Since the first swing in 1962, Pine Hill Golf Club & Course has been an oasis of outdoor recreation for golfers to hunt birdies and pars. The 9-hole course actually plays like an 18-hole course due to the two sets of tee boxes on each hole, which present unique approaches and shot-making opportunities when looped twice over. As an 18-hole course, the layout stretches 5,571 yards for a par 72. Golfers of all ages and ability levels delight in the course's numerous opportunities to overcome challenges and wave flagsticks over a conquered green.
Prior to a round, golfers hone swings at the driving range, where all-grass tee boxes mimic the feel of on-course shots. For a better grasp on the game, players can book a lesson with PGA professional Mark Hall, who offers corrective advice to improve swing mechanics, such as how to develop consistent muscle memory or how to maximize drives with a bedazzled scepter. An on-site snack bar refuels hungry golfers and a pro shop carries select equipment and apparel.
Course at a Glance:
Biplane Rides Over Atlanta, Inc.'s practiced pilots leap into the air in fully restored antique aircraft to grant passengers a glimpse of natural and manmade majesties from above. In the open-air cockpit of a classic antique biplane, adventurers can taste the whipping winds of high altitudes over Downtown Atlanta, glimpsing Turner Field, the Georgia Dome, and Centennial Olympic Park, where the Farmer's Almanacs of previous eras are put out to pasture. Alternately, they can surmount the igneous crown of Stone Mountain and soar above the Mississippi riverboats that dot the surrounding lakes, or gently flit over the cityscape bathed in a golden aura during a romantic sunset flight.
High above the Atlantic’s lapping waves, helmeted figures scale vertical rock walls. Undaunted, they surmount challenging obstacles and overhangs, building anchors and belaying while learning technical skills from a beginning level. They feel safe with the knowledge that they’re being overseen by American Mountain Guide Association or Professional Climbing Instructors Association-accredited climbers. Director Jon Tierney––who also boasts an international guiding license from the IFMGA––leads Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School’s faculty of experienced guides as they usher first-time and experienced explorers up majestic rock faces, snow-covered cliffs, and frozen waterfalls. Company guides frequently showcase their comfort in varied terrain as well, having applied their climbing skills on film sets to set up safety rigging for Shutter Island.
Guides provide mentorship during multi-day mountaineering trips to distant mountains, and lead day trips to share pivotal climbing skills that help students scale a range of icy and rocky conditions. In an array of advanced or basic classes, they instruct pupils on principles of anchoring, top roping, belaying, and sport or lead climbing—imbuing them with the skills to scale mountainsides or be the first to reach the top of a wedding cake. Instructors also teach students mid-climb rescues, such as how to deal with medical issues and make improvised ascents, or metamorphosize into an instructor.
In The Rum Diary, a recent Hollywood release, Johnny Depp worked with an unlikely costar—Schooner Heron’s 65-foot wooden schooner, which graced the screen in the role of Sanderson’s yacht. When not avoiding the relentless flash of paparazzi, the boat traverses Penobscot Bay’s pristine archipelago of islands during three styles of daily summer cruises. The cruises run the gamut from tours covering local history and wildlife to BYOB adventures, on which guests can watch the sun set and the fish turn on their night lights. US Coast Guard-certified captains helm these journeys, drawing on expertise from their days sailing the Gulf of Maine, the Caribbean, and the trans-Atlantic passages.
Inspired by a childhood spent in the outdoors and his self-professed obsession with Maine’s woods, lakes, rivers, and streams, Richard Yvon eventually achieved his dream of becoming a registered Maine guide. So he and his wife Maryanne established Twin Maple Outdoors, and follow a credo "to provide all people the opportunity to enjoy Maine's outdoors" when leading hunting, fishing, and recreational outings. Immersed in the beauty of central Maine, groups head out for a single day of fishing on the lake, or multiday camping trips on the dirt lake, otherwise known as land. Visitors can also take a leisurely float down the Penobscot River to observe eagles, black bear, and river otter in their natural habitat, or learn to ice-fish in a warmed hut during colder months.
Having operated out of the Pittsfield Municipal Airport for nearly two decades, the certified instructors of Central Maine Skydiving have completed over 10,000 collective jumps as USPA-certified educators. Instructors guide tender-footed jumpers through tandem and static line jumps, and offer solo flights to seasoned free-fallers and direct descendants of Icarus.
Though he was fed and cared for, the lion didn't have much room to roam aboard his owner's yacht. The owner didn't know what to do with the creature, which had grown too close to humans to socialize with other lions. So the owner reached out through a friend to Acadia Zoological Park, who took the lion in and gave him his own piece of land. Though the park's name has since changed to Kisma Preserve, the lion still lives on its grounds, alongside a host of other exotic animals that the three staff members have taken in from rehabilitation programs, zoos, and private owners. They care for a motley and majestic group of wolves, big cats, reptiles, birds, and primates in outdoor enclosures year-round.
The three guides—who also are handlers, feeders, and administrators—lead group tours among these habitats. During tours, they teach visitors the proper way to behave around the creatures and divulge details about the creatures' lives in the wild, as well as what brought them to the preserve. On animal encounters, zookeepers let visitors watch wolves during their daily socializing or feed and hold hands with gibbons, lemurs, and capuchin monkeys.
They can also grant visitors a closer look via private tours, in which guests experience one-on-one time with wolves, tortoises, alligators, and other animals. Though they love all the animals on their preserve, the guides are particularly proud of their tigers—a group of royal white and standard tigers, as well as one of only 50 known golden tabby tigers left in the world. Through each tour and encounter, the dedicated staff aims to engender the respect they have for these animals in others. To most visitors, that should come easily: as director Heather says about the tigers, "It's hard to stand in the presence of one and not feel something."