The merry mariners at H. P. Kayak & Boat Rentals provide prospective paddlers with a fleet of colorful crafts to explore the Connecticut River. Before your two-hour tour, choose to fly solo in a single-person kayak (a $30 value) or tote along co-pilots in a rowboat (a $35 value), dual-passenger kayak (a $35 value), or two-person canoe (a $35 value). Then push off shore and seize the open water, where you'll behold a real-life viewfinder's worth of scenic wildlife, including eagles and Frisbees, while advancing oarsmanship, teambuilding skills, and general awareness of water.
Westfield Water Sports and Wilderness Experiences?a kayak, SUP, camping, and scuba gear shop as well as a camping store and adventure emporium?dispatches a staff of certifiable adventure-seekers to lead sojourners into the great outdoors with scuba classes, kayak classes, dive and non-dive world travel, and rock-climbing excursions. An all-around outdoorsman, camp director T. Scott Cook leans on his doctorate of Leadership Development in Adventure Education to develop nature excursions, including far-flung trips where groups snorkel in the Cayman Islands or evolve gills in the Galapagos. Back home, the summer camp?s elaborate ropes course builds teamwork between coworkers, and caving adventures allow guests to delve into mysterious depths or apartment swap with a black bear.
Visitors of all ages can learn to skate, twirl across the ice, and handle pucks at Northford Ice Pavilion, where they will find a variety of frozen activities for the whole family. Boys and girls as young as aged 3 can enroll in hockey sessions that run eight weeks and involve supervised practice, group lessons, and building shrines to Wayne Gretzky. Open skate welcomes kids, parents, and couples to glide on rented skates before enjoying a hot cocoa at the concession stand.
From rock climbing, to kayaking, to camping, Tekoa Mountain Outdoors' founder Tim Vogel views the great outdoors as a combination of playground and classroom, a place where adults and children can learn by doing. Tim has been teaching and guiding adventure activities for more than 25 years, and his experience aids him as he plans adventurous exhibitions, such as hiking along the Appalachian Trail or searching for lost car keys in the Wