More than 14,000 square feet of climbing walls tower 40 feet into the air in The Edge Halfmoon to draw in climbers eager to escape gravity's clutches. 50 plus top ropes allow climbers to find unique routes along handholds bolted to the textured, angular terrain. Nearby, the freestanding boulder sports several top-out ready climbs, allowing climbers to attack the feature from any angle and still reach the peak. Basic, leading, and multi-pitch classes help beginners and advanced climbers learn new skills to scale indoor and outdoor rock walls, and the gym's competitive climbing team tests its climbing and bouldering prowess against rival crews bent on carving their crest into synthetic rock faces.
There’s a fire in the field and only one way out. Unfortunately, that way is twisted and riddled with dead-ends. But at the end, past 5 acres of carved paths and corn-themed puzzles, past thousands of stalks of corn swaying in the wind, past delirious visions of poker-playing scarecrows, is a fire hose. Such is the theme of Ellms Family Farm’s interactive Hero Rush Amazing Maize maze, an obstacle that carries on pastoral autumn traditions with roughly 90 minutes of music and fun. Yet this maze is just one way that the Ellms family celebrates the changing season—it also serves up crispy apple-cider donuts, lobs wee ones into the air on the farm-favorite Jumping Pillow, and treats guests to a number of other themed activities it has developed over the years.
The farm’s history stretches back to 1984, when Chip and Sally Ellms planted their first batch of Christmas trees and began inviting visitors to stop by and admire the easy wind and downy flakes of winter. As the family grew, the farm kept pace, expanding to cover more than 200 acres and incorporate activities that help guests celebrate autumn as well. Throughout the harvest season, guests flock to the fields to play conductor or coal shoveler on the MooMooChooChoo train or pick out fresh pumpkins in the patch.
Most sports require specialized gear, and rock climbing is no exception. In addition to climbing shoes, rock climbers wear a harness attached to a rope. At Green Mountain Rock Climbing Center, belay classes show first-timers that this rope is a safety feature and not meant for playing double dutch with a giant. Once climbers have these skills under their belts, they may challenge themselves by ascending walls up to 40 feet tall or venturing inside a bouldering cave, though not before making sure it's free of hermit trolls.
Staff Size: 11?25 people
Average Duration of Services: 30?60 minutes
Parking: Parking lot
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Recommended Age Group: Kids
Pro Tip: Sign up for classes online.
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: The Bizzy Beez Activity Center
For Petra Cliffs owners Steve and Andrea Charest, purchasing the climbing and bouldering school wasn't just a good business opportunity, but a way to add value to the local climbing community. Avid climbers themselves, they helped the facility develop into a place where beginners feel comfortable grabbing their first grips, but also one where advanced climbers and boulderers still feel challenged. Within the 8,500-square-foot space, visitors can climb, take lessons, tackle a high-ropes course, or even work out on strength-training equipment. Of course, the staff puts safety and knowledge above all else, and they teach and keep up with professional development courses so they don't miss learning about new protocols or new rock formations that may have evolved in the last five years.
Kelly "Kel" Rossiter résumé includes time at a corporation, in the military, and at a Zen monastery, but the work experience most relevant to his current job took place outside. He has led outdoor trips in 12 countries on four continents—and as the owner of Adventure Spirit, he continues these trips in the Northeast US. He and his team of guides oversee ice-climbing, mountain-climbing, and rock-climbing adventures throughout the region, from New York's Adirondack Mountains to Vermont's Bristol Cliffs. Their trips include expert guidance and all necessary gear, which saves climbers the hassle of making their own ropes from the hair that grows on untended rock faces.