Destination Backcountry Adventures’ licensed guides help civilians explore the wilderness, providing remedies to nature deficit disorder with beginner-appropriate expeditions into the Catskill and Adirondack Mountain preserves. The guides lead adventurers through landscapes and waterfalls legally protected for more than a century, and along the way, they enlighten hikers with facts about the area’s natural history and ecology, and in some cases, the opportunity to pick wild berries. Tours are dog-friendly. All levels of nature enthusiasts from novice to expert, can challenge themselves with activity options such as hiking, backpacking, back country yoga, and many more activities for both single- and multi-day adventures in the authentic, challenging wilderness. Visitors can opt for single-day excursions, on which they summit a Catskills peak, or multi-night trips, during which they trek to higher peaks and spend the nights sleeping amid a tranquil forest. On all outings, hikers nosh on gourmet fare such as cheese and sausage plates and upscale trail mix, rather than the original trail mix, assorted gravel. The center also hosts in-store classes, workshops, and more to provide its future adventurers with all the tools necessary for an exciting expedition.
After touring the world as a Naval Officer, Gear To Go Outfitters founder Kevin Rosenberg moved to New York City and was amazed at how hard it was to track down rental backpacking gear. An avid hiker and outdoorsman, Kevin saw this opportunity and jumped at it. Today, Gear To Go Outfitters rents out high-quality equipment that ranges from backpacks to camp stoves, and delivers it right to the client’s door in an effort to reduce their trip-planning stress.
A survival and navigation expert, Kevin also leads adventures while sharing bits of knowledge he picked up in the Southwestern desert regions, the forests of Costa Rica, and the Appalachian Trail. Kevin is assisted by a team of experienced guides who lead tours that include rock scrambles through the Hudson Highlands, hikes through the Green Mountains of Vermont, voyages through the mountains of Arizona, or plunges into the caverns of one's own imagination.
Thinking of the city rarely calls images of fog-ringed mountains and wolf-filled forests to mind, but Discover Outdoors—formerly known as Outdoor Bound—turns these scenes into reality. Owner, avid outdoorsman, and eight-time marathon runner Kirk Reynolds makes sure of it. He and a staff of experts—each a licensed trail guide and Wilderness First Responder or Wilderness EMT—temper the stress of city living with day trips to nearby natural enclaves and weekend camping excursions. The getaways thrill with activities such as hiking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, kayaking, and horseback riding.
International trips, meanwhile, quench a thirst for life-defining adventures beyond trips to the grocery store during peak Saturday hours. Among them: hikes up famed Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, treks to Machu Picchu in Peru, and jaunts through the Canadian Rockies. Some of the journeys even grant travelers the opportunity to fundraise for a worthy cause as they explore.
You wake up at sunrise to sunlight filtering through a canopy of towering oak trees. In the distance, you might hear the cry of a hawk, or the laughter of children. Those visiting Trail Blazers share this experience each morning as they emerge from their canvas-covered shelters—part of a rustic experience designed to immerse them into the outdoors. Since 1938, the more than 120-year-old American Camp Association–accredited camp has occupied 1,000 acres of Mashipacong Bogs Preserve, a slice of wilderness encompassing a 55-acre lake and access to the Delaware River and the Appalachian Trail.
The certified counselors guide campers in a decentralized camp experience focused on outdoor education and survival-skills development. They coordinate a range of outdoor programs, including youth camps in which children learning about the ecosystem and honing skills from swimming to outdoor cooking to backpacking. Camps culminate in the Vagabond trip: an extended hike, bike, or canoeing excursion designed to test each camper's abilities when not relying on squirrels for directions. Trail Blazers also coordinates school day trips and full-day or overnight custom lesson plans aligned with the New York and New Jersey State Learning Standards.
Snackin' Tours steers hungry groups to original and oft-overlooked destinations throughout New York to give them a unique taste of the city. In small groups of eight, tours avoid obvious tourist traps in favor of local favorites with routes arranged around a certain theme. Guides recount tales of neighborhood history and toss in factoids along the way while trawling the East Village's bounty of vegetarian eats, the Lower East Side's cluster of boutique food, or the West Village's dessert-paved sidewalks. Tour operators can accommodate guests with dietary restrictions at certain tastings in advance. Snackin' Tours also runs a much larger pub crawl on Thursdays, in which staggered groups of up to 40 people explore six dive bars, taverns, and other pub-like places all over lower Manhattan.