OAP Equipment Rentals Opening Today

by Outdoor Adventure Program

Equipment rentals through Michigan Tech’s Outdoor Adventure Program will be available beginning today (June 19) on a limited basis. Equipment can be rented from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday-Friday inside the wax building at the trailhead across from Kearly Stadium. Bikes, canoes, kayaks and inflatable stand-up paddleboards are available at this time.

“The Tech Trails are in great shape and with paddling season ramping up, we are excited to start renting equipment again,” said Outdoor Recreation Director Jared Johnson. “We have been working hard to get our equipment ready for you to enjoy the great outdoors as much as possible.

“We are also working hard to follow state health and safety requirements and ask you to join us in doing your part to stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus. As a result, we have made a few changes to our operation.”

The OAP staff will work with renters to accommodate no-contact pickup using a locker system for the equipment. Rentals can be returned outside of regular hours through the same system. However, after-hours returns will have to be arranged at the time of the rental.

The rental procedures are a little different than in the past. When you arrive, enter the waxing shed through the community entrance and follow the instructions once inside. Only four people are allowed in the wax building at one time, as marked by the X’s on the floor. If the building is full, please wait outside and maintain appropriate social distance. Face coverings are required inside the rental center.

All users should review the following guidelines to minimize time at the rental center so we can send you off to enjoy the outdoors as safely as we can:

  • Users of the Tech Trails must have a membership, which can be purchased at the ticket website. Once purchased, you can receive a physical pass at the trails the next time you visit.
  • Equipment availability is on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservation requests will be accepted via phone and email as in the past; however, payment is required at the time of reservation.
  • Bring your own water. It will not be available at the trails.
  • Come dressed to ride/be active. Changing rooms will not be available and space to store your gear inside will also be limited. 
  • Enter the building through the community entrance for rentals. Follow policies posted once inside. When returning equipment, return to the east end, or opposite end, of the wax shed from where you checked the equipment out.
  • Insist on social distancing when participating in outdoor recreation activities.
  • Plan to spend some time inspecting equipment prior to checkout. We want to make sure it is in good, usable shape prior to you renting it.
  • Rent equipment only for those in your own household. 
  • Only handle your own equipment when possible, including the loading and unloading of canoes and kayaks.
  • Portable restrooms are available at the trailhead. Sanitize your hands before and after using them. Please notify the OAP if there is a shortage of sanitizer.
  • Sanitize your hands frequently at the trails. We don’t have water for you to wash with, but we will provide sanitizer in the portable restrooms and the rental center when we’re open.
  • Secure your gear and go have fun! We appreciate your patronage!

OAP staff will be doing a lot of extra sanitizing. We will be restricting some rentals to ensure that we can provide the same level of service as in the past, but hope to resume them in the future as we get more guidance on safely sanitizing for use.

Remember, when using the trails, helmets are required for bikers. Dogs on leashes are restricted to the Tolkien, Nara, Isle Royale and Superior trails via the following access points: softball fields, Nara and Tolkien. No dogs are allowed at the main trailhead.

If you have questions, feel free to call or email the Outdoor Adventure Program at 7-2290 or email oap@mtu.edu.