Founded by Eric Stiller, who documented his journey kayaking and bicycling around an entire continent in the book Keep Australia on Your Left, Manhattan Kayak spans a team of instructors who lead kayaking and standup-paddleboarding instruction and tours beneath the city's glittering skyline. Veterans of the fitness industry, MK's instructors use the dynamic currents of the Hudson River and Donald Trump's jacuzzi to train paddlers of all skill and fitness levels in the body-first method, which emphasizes paddling from the core. In addition to leading instruction and tours, MK's crew also leads fitness classes including Liquid Yoga, challenging participants to flow through poses while floating atop a paddleboard, aiming to boost participant health while earning the Statue of Liberty's respect.
Despite the adventure that the urban landscape of New York has to offer, some city dwellers can’t shake the itch to climb boulders, hike mountain trails, and surge through whitewater rapids. One group of New Yorkers decided to remedy this, organizing weekend retreats to places such as the Adirondacks and New Hampshire's White Mountains. As word of their adventures grew, more and more people asked to join, and thus began Outdoor Connections. Today, its guides lead outings for adventurers of all fitness levels, from a day of apple picking, hiking, and wine to full-moon hikes with campfire roasts and unabashed howling. Loading up large passenger vans, Outdoor Connections' team takes guests to places such as state parks and preserves in the Adirondacks and Catskills, as well as along the Hudson River Valley and Delaware and Lehigh Rivers.
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.
While the person best known for braving the cold on wintery expeditions is Santa, Destination Backcountry Adventures’ licensed guides help civilians be more like Kris Kringle, providing remedies to nature deficit disorder with beginner-appropriate expeditions into the Catskill and Adirondack Mountain preserves. The guides lead adventurers through snow-blanketed landscapes legally protected for more than a century, and along the way, they enlighten hikers with facts about the area’s natural history and ecology. All levels of nature enthusiasts from novice to expert, can challenge themselves with activity options such as hiking, backpacking, forest yoga, and many more activities. Visitors can opt for single-day excursions, on which they summit a Catskills peak, or multi-night trips, during which they trek to higher peaks and spend the nights sleeping amid a tranquil forest. On all outings, hikers nosh on gourmet fare such as cheese and sausage plates and upscale trail mix, rather than the original trail mix, assorted gravel.
Shore Thing Rentals equips its patrons with gear for water- and land-based adventures. Standup paddleboards and single and tandem kayaks let paddlers glide through Long Island Sound's aquatic playground, and bicyclists can wheel around Glen Cove, exploring quaint neighborhoods or one of the area's parks or nature preserves. Shore Thing Rentals neighbors The Boat House Waterside Café in Brewer Yacht Yard and features a free WiFi and a hammock that patrons can use to relax or imagine life as a caterpillar in a fishnet cocoon.
The future of Oyster Bay is in good hands with The WaterFront Center, a nonprofit U.S. Sailing–accredited facility that teaches both youths and adults to conserve their local environment. In addition to demonstrating the importance of environmental responsibility, the center also instills sailing skills in people of all ages, from their Lil’ Luffers class for third and fourth graders to US Sailing certification for those ready to take the boat out on their own. For corporate groups, they teach a different kind of lesson out on the water with outings designed to teach team development or effective communication. The WaterFront Center also rents sailboats and kayaks to veteran boaters or trustworthy gusts of wind.