What is The Adventure Summit?

The Adventure Summit is a joint production of Five Rivers MetroParks and Wright State University.


The Adventure Summit is an event celebrating the spirit of outdoor adventure by showcasing the vibrant lifestyle and culture of human powered endeavors through inspiration, education, and experience.


The Adventure Summit is the area’s premier outdoor adventure exposition that will focus attention on Dayton as the Outdoor Adventure Capital of the Midwest. The event is free and open to outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and interest levels.

The Adventure Summit will serve the adventure market from skill clinics and hands-on trainings from some of the world’s leading experts to showcasing local places to play and

locals who have played around the world.  The Adventure Summit is committed to providing something for everyone from the armchair adventurer to the hard core enthusiast.



On behalf of Five Rivers MetroParks and Wright State University we would like to thank all who support The Adventure Summit. Our volunteers, media partners and event sponsors are crucial to the continued success of The Adventure Summit. We hope to see you on a return visit to Dayton, Ohio; The Outdoor Adventure Capital of the Midwest!


The Evolution of The Adventure Summit

The Adventure Summit has built a strong foundation and continues to evolve. In response to the popularity of the speaker series, a special Adventure Summit Speakers Series

will rotate biennially with the traditional Adventure Summit weekend format.

2011 marked the debut of The Adventure Speaker Series featuring adventure presentations throughout the winter.

The Adventure Summit weekend format rotates every other year with even more excitement which includes an expo, competitions, pool, climbing, and fitness programming, and of course dozens of local adventurers and featured personality’s inspiring new audiences.

History of World-Class Adventure Summit/Speaker Series Pres


  • 2006 – Andy Politz, expedition member of the team that found the body of George Mallory on Mt. Everest
  • 2007 – Eric Jackson, owner of Jackson Kayaks and world champion kayaker
  • 2007 – Craig Luebben, author and renowned climber
  • 2008 –  Jonny Mosely, U.S. Olympic gold medal skier and entertainer
  • 2009 – Ann Bancroft, Polar explorer and first woman to cross the ice of the North and South Poles
  • 2010 – Charlie Engle, Ultra Endurance Athlete and Humanist.  Led an expedition running 4500 miles in 111 days across the Sahara Desert
  • 2010 – Andrew Skurka, Long Distance Hiker and Backpacker
  • 2010 – Jon Dorn, Editor in Chief of Backpacker Magazine
  • 2011 –  Speaker Series, Alison Gannett, Champion free-skier and mountain biker, climate specialist and farmer
  • 2012 – Gary Fisher, Founding father of mountain biking
  • 2012 – Gregg Treinish and Deia Schlosberg, Andes Trekkers and 2008 National Geographic Adventurers of the year
  • 2013 – Speaker Series, Majka Burhardt, Climber and Author
  • 2014 – Dave Cornthwaite, Expedition 1000, 25 journeys over 1,000 miles
  • 2014 – Jon Turk, Expedition Kayaker
  • 2016 – Amy Purdy, Paralympic medalist snow boarder, founder of Adaptive Action Sports, and Dancing with the Stars finalist
  • 2016 – Luke “Strider” Jordan, Long distance backpacker and North Country Trail thru-hiker
  • 2017 – Speaker Series- Jordan Hart, Biking the Underground Railroad, Todd Soprych, Bikepacking the Great Divide, Chuck and Beth Hewett, Backpacking the Buckeye Trail, Chad Ingle and Jeremy Cox, Paddling the Great Miami
  • 2018 – Jordan Romero, the youngest to summit all seven summit and hold the record for being the youngest to summit Mount Everest
  • 2018 – Susan Conrad, solo kayaked the Inside Passage
  • 2018 – Dale “Grey Beard” Sanders, oldest to have thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in one calendar year at age 82.
  • 2019 – Speaker Series – Pete and Ainsley Savard – SUP the Susquehanna River, Earl McDaniel – Bike Across America, Michelle and Brian Coleman – Hiking the Camino de Santiago, and Gudrun and Peter Seifert – Backpacking Along the Giants of the Alps
  • 2020 – Heather “Anish” Anderson, National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, second female to complete the “Double Triple Crown of Backpacking”, first female to complete the “Triple Triple Crown” and record holder of the Fastest Known Time on the Pacific Crest Trail.
  • 2020 – Ryan Richardson, winner of the prestigious John Lauchlan Memorial Award, nomad climber and alpinist known for opening and developing new routes in wild places.
  • 2020 – Maureen Beck, National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, Gold Medal Winner at the 2014 & 2016 Paraclimbing World Championships, and star of the 2017 film “Stumped”.
  • 2021 – Virtual Speaker Series – Pedaling Good Vibes Around America, by Tom Helbig, Turning Remote Work into Remote Adventures: Wander While You Work, Broken Pieces: Injury and Survival on the Oregon Desert Trail, by Stacy Boone, Finding Your River, by Ellen “Magellan” Falterman, Tykes on Hikes: Adventuring with Kids of All Ages, by Nailah Blades Wylie, The Adventure Color Gap: Diversity in the Great Outdoors, Setting a New World Record in Grand Canyon National Park, by Dale Sanders
  • 2022 – Grandma Joy and Brad Ryan, Ohio natives, bring their inspiring story of a Grandson and Grandmother’s journey to bond through a quest to visit every National Park.
  • 2022 – Andy “River Weasel” Gallatin shares his story of a 3000 mile paddle from Columbus, Ohio to Key West as part of his healing journey.
  • 2023 – Speaker Series -El Camino de Santiago: Two Styles of Travel by Diana Glawe and Emily Foubert, Two Months on the North Sea Cycle Route by Tracy Burge, Sixteen Day Expedition Rowing the Grand Canyon by Amy Dingle and Cassie Lane, and Biking Dayton to Niagara Falls by Jeffrey McElfresh.
  • 2024 – Eddie Taylor, groundbreaking Everest Climber as part of the first all-black expedition to the top of the world.
  • 2024 – Neal Moore, first known person to complete a continuous solo paddle from Pacific to Atlantic in a canoe.
  • 2024 – Dr. Brad Ryan with special appearance by Grandma Joy, Intergenerational Adventurer and Mental Health Advocate shares the story of how the open road helped heal their family as they journeyed to all 63 National Parks as they became global viral sensations.

