Whitewater Challengers' certified guides steer paddlers as young as 5 across the skipping surf of the Poconos’ Lehigh River Gorge, the Black River Canyon, and the Adirondacks’ Hudson, Moose, and Salmon rivers. In the rafting industry since 1975, the guides have collectively traveled more than 16 million miles of rapids. They chart courses that satisfy a range of experience levels, from beginning jaunts down gentle rapids to advanced battles through coursing foam and wicked currents.
The crew’s ultimate goal is to make rafting a fun adventure, which means that they take care of the business end, providing all safety equipment, transportation to launch points, and lessons for novices. When not on the water, the outdoors-loving crew also organizes mountain-biking and camping trips in New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
Every Friday and Saturday night as the light begins to fade, cars cruise through the dusk into an empty field, where images begin to flicker on the giant screen at Hathaway’s Drive-In Theatre. Moviegoers prepare for double features of new and classic films by positioning one of the drive-in’s special speakers in their car's window or by tuning their radio dials to the affiliated FM station. Picnic-basket packers can choose to bring in their own snacks and drinks for a small fee, while those who like to travel light can patronize the theater's snack bar, which stocks hot dishes and snacks such as house-made fries, Hebrew National all-beef hot dogs, veggie burgers, candy, and ice-cream treats.
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' nine winter tubing runs, where attendants push tubers down powdery slopes that double as express lanes for snowmen on their morning commutes.
As the weather warms, the park shifts its focus to its 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' rafts and tubes explore the flat waters and tree-lined banks.
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 leads fly-fishing trips aboard his 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.
The fastidiously maintained slopes of Maple Ski Ridge beckon outdoor adventurers throughout the snowy season, readying skiers and snowboarders with lessons, equipment rentals, and day and season passes. On the lodge's four hills, instructors from the Schenectady Ski School guide budding snow pilots of all ages through the basics of skiing, snowboarding, and snowman combat, and the Burton Learn to Ride system assists new snowboarders in mastering downhill skills with specialized equipment. Inside a comfortable lodge, a crackling fire warms extremities and light fare and hot cocoa warm insides as outside, skiers sail down full-sized hills, try their hands at stunts on the terrain park, or glide up and down bunny hills courtesy of a surface tow. The lodge's dedicated staff supplements any meager precipitation with snow machines and bags full of frozen marshmallows, and all slopes undergo daily maintenance.