The instructors at EMS Schools traverse rocky, paved, and watery terrain from New England down to Virginia, imparting people with their love of the outdoors along the way. Dating back more than 40 years, the EMS Climbing School teaches pupils of all ages the tenets of climbing through introductory classes and more advanced maneuvering in self-rescue, alpine climbing, and glacier-skills classes. The watery wing of EMS's operation includes kayaking and standup-paddleboard lessons, which can help students earn certification in these water-bound endeavors, and group tours. EMS-led bike tours trace a path through the rolling hills of the Berkshires, the mansions of Newport, as well as the powdered-sugar-topped White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Continuing the mission started in London more than 160 years ago, YMCA Smithfield provides quality, accessible fitness and wellness programs to families. Members enjoy full access to the center's fitness opportunities, whether they're burning calories in the gym, gliding through laps in the pool, or joining fellow members in classes ranging from kickboxing to Pilates. YMCA Smithfield also houses the organization's signature children's programming, helping kids get ready for school with pre-K enrichment or prepping them for a semester abroad in Atlantis with swim lessons. Before- and afterschool programs also give kids a safe spot to play while parents are at work.
After winding its way past Foxborough and Mansfield, the Rumford River gurgles to a brief rest in the Norton Reservoir where 530 acres of shallow waters ebb around coves and a small cluster of islands. Amid the bald eagles and ospreys that frequent the reservoir's edges, the instructors of the Norton Kayak Company lead kayaking and fishing expeditions from May 1 to October 31. Whether undertaking everyday tours or hatching special seasonal trips to watch the harvest moon or celebrate holiday weekends, instructors make sure that paddlers of all ages and ability levels stay safe and engaged. They also helm fishing trips for anglers aged 15 and older with valid fishing licenses, floating groups to spots where large-mouth bass, pickerel, and panfish lurk like schools of sunken fishing waders. Since the leaders depend on Mother Nature for their livelihood and letters of recommendation, they enforce a carry-in/carry-out practice that ensures guests leave no litter behind.
Red Rock Grill and Bar's chefs seek out seasonal ingredients, whenever possible, from local sources to craft homegrown favorites and American comfort foods. Using fresh meats and produce, they braise pot roast in a blend of Guinness and smoked jalapeños, make marinara sauce in-house, and infuse macaroni 'n' cheese with fresh lobster. At the bar, a selection of microbrews and cocktails keep patrons spacing out their mugs of ice water. Beyond the menu, Red Rock entertains visitors by hosting regular performances from live musicians and loaning out canoes and kayaks with which to explore the nearby waters through Good to Go Kayak Rentals.
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 2?4 hours
Brands Used: Ocean K, Old Town, Perception, Necky, Wilderness, and Bic.
From Tihonet Pond in Wareham or the sands of Onset Beach, paddlers push off into the beauty of the surrounding wilderness, navigating their kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards across the placid waters. Guided tours of Onset Bay lead kayakers through rivers, islands, hidden coves, and even fishing spots where those with licenses are free to cast their lines. Along the Weweantic and Sippican Rivers, tours present participants with the opportunities to get glimpses of local wildlife such as herons, egrets, and osprey.
Boating in Boston drops oars in seven locations?including local lakes, ponds, the Charles River, and Boston Harbor?sending visitors on watery adventures with a fleet of canoes, kayaks, sailboats, pedal boats, paddleboards, and festive and essential lifejackets. Whether navigating the peaceful waters of Stoneham's Spot Pond?the pond that, in 2002, started it all?or campus-adjacent eddies of UMass Boston's Fox Point Landing, visitors can hit the water untrained or sharpen skills with solo or group lessons. The crew of instructors also instills a love of boating in the littlest landlubbers with youth summer camps that teach basic skills and safety.