Program Guide Archive

Something New Every Year

  • 2006 – 1ST year of the event. Featured Andy Politz. Event took place on a week night.
  • 2007 – Expanded to multi-day, weekend event. Added expo, more than 50 educational sessions and “party with the pros” event.
  • 2008 – Record crowds of more than 5,000 visitors.  Competitions added to the schedule including a bouldering comp, snowboard rail jam and kayak championship.  Beer tastings and live acoustic music in the expo also highlighted the weekend.
  • 2009 – Created “The Making of an Outdoor Woman” theme for the weekend, highlighted by the visit of legendary polar explorer, Ann Bancroft.  Ann gave a memorable keynote program and participated in a roundtable discussion that inspired both men and women of all ages at the Summit.
  • 2010 – Added a opening night with a free screening of the documentary “Running the Sahara” starring our keynote speaker Charlie Engle.  Charlie Engle is an ultra endurance runner and humanitarian.  His talents were on full display with an inspiring keynote program and spirited Discover America question and answer session.  Other featured personalities included Jon Dorn, Backpacker Magazine and Andrew Skurka, professional backpacker and adventurer.  The family camping experience was added to incorporate adventurers of all ages.
  • 2011 – Launch of the Adventure Speaker Series
  • 2012 – Canoe Battleship, mountain biking program track, indoor duathlon
  • 2014 – Kayak Polo, college student program tracks and pool party, Reel Paddling Film Festival, Indoor Triathlon
  • 2015 – Highlight of local adventurers
  • 2016 – The Adventure Summit celebrates 10 years!
  • 2018 – Three featured presenters adventuring from the youngest to the oldest and everywhere in between.
  • 2020 – Ohioan Grandma Joy presents at The Adventure Summit with her Grandson Brad after becoming an international human interest story “celebrity” for her goal to travel to every national park after the age of 80.
  • 2021 – The Adventure Speaker Series went virtual in response to Covid-19 and continued to bring inspiration from around the country to audiences around the world.
  • 2022 – The Adventure Summit returned with public health protocols in place to inspire and connect people to resources to play outside during a time where the outdoors has been so important to serve as a healing place for emotional, social, and physical health.
  • 2023 – The Adventure Speaker Series inspired hundreds over the course of a series of four talks throughout the winter in what felt like a return to normalcy.
  • 2024 – The Adventure Summit returns February 9 & 10.

About Five Rivers MetroParks

Five Rivers MetroParks focuses on three areas – conservation, recreation and education – as part of its role as steward of Greater Dayton’s public lands. Established in 1963 through the efforts of forward-thinking citizens concerned about preserving green space and natural areas, Five Rivers MetroParks has grown to a nationally renowned park system composed of natural area parks, gardens, sensitive river corridors, urban parks, and a network of recreation trails.  Educational programs and recreational opportunities are offered year-round for all ages. And, diverse natural habitats are being protected and cared for today to assure their existence in the future.  The Outdoor Recreation Team is committed to creating access through innovative outdoor recreation programming, events and facilities such as MoMBA, the Twin Valley Backpacking Trail, Mad River Run and RiverScape River Run Whitewater Features, and new camping opportunities.

To learn more about; Five Rivers MetroParks, visit metroparks.org or call 937-275-PARK (7275).
To learn more about Five Rivers MetroParks’ outdoor recreation initiative, visit our Outdoor Recreation page.

About Wright State University

Wright State University is the proud partner of The Adventure Summit and is located at 3640 Colonel Glenn Highway.  Named after the world-famous Wright brothers, Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, continues their spirit of innovation. The university serves nearly 17,000 students, offering more than 100 undergraduates and 50 Ph.D., graduate, and professional degrees in addition to a full service outdoor resource center offering outdoor recreation opportunities, team building, and equipment rental.

To learn more about Wright State University, visit www.wright.edu

To learn more about the WSU Outdoor Resource Center, visit www.wright.edu/crec and navigate to the outdoor rec program information.

Contact: Erin Compaleo (Sherrets)
Outdoor Recreation Program Manager
937- 775-5821