A hike through the fall foliage of the Shawangunk Mountains and a whiskey tasting, sea kayaking and a barbecue on a sandbar, photography classes in Central Park, volunteering with elephants in Namibia—with all of these once-in-a-lifetime experiences, the name Discover Outdoors is a bit modest. But it is accurate: The organization helms outdoor journeys inside and outside of the city, ranging from urban standup-paddleboarding excursions to photo shoots at the Brooklyn Bridge, as well as trips across the world, including safaris and volcano-sandboarding adventures in Tanzania. Guiding intrepid guests through these treks is Discover Outdoors' team of NY-licensed trail guides, Wilderness First Responders, and Wilderness EMTs, who help participants to learn survival skills, reach new levels of fitness, and conquer Hastenburaphobia.
Atlantic Outfitters facilitates maritime excursions with its stable of paddle-propelled vessels. From the fiberglass-ensconced safety of two sleek kayaks, or from the commanding view afforded by two standup paddleboards, seafaring friends can spend two hours exploring the watery expanses, tributaries, and wooded shorelines of the pristine Manhasset Bay. During the journey, paddlers can picnic on the open water, use their feet as anchors in the shallows along sandy beaches, or reenact favorite scenes from a documentary about waterfowl. Numerous kayak launch sites along the coast provide easy access to the bay.
Downunder Fitness and Surf’s SurfSET and SUPnSURF classes offer a fun alternative to jogging on a treadmill or other traditional exercise methods. While standing or lying facedown on simulators, pupils learn surfing and standup paddleboarding basics without going down to the ocean or having to help a mermaid retie her shell brassiere. In addition to fitness classes, Downunder Fitness and Surf offers yoga sessions on a beach or, for added difficulty, atop a floating paddleboard.
Paddle Creek’s picturesque launch settings makes it an ideal jumping-off point for river excursions in single and tandem kayaks and canoes or atop a standup paddleboard. The staff of outdoor enthusiasts helps everyone from novice to advanced paddlers select their ideal vessels―for rental or purchase―and even recommends areas of interest. In addition to equipment rentals, the adventure spot offers lessons as well as self-guided tours.
Delaware River Tubing launches tubes, rafts, and kayaks on five- to six-mile trips down scenic waterways just north of where George Washington historically crossed the Delaware River. Shuttles ferry groups to launch points, where watercraft journeys begin along the wide river. In addition to renting vessels, Delaware River Tubing's crew leads guided kayak tours that can highlight local wildlife and tackle class one rapids like a mall cop tackling a gummy-bear thief.
During river adventures, scents of barbecue waft across the water from the aptly named Famous River Hotdog Man. The riverside eatery, founded in 1987, partners with Delaware River Tubing to give each customer a hot meal, which they can devour at picnic tables in the water.