Astride their trusty snowmobiles, the knowledgeable guides at Jay Snowmobile Adventures help visiting adventurers conquer the winter landscape during tours of picturesque Vermont snowscapes. One- and two-person tour packages begin at the outfitter’s home base, located 3 miles from the entrance of Jay Peak Resort. From there, groups wind through the wilderness of Jay, Vermont and parts of Westfield for up to two hours, exploring the snowy nooks and frost-covered crannies of Jay State Forest and the nearby countryside. They rarely make the trip alone, though; moose and white-tailed deer often dot the secluded paths, ready to pose for snapshots in their most photogenic outfits.
The story of the United States Navy begins on Lake Champlain. The year was 1776, and the fledgling American Revolution seemed doomed to failure almost before it began after a naval retreat to the town known today as Whitehall, New York. Then the Continental Congress issued a command on June 17 of 1776 "to build, with all expedition, as many galleys and armed vessels as ... shall be sufficient to make us indisputably masters of the lakes Champlain and George." By August, eight new gunboats were afloat on the lake—just in time to face the British in the Battle of Valcour.
That story and hundreds more come to life in the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum's collection of more than 15,000 artifacts, images, and documents. Visitors can marvel at the massive 10' x 8' rudder of the steamboat Champlain II, and explore her shipwreck in real time using a remote-operated vehicle. In the Hazelett Watercraft Center, the 111-year-old ice yacht Storm King towers over 90 dugouts, bark canoes, kayaks, rowing skiffs, and sailboats. But the core of the museum is the Key to Liberty exhibit, where visitors can read eyewitness accounts of the Battle of Valcour and marvel at a 9-foot scale model of a gunboat. On fair days, the full-size gunboat replica Philadelphia II sets sail, giving passengers a glimpse of a distant era without the bother of going though a time machine broker first.
A year-round hotspot at the Jay Peak Resort, Jay Peak Pump House Indoor Waterpark beckons families to slip into its colorful slides and lounge in its 100-plus-degree hot tubs. La Chute, a quick-descending slide 65’ above the water, launches visitors through a 360-degree turn before depositing them in the pool below only six seconds later. In the Mill Pond kids’ play area, children man water cannons, adjusting their trajectory to blast unsuspecting friends or hydrate parched marathon runners.
An arcade replete with 3-D games and immersive ride simulators provides a break from underwater exploits, and the snack shack quells cravings for pizza, burgers, and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Adults can lounge at the poolside bar, where bartenders serve up frozen cocktails, draft beers, and firsthand advice on shark wrangling.
As riders learn the names of ancient trees and watch a stream meander through the mountains, wind rushes past their ears. That?s because they are following two guides along courses set by an overhead belay zip line?only stopping to traverse a swinging suspension bridge or rappel down toward the forest floor. ArborTrek Canopy Adventures immerses outdoor lovers in the natural landscape of northern Vermont's Green Mountains, leading participants along state-of-the-art challenge courses while educating them about the land.
The trained, certified staff of zip line guides is versed in wilderness rescue and first aid as well as ecology, geology, and the local histories of areas such as Vermont?s Green Mountains. On each tour, two guides lead groups across interconnected zip lines, aerial bridges, rappelling walls, and other challenge elements. All the while, they follow a path that reveals facts about local history and ecology, such as which trees are native and what eggs forest rangers hatched from. ArborTrek?s builders design each course to work with the environment, and they minimize their environmental impact by consulting with local foresters, wildlife experts, and engineers.
ArborTrek Canopy Adventures is located at Smugglers' Notch Resort, ten minutes from Stowe Mountain Lodge. Visitors can bookend their adventure experience with an array of outdoor activities, from hiking and mountain biking to swimming and canoeing.
What do you do with 17,000 gallons of water frozen into the shape of a towering waterfall? At the Northern Lights Rock and Ice, you climb it. The winter ice-climbing wall is just one of the seasonal and year-round features in store at this outdoor wonderland, which caters to individuals, families, and corporate retreats. Also on hand: dual 450-foot zip-line wires that crown a multi-level challenge course. Come summer, there's more climbing to be had on their "L"-shaped climbing wall with separate wall faces connected at the top by a cat's walk beam 25 feet in the air. Summiting the wall and crossing the beam requires strength, determination, and an ability to slip into the feline mind without succumbing to an obsession for catnip. Their experienced staff boasts 60 years of combined experience to ensure a safe and exciting adventure. See their "What to Bring" page for additional information.
The nonprofit Wild Center is dedicated to educating visitors about the delicate balance between humans and their natural surroundings, particularly in the context of the unique Adirondacks ecosystem. With more speakers than a speed-metal concert, the Build a Greener Adirondacks symposium aims to introduce eco-conscious community members to the country’s foremost green-building experts. Keynote speaker Tedd Benson will address the topic of off-site home fabrication and how building plans can be adapted to individual lifestyles and secret superhero requirements. Orators on subjects such as eco-friendly insulation, energy-saving appliances, and designing and building with reclaimed wood will also unfurl their leafy verbiage throughout the day.