a weekend-long celebration of outdoor adventure.

“The Adventure Summit is a great way for people to get inspired by hearing stories about local, national and international outdoor adventures both from national speakers but also dozens of their Miami Valley neighbors who have done amazing adventures locally and around the world,” said Chris Buck, Five Rivers MetroParks special events coordinator. “You can also try a new fitness activity, participate in a competition, shop used gear, and make connections at the expo. The Adventure Summit is truly the area’s premier outdoor adventure exposition.”

Thousands of outdoor enthusiasts will converge on Dayton — “The Outdoor Adventure Capital of the Midwest” – for the biennial celebration Feb. 9-10 at the Wright State University student union. The Adventure Summit will feature more than 40 presentations, demonstrations an outdoor adventure expo, clinics and competitions. Admission and parking are free.

“The beautiful part of the event is hearing the stories of adventures people have done since the last Summit that were inspired by a presentation they watched,” Buck said. “When those same people become a presenter, it continues the cycle of inspiring the local community to follow their dreams, which is just an amazing cycle to be a part of.”

A world of adventure

“The speakers are always the main star of the show,” Buck said. “We are super excited about groundbreaking Everest climber Eddie Taylor, record-setting canoeist Neal Moore, and viral sensations Dr. Brad Ryan and Grandma Joy.”

A teacher, father and climber, Taylor was also a member of the first all-Black expedition to climb Mount Everest. From climbing the Moonlight Buttress in Zion National Park to skiing Denali, Taylor shares his experiences to create a heritage for the Black community to fuel and inspire future generations in “Breaking Barriers: To the Top of Everest and Beyond.”

A canoeist writer, adventurer and storyteller, Moore will recount his 675-day journey on 22 rivers in 22 states covering 7,500 miles, becoming the first known person to complete a continuous solo paddle from Pacific to Atlantic in a canoe. He will share his adventure in “A Journey of Illumination by Paddling into the Heart of America.”

What started as a weekend camping trip for Dr. Brad Ryan and his grandma, Joy, turned into an inspirational journey to all 63 U.S. National Parks. Learn how this family adventure went viral and led to a new-found connection in “Joy Drive: An Intergenerational Adventure to Every U.S. National Park.”

New this year is the Women in the Outdoors Coffee and Conversation presented by Explorer Chick Adventure Co., on Saturday morning. The conversation will include Susan Marie Conrad, a long-distance sea kayaker, as well as Nicki Bruckmann, founder of Explorer Chick Adventure Co.

Adventure close to home

A full slate of speakers with local ties is also on the schedule.

“A lot of our presentations are done by people from the local community that started with a hike or a bike ride in a local park, then moved on to grander adventures in other destinations such as National Parks or long-distance trails,” Buck said. “This event gives those folks an opportunity to tell their stories and share how the people sitting in the audience can have their own adventures, and where to start.”

In addition to the speakers, there is an expo featuring more than 25 outdoor recreation vendors, local clubs and organizations. Mike Bisig, of Mike’s Bike Park, will do casual presentations in the expo area, a new concept that adds another interactive element to the area.

As in previous years, there will be a variety of fitness classes and competitions from bouldering to canoe battleship.

Credit: Shon Curtis

Credit: Shon Curtis

How to go

What: The Adventure Summit, joint production of Five Rivers MetroParks and Wright State University

When: Feb. 9-10, 2024

More info: The Summit Soiree returns with light bites, live music, drinks and a meet-and-greet with featured presenters. Tickets are $15. Guests are also invited to Party with the Pros at a Friday afterparty.

More online:

Live and Learn at the Adventure Summit

Regional and local presenters will share stories, planning tips, and regional destination ideas from their adventures.

  • One Year... One Quest — America’s 428 National Parks by Tom Wright
  • Paddling with Gators: Okefenokee Swamp Expedition by John and Lane Abnet
  • Seeking Synchronicity: A Solo Paddle Up the Inside Passage by Susan Marie Conrad
  • Off the Beaten Path in Croatia by Heather Muhlhauser
  • Wilderness Medicine Workshop by Wright State University School of Medicine
  • Paddling the Rio Grande in Big Bend National Park by Chris Landis and Amy, Brent, Oakley, and Austen Anslinger
  • Backpacking Right Here in Ohio by Jim Rahtz
  • Circumnavigating the North Sea Cycling Route by Tracy Burge
  • Riding the Katy Trail by Jordan and Camee Hart
  • From Homelessness to Accomplishing Incredible Expeditions by Julian Brown
  • Sixteen-day Expedition rowing the Grand Canyon by Amy Dingle and Cassie Lane

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