Program Overview & Guide

Visiting groups can choose from a wide variety of environmental, outdoor education and recreation programs and activities. Filter our offerings by your group type to help you pick your schedule. Program coordinators can arrange your chosen classes into a schedule and can also help you decide which classes you would like to be taught by our trained Naturalists and which can be taught by members of your group. For information on the number of naturalists assigned to your group, read our Rates and Regulations page.

Complete the Date Reservation Request Form to schedule virtual, outreach, residential, or day programs.

Upham Woods reserves the right to adjust the availability of its programs or methods of program delivery to ensure our facility meets or exceeds safety protocols to reduce the spread of COVID-19 as described by the CDC, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Wisconsin Department of Health, or our licensing authority.

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Amazing Upham Race

Form small teams in order to compete in the Upham Amazing Race! Solve puzzles and follow clues around campus to become the ultimate winner!


Animal Signs

Become a detective, investigate animal clues and solve nature’s mysteries.
Students will learn about seven categories of animal signs, how to interpret each sign, and why natural history interpretation is an important tool for understanding wildlife.



This image shows three children standing under a structure supported by wooden beams. All of the children are holding archery bows. The closet child has the string pulled back and is aiming the arrow.

Ready, Aim, Fire!
Students will have a great time working on their bowman skills as well as learning how to safely use basic archery equipment.


Bat Ecology

boy holding thermal detector up to bat houses

Do bats really carry rabies and get stuck in your hair?
This class will answer these questions and more as students explore the fascinating world of the only true flying mammal.


Blackhawk Island Hikes

Paddle a barge to our 210 acre island, where students can crawl through sandstone caves, visit historic sites on the Wisconsin River, witness forest succession and much more.



Join in on the excitement!
Similar to hockey, broomball is fast, fun and a great outdoor winter activity.



Join us in skits and songs!
Groups may start and lead campfires or request Upham staff assistance.



Get up close and personal with amazing rock formations, search the shores for native wildlife, and learn natural and cultural history while traveling along the beautiful Wisconsin River.


Conservation Service Project

Promote environmental stewardship and empower youth
Get involved in conservation projects such as invasive species pulls, understory thinning, biodiversity monitoring, and trail building.



Come fishing with Upham Woods! Students will learn basic fishing techniques, understand fish habitats and apply this knowledge to actual fishing.


Habitat is a Home

Have you wondered what makes a habitat a home? Food, water, shelter, and space of course!
This interactive class allows students to discover what makes a habitat a home as well as understand the dynamic nature of populations, habitat quality, and carrying capacities.


Life of a Logger

This black and white image shows a man standing in front of a large tree that has been hit with an ax.

Travel back in time to an 1858 Wisconsin logging camp. 
Students will learn about the dress, work and play of 19th century lumberjacks.


Microclimates on Blackhawk Island

Explore the concepts of aspect and microclimate on a trek across the island! Paddle a barge to our 210 acre island to explore the concepts of aspect (which direction a hill faces with respect to the sun) and microclimate (climate of a very small area that differs from the surrounding climate). Students will use the […]


Night Hike

What’s that out in the woods?
Experience a fun and exciting hike through Upham Woods at night and learn about the special adaptations of nocturnal animals!



Learn to use a compass and then navigate your way through a course! Learn to use a compass, measure pacing, and more in a team setting!


Outdoor Survival

Have you ever been lost in the woods and didn’t know what to do?
Through this hands-on program, students will learn the Seven Basic Human Survival Needs and how to avoid survival situations by being prepared. 


Peanut Butter Mountain Challenge Course

Peanut Butter Mountain (PBM) is Upham Woods’ challenge course. This course is great for both youth and adults as participants will work on communication, teamwork, trust, body language, and other group processes while participating in challenging group initiatives and low elements.


Predator Prey

Learn about predator-prey relationships and food chains through this interactive tag game! Students will have the opportunity to explore campus looking for survival essentials like food, water, and shelter while also trying to avoid predators or find their prey. This game is great for large groups but can be modified for groups of any size. […]


Tree Identification

Ever wonder…what is that tree growing in your backyard?
Students will discover the different uses among Wisconsin’s tree species and the importance of tree identification.


Voyageur Program

Adult group in voyager canoe

Become a voyageur and paddle a 34-foot replica of a voyageur canoe from the French Fur Trade era on the Wisconsin River.  Students will learn about the people that made the fur trade possible and the role that each culture played as trappers, traders, and travelers.