Kayaking in Norfolk

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The instructors at EMS Schools traverse rocky, paved, and watery terrain from New England down to Virginia, imparting people with their love of the outdoors along the way. Dating back more than 40 years, the EMS Climbing School teaches pupils of all ages the tenets of climbing through introductory classes and more advanced maneuvering in self-rescue, alpine climbing, and glacier-skills classes. The watery wing of EMS's operation includes kayaking and standup-paddleboard lessons, which can help students earn certification in these water-bound endeavors, and group tours. EMS-led bike tours trace a path through the rolling hills of the Berkshires, the mansions of Newport, as well as the powdered-sugar-topped White Mountains of New Hampshire.

7 Woolford Road
Wrentham,
MA
US

In the early ?70s, Boston-area resident Mike Farny dreamed of creating affordable outdoor recreational activities for his community to enjoy. In May of 1973, Mike set up shop in the MDC Norumbega Police Substation of Newton/Auburndale and began realizing his dream. The location?directly next to the historic Totem Pole Ballroom?perfectly enabled the environmentally friendly practice of canoeing and kayaking. Mike's vision blossomed over the years to include four other locations, each offering rentals, tours, and instruction.

Today, on-staff guides lead tours of the Charles River and Boston Harbor to educate participants in ecosystem conservation, view the skyline and sunset, or explore historic structures. Select trips also include lunch to fuel participants as they navigate difficult waterways and jump through flaming hoops. To prepare customers entering the water for the first time, instructors coach riders of all levels in private or group lessons at the paddling school, which draws on more than 30 years of instructional tradition. Staffers can also equip boaters in the shop?where P&H and Bor?al kayaks hang alongside Tahoe paddleboards and Wenonah canoes, dreaming of one day being the inspiration for a traditional sea chantey. Crew members help clients choose their ride and accessories from these selections and others through free daily demonstrations.

25 Commonwealth Rd
Natick,
MA
US

Boating in Boston drops oars in seven locations?including local lakes, ponds, the Charles River, and Boston Harbor?sending visitors on watery adventures with a fleet of canoes, kayaks, sailboats, pedal boats, paddleboards, and festive and essential lifejackets. Whether navigating the peaceful waters of Hopkinton State Park's Hopkinton Reservoir?the place that, in 2002, started it all?or campus-adjacent eddies of UMass Boston's Fox Point Landing, visitors can hit the water untrained or sharpen skills with solo or group lessons. The crew of instructors also instills a love of boating in the littlest landlubbers with youth summer camps that teach basic skills and safety.

Cedar St
Hopkinton,
MA
US

From their home base in the Warren Building, officials of the Wellesley Recreation Department fine-tune a year-round roster of sports leagues and community classes. Adults master crafts that range from pottery throwing to Capoeira, a blend of Brazilian martial arts and dance. Kids channel their creativity into painting courses or the Star Wars: Jedi Training class, which often includes creating a recycled droid and lightsaber lessons with retired stormtroopers. All of the programs are self-supporting, so directors charge reasonable fees and divvy up the money among materials, instructors' salaries, and other necessary expenses.

During the summer, throngs of people advance on Morses Pond, an ocean lookalike complete with a sandy beach, water slide, and volleyball nets, and kids aged 5–12 fend off boredom with summer day camps. Meanwhile, the lights of Hunnewell Tennis Court blaze into the evening hours, allowing athletes to face off after dark when the sun is taking its nap.

219 Washington St
Wellesley,
MA
US

After winding its way past Foxborough and Mansfield, the Rumford River gurgles to a brief rest in the Norton Reservoir where 530 acres of shallow waters ebb around coves and a small cluster of islands. Amid the bald eagles and ospreys that frequent the reservoir's edges, the instructors of the Norton Kayak Company lead kayaking and fishing expeditions from May 1 to October 31. Whether undertaking everyday tours or hatching special seasonal trips to watch the harvest moon or celebrate holiday weekends, instructors make sure that paddlers of all ages and ability levels stay safe and engaged. They also helm fishing trips for anglers aged 15 and older with valid fishing licenses, floating groups to spots where large-mouth bass, pickerel, and panfish lurk like schools of sunken fishing waders. Since the leaders depend on Mother Nature for their livelihood and letters of recommendation, they enforce a carry-in/carry-out practice that ensures guests leave no litter behind.

237 Mansfield Avenue
Norton,
MA
US

Red Rock Grill and Bar's chefs seek out seasonal ingredients, whenever possible, from local sources to craft homegrown favorites and American comfort foods. Using fresh meats and produce, they braise pot roast in a blend of Guinness and smoked jalapeños, make marinara sauce in-house, and infuse macaroni 'n' cheese with fresh lobster. At the bar, a selection of microbrews and cocktails keep patrons spacing out their mugs of ice water. Beyond the menu, Red Rock entertains visitors by hosting regular performances from live musicians and loaning out canoes and kayaks with which to explore the nearby waters through Good to Go Kayak Rentals.

66 W Main St.
Upton,
MA
US