Discover Vermilion Cliffs National Park in Arizona. Get a guide, as the roads are often treacherous and impassible in cars, and there are no trails. The photographic opportunities there are astounding. The scenery and colors are incredible. You’ll encounter very few other visitors in most areas, due to the permits needed. (Obtaining a permit is a process, but it’s worth it!) Find more information from the BLM.
Vermilion Cliffs can easily be combined with a visit to the more remote North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Though, while Vermilion Cliffs is amazing to visit anytime of year, access to the North Rim is closed when there is snow (the roads aren’t plowed). And, if you make it to the North Rim in winter, you could be stuck there if snow arrives after you do.
Looking for an awesome summer adventure? Wait until enough ice has melted (a safe bet is late July – August) and kayak to Johns Hopkins Inlet in Glacier Bay, Alaska. The paddling here can be intense, so make sure you know what you’re doing – even if you go with a guide, you should be a reasonably strong paddler. The views are amazing, and you’re likely to have the black sand beach to yourselves. Pitch a tent and stay a night or two. If you’re lucky, you’ll see dozens or hundreds of seals floating on icebergs while listening to the glaciers calve and enjoying short walks on and above the black sand beach. The spot is truly magical.
Spring is in sight, and with it, the thought of warmer weather activities…
Planning to visit the Hudson Valley region of NY? Rent a kayak, canoe, or stand up paddleboard from A Day Away and spend a day out on the water. A family-owned business, you’ll get great, friendly service in the historic Rondout section of Kingston.
Looking for a quiet, peaceful spot for snowshoeing or cross country skiing? Check out Mountain Trails Cross Country Ski Center in Tannersville, NY. They offer 35 kilometers of nature trails on 300 acres that are groomed, track-set, and marked to their degree of difficulty. Rental equipment is available, as are lessons. Mountain Trails relies on natural snow, so be sure to check their website or call before heading over.
When there is snow, they are open weekends and holiday weeks from 9 AM – 4:30 PM.
Featured company of the week: Pathfinder Hikes. Join Dave Holden, New York State DEC Licensed Hiking Guide, for an adventure in the Catskills. While trail hikes are an option, take advantage of his vast knowledge of the area and travel off-trail with him, exploring both the beautiful natural environment as well as learning about the natural and cultural history of the area. Dave leads hikes in the Woodstock area, and his wealth of knowledge ensures that your adventure will be beyond just the physical.
See and learn about ancient cairns and long-abandoned bluestone quarries. Watch and listen for signs of animals. Enjoy the uniqueness of each season.
Adding to your enjoyment of the adventure are Dave’s humor and kindness. You’ll come away from the experience not just with more knowledge and understanding, more appreciation and admiration, but also feeling like you have a new friend.
Have you traveled with Pathfinder Hikes? Leave your review in the comments below.
When you think of Hunter Mountain, you most likely think of skiing and snowboarding. However, Hunter offers a variety of other fun activities, as well. Snowtubing is another fun option, and the Zipline is open all year. Flying over the glistening snow is a beautiful winter adventure.
In summer, you can take the Skyride up, enjoy a hike to the fire tower, and then ride back down.
Getting away from the cold and enjoying some heat in Key West? For a fun adventure, rent bicycles from Eaton Bikes. They offer a variety of options, including beach cruisers, hybrids, and road bikes, along with trailers and bike attachments for kids, and kid bikes. They also will deliver to your hotel in Key West free of charge. The day rentals are good for 24 hours (and you can also get a week-long rental).
Once you’re set up, you can ride along the water, through town (stopping for lunch and to visit interesting and fun sites along the way), or head off Key West, toward the other keys. A strong wind can add to the adventure, making pedaling far more difficult than one would expect on the nice, flat land of Key West. Additionally, there are certain intersections where you feel like, even when walking your bike across, you’re playing Frogger. Definitely ups the excitement factor!
Have a chance to enjoy a taste of summer in Key West during wintertime? Rent a kayak from The Lazy Dog and paddle through narrow channels between collections of mangroves, explore an un-labeled salt pond where you can see multitudes of upside-down, photosynthetic jellyfish, and relax in the calm Atlantic Ocean. Other creatures you may see include starfish, tropical fish of all sizes, a cat standing guard on a dilapidated houseboat…
The Lazy Dog rents single and double kayaks and stand up paddle boards (and provides you with a map of awesome places to go). If you’re new to kayaking or SUP, take a lesson with them or join one of their guided tours.
Your adventure with The Lazy Dog is bound to leave you feeling relaxed, refreshed, and rejuvenated.
Featured company of the week: Arctic Treks, a family-owned business that operates in Alaska’s far north. All trips start and end in Fairbanks, and adventures include rafting, backpacking, and base camp trips. Group size is small, and custom trips (for groups of three – nine people) can also be arranged.
All group members participate in camp chores, and there is ample time for individual interests (such as photography, fishing, etc.)
Have you traveled with Arctic Treks? Leave your review in the comments below.
For a fun winter adventure, rent snowshoes or cross country skis from the Viking Nordic Center in Londonderry, VT. They have 39 kilometers of groomed trails for all abilities. “On snow” babysitting is available, as well – while you’re out exploring, the kids are kept busy cross country skiing, snowshoeing, or playing in the snow – hot chocolate included. Back at the center, visit their cafe and enjoy a warm cookie and hot chocolate.