Those who follow Deerfield River westward from the Catamount State Forest to the Mohawk Trail State Forest travel through the hilly terrain of historic Charlemont. There, in 1989, the Berkshire Mountains and other geographical spoils caught the eyes of Bruce Lessels and Karen Blom—a medaling member of the US whitewater team and a public health nutritionist looking to make the outdoors more accessible. They built Zoar Outdoor on the river, establishing an 80-acre facility to be a base for ziplining, rock climbing, camping, and solar-powered lodging. Today, a staff of adventurers keeps that base running. They not only sell an arsenal of outdoor gear and continue those establishing activities, but also lead whitewater rafting and kayaking trips down their home river, slicing through the waves and rearranging a slew of fishes' living rooms along the way.
Staff Size: 1 person
Average Duration of Services: 1?2 hours
Brands Used: Our mini-yacht is an Aquarius 21: safe, comfortable and fun.
Pro Tip: Our boat has a big cockpit, a bow sundeck and a swim ladder. Bring sunscreen, hats and smiles.
Handicap Accessible: No
Parking: Parking lot
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Evening sails: Twin Lakes, Salisbury CT
Recommended Age Group: Adults
Hornet Marine President David Hartmann got his taste for boat design from his father, Hal, an engineer who helped create the smooth-riding deep-vee hull now included on each Hornet 17 speedboat. Today, the 17-foot seacrafts zip through the water with help from Mercury MerCruiser engines, each carrying up to five passengers perched on custom upholstery. Hornet Marine invites landlubbers on factory tours and test drives at its headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut, where a staff of nautical experts also keep ships shipshape with oil changes, detailing, and other boat-maintenance services.
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.
From its outpost on on Lake Quinsigamond, Regatta Point Community Sailing has trained recreational sailors to hit the water for more than 50 years. Since it opened in 1960, the member-based club dedicates itself to accessible, safe, and responsible boating programs that maintain a respect for the environment—another reason why the club will never try to cut corners by trading canvas sails for a bunch of gas-powered hair dryers. The staff of instructors imparts sailing fundamentals to experienced seafarers and newcomers as well as children. Three youth tracks are offered for future captains, including a ten-week summer camp, a junior membership program, and the Deckhands after-school program in the fall and spring.
Originally built to sail around the world, the New Horizons motorsailer now spends its days providing Maine hospitality to its guests while gliding along the scenic Northeastern coast of the United States. After boarding the sailboat, groups can take in the sweeping views of the New York Harbor, the Hudson River, and past the Statue of Liberty, while sipping drinks and savoring treats such as the classic Maine lobster roll, which can be purchased on board. Seafarers may also embark on special voyages, such as Lobster Day Sail picnics. With its spacious design, semi-private upper deck, and modern sound system, the New Horizons can handle events that range from large family gatherings to old-fashioned ocean-drinking contests.