In 1973, Mike Farny had a vision: to bring affordable outdoor recreation to the residents of metropolitan Boston. Opening the Charles River Canoe Service that year, Farny became an instrumental voice in efforts to clean up the river, encouraging people to canoe, kayak, and sweep up the dirt on the riverbanks. The next year, he persuaded the Leo J. Martin Golf Course to transform its greens and fairways into a sprawling landscape for cross-country skiing alongside the Charles, allowing the public to enjoy recreation on the river even when its waters had frozen. A 15-kilometer system of trails makes use of natural snowfall and offers skiers a chance to change up their routes. Even when flakes refuse to fall, a state-of-the-art artificial-snow system shoots powder over a 2.5-kilometer loop, which rests beneath lights to allow night skiing before guests return to the cozy snack shop for hot cocoa and a bite to eat.
Gray-hulled naval ships sit stoically by weathered docks, as sailboats and yachts dart to and fro in graceful traffic. The tide ebbs and flows around islands, piers, and against harbor walls under the Boston skyline. Hestia Cruises' four ships glide among this nautical throng, carving wakes across the busy waters on seasonal cruises in the morning, afternoon, at sunset, or under the light of the moon. As the classic 1948 motor yacht Full Moon rumbles through the water, on-board tour guides divulge facts about harbor history and point out ideal landmarks to photograph. The ship's open decks host passengers for sightseeing tours, and its staff also guides morning cruises with massage services or yoga classes, evening voyages with wine and whiskey tastings, and photo-shoot cruises.
Captains also ferry visitors past harbor sights on an EPA-acclaimed private catamaran or the 32-foot Catalina sailboat Hestia, where passengers can help pull lines, unfurl the main sail, and make a mix-tape of sea shanties. They also pilot a rigid inflatable boat—built to Navy Seal specifications—for adventures to far ends of the harbor at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. The speedy craft lies low to the water, letting passengers feel the harbor's salty spray while hunched securely on saddle-style jockey seats.
Since 1967, BSSC has been bringing people together to hit, kick, dunk, and catch balls of all shapes and sizes. More than 45,000 players join its leagues every year to compete in 12 different sports that range from field hockey and basketball to soccer and kickball. Men’s, women’s, and coed options help every player find a team more enjoyable to play with than one exclusively made up of imaginary friends. The club helps members stay active and socialize with a variety of outdoor adventures and social events, including pub crawls.
The club also organizes longer jaunts, such as day and weekend ski trips that take groups to snowy slopes or more involved weekend and week-long trips that venture beyond state and even national boundaries. The club’s seasoned travel experts plan each detail, freeing travelers from the hassle of booking accommodations or figuring out if a country only accepts secrets as currency.
Every year just before ski season opens, the Boston Ski & Snowboard Expo gathers representatives from the sport’s foremost gear manufacturers and destinations under one roof for deep discounts and an unveiling of the latest models. Visitors can slalom from booth to booth, where they’ll be able to check out shiny new skis by Völkl and Salomon, take advantage of season-pass discounts from resorts across the country and the Northeast, or practice their shadow puppetry while wearing gloves by Marker. Meanwhile, interactive exhibits invite audience participation, and live demonstrations aim to wow onlookers.
Now in its 32nd year, the 2013 Expo also includes a massive sale of East Coast Alpine skis and snowboard and a beer garden brimming with beer from Long Trail Brewing Co. Killington Ski Resort looks to regale guests with acrobatic antics during the Flying Aces! Trampoline Show, and WBZ News Radio plans to operate a Kids Snowpark and Learning Center where youngsters can get ready for the winter without standing in front of an open freezer for days on end.
For 44 years, adventurers and outdoor athletes have emerged from Country Ski and Sport armored in quality apparel and equipped with sturdy vessels, poised to conquer mountains, rivers, and bike paths. The Stenson family—which founded the sportsman’s haven in 1970—shares the clientele’s passion for outdoor excursions, and staff three facilities with a team of knowledgeable employees boasting more than 225 collective years of industry experience. The friendly staff draws upon outdoor know-how to match customers with pairs of skis, snowboards, kayaks, or bikes that suit their needs and size. Adventure-appropriate apparel from North Face or Under Armour keeps bodies warm while they’re slaloming down slopes or luging to work. To help customers prepare for the sporting seasons, technicians also repair and tune up skis, snowboards, and bicycles, and offer seasonal leasing options for snow equipment.
When Nashoba Valley Ski opened in 1964, its lack of modern equipment meant that most of the time guests just had to hope for a good snowfall. In the decades since, however, the resort has gained mastery over the winter landscape. Snow-blowers spray their glittery clouds onto 17 trails ranging from beginner to expert, where skiers and snowboarders carve around sharp turns, navigate shaded glades, and look for fresh tracks left by wild Thoreaus. Four high-speed lifts run from the lodge and restaurant to the top of these slopes, and provide easy access to the mountain's two terrain parks. Suited to riders of varying experience levels, both parks encourage air-catching with features such as large boxes and rails. Recognizing that not all visitors enjoy strapping boards to their feet, Nashoba Valley Ski offers another kind of winter-time fun: a tubing park spread across 18 grooved lanes and serviced by four tow lifts.