Crab Apple Whitewater sends adventure seekers on river-bound thrill rides daily from early April through mid-October using inflatable kayaks for Class I–II rapids and larger group rafts for Class II–IV rapids. Crab Apple Whitewater charts routes through the Berkshire Mountains on rivers such as the Deerfield, making use of natural flows and daily dam releases in order to control the challenge for kayakers and rafters of all skill levels. Trips are consistent due to dam control, but vary based on interpretations of fortunes found in the guide’s tea leaves the night before. All adventurers strap on provided helmets and life jackets and attend a safety lecture prior to casting off.
An outdoorsman since birth and G. Loomis–endorsed guide, GSOutfitting's owner, Eric Gass, grew up hunting and fishing the Pioneer Valley and Berkshires. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Eric returned to guiding and now fishes and hunts with his faithful gordon setter, Duncan, by his side.
Eric's business partner, fly-fishing guide Michael Kocot, studied fisheries science and aquaculture in college and uses this knowledge to lead groups as a G. Loomis–endorsed guide and suspected Aquaman alter ego. With their combined powers, Eric and Michael lead fly-fishing trips aboard their 13.5-foot Aire drift raft, as well as local hunting trips for turkey and grouse. GSOutfitting also trains gun dogs and companion dogs, ensuring every hunter will have a loyal sidekick during the season.
A tow system pulls an inner tube and its passenger to the top of a slide, from which the inflated vessel speeds down the hillside, twists through trees, and plunges into adrenaline-pumping drops. These thrills and the occasional daredevil squirrel emerge from Tubby Tubes' four downhill tubing slides. To add more excitement, the company's crew revamped the colorful slides with snow-like surfaces that create increased speeds. This spirit for adventure echoes at nearby Lower Hudson Gorge, where Tubby Tubes' kayaks, rafts, and tubes explore the flat waters and tree-lined banks.
As the weather cools, the park shifts its focus to winter tubing. Attendants push tubers down powdery runs that double as express lanes for snowmen on their morning commutes.
The staff members at Rocksport Indoor Climbing & Outdoor Guiding Center regularly explore the Adirondacks and mountain ranges throughout the world, mentally cataloging the frost-kissed crags and adrenaline-soaked sheer expanses. When they are not leading adventurers on ice-climbing expeditions or scrambling through narrow caves, the climbers can be found on the 4,400 square feet of climbing space at their facility. There, they teach students to how to deal with complex stone surfaces in order to navigate actual cliffs or volunteer at the local gargoyle shelter. Rocksport owner Tom Rosecrans leads the crew, lending knowledge from three Himalayan expeditions and his self-published book Adirondack Rock and Ice Climbs.
Even after dusk in the summertime, visitors to Engelke Farm are riding ziplines, whizzing through the air at 20 miles per hour. Suspended 60 feet in air, the cables allow exquisite views of golden cornfields and rolling, tree-dotted hills. Those content to remain earthbound can peruse the greenhouse, pluck strawberries and blackberries from the pick-your-own produce patches, or wander the cornfields, challenging scarecrows to staring contests.
The nine-hole course at Northampton Country Club was carved into the countryside in 1898. Four sets of tees make each time-honored hole manageable, whether a player can hit the long ball or prefers to throw the ball toward the green. A river comes into play on two holes, and the wide fairways cut through regions of dense forest that can ensnare errant balls.
After a round, players can head to the recently renovated clubhouse to dine at the 19th Hole bar and grill and regale fellow visitors with tall tales of booming drives and the 3-foot putt that got away.