In Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, narrator Sal Paradise has this to say about New York’s most famous river: "If you drop a rose in the Hudson River at its mysterious source in the Adirondacks, think of all the places it journeys by as it goes out to sea forever—think of that wonderful Hudson Valley." At Mountain Valley Guides, the kayaking team allows customers to heed Sal’s thoughts and explore the river's expanse of open water, marshes, islands, and cliffs. Kayakers paddle to the base of the Storm King Mountain, explore the castle on Bannerman's Island, search for bald eagles in Moodna Marsh, relax on the beach at Little Stony Point, and end the evening with a Hudson Valley Sunset.
Situated at the foot of the Ellenville Mountain site, Mountain Wings has readied students for safe, engine-free flying since 1981. A staff of USHPA-certified instructors shares much of its knowledge on the facility's two training hills—a grassy, gently sloped concave for beginners, and a 180-foot hill used by intermediate gliders and a handful of pretty insane paper-airplane competitors. Sprinting, stumbling, and hovering across those hills, groups practice with Condors—slow-flying, easy-to-handle training gliders that work in zero-wind zones. Upon ascending to greater heights and skill levels, students can also snag their own equipment at Mountain Wings' full-service aero-sports shop.
In the past 40 years, the Southern Litchfield Hills of northwestern Connecticut have seldom stood without an echo of laughter or music. That's because Woodbury Ski Area keeps them pulsing with skiers and snowboarders during winter months and warm-weather revelers and concertgoers throughout the summer. Tubing slides run down the hills throughout the summer, along with zorb balls—inflatable spheres that carry passengers to the bottom in 45 seconds.
Woodbury Ski Area's president Rod Taylor, who competed as a member of the U.S. Ski Team, maintains the facility with the same drive he used to become the national downhill ski champion and record holder for clearing 222 feet in the Glendale Jump contest. While helping to keep adrenaline levels high, Rod ensures the facility hosts more laid-back cultural events with concerts on the Woodbury stage. Past shows have featured legends including The Wailers, Fela Kuti, and UB40, as well as Muddy Waters, The Band, Bonnie Raitt, and Earl Scruggs.