Outdoor Recreation, Parks & Tourism

Our Outdoor Recreation, Parks & Tourism program is the only one of its kind in Canada because of our hands-on approach to learning. Our central location, surrounded by many lakes, diverse environments and natural features, allows us to offer a unique integration of both theoretical and applied perspectives. We are minutes from world-class camping, canoeing, climbing, hiking, fishing, skiing and other recreational resources that are ideal for the practical experience needed to excel within the discipline.

In addition to studying core courses related to recreation pursuits, you will have the opportunity for advanced studies in the areas of parks, tourism or leadership. As a student in the program you will learn:

  • Social and environmental awareness
  • Leadership and management skills
  • Independent critical thinking
  • Nature-based recreational activities  
  • Risk assessment 
  • Multicultural perspectives on the natural environment

With a strong research focus, we strive to be leaders in the industry. Many of our courses involve interaction with experts in the field as well as technological elements such as geographic information systems, computer programs and multimedia/video. It is our goal to prepare you for success in this challenging and rapidly changing industry, from planning and leading guided tours to assessing and creating visitor experiences for communities and parks organizations. 

The Lakehead Advantage

We are one of the few remaining recreation programs at the university level with an emphasis on experiential learning. Field trips are a major component of our courses.  You will learn to prepare trip routes, meal plans, risk management plans and much more before having the opportunity to implement your knowledge and skills. Additionally, we focus on interpersonal skills to teach you effective conflict resolution and leadership techniques.

A unique aspect of our program is the opportunity to obtain not only a 4 year honours degree in Outdoor Recreation, but to complete a three-year degree in one of four additional disciplines – Geography, History, Natural Science, and Women’s Studies. Concurrent Education is also an option, allowing you to complete your Outdoor Recreation degree and go directly into the two-year professional Education program.

Our program also offers a one-of-a-kind concentration in Nature-Based Therapeutic Recreation which is an emerging field given the healing effects nature can offer. 

Our unique location in Northwestern Ontario adds value to our Outdoor Recreation, Parks & Tourism program that is unsurpassed by most universities across Canada. Our field trips and outdoor schools take place locally and expose you to a variety of landscapes, weather patterns and populations. From hiking coastal trails to kayaking on Lake Superior, you will gain the diverse knowledge necessary to work in any environment. 

What our Students Say

I am currently going into my second year of University at Lakehead. I am doing the concurrent education program with Honours in Outdoor Education. I chose Lakehead because it is one of the only...




Outdoor Recreation, Parks & Tourism

Read more about Jackie Chan's experience.

Honours Bachelor of Outdoor Recreation, Bachelor of Arts in Women's Studies, Bachelor of EducationThunder Bay, ON Lakehead is surrounded by great outdoor opportunities around every corner; hiking,...




Education, Women's Studies, Outdoor Recreation, Parks & Tourism

Read more about Shannon Jessiman-MacArthur's experience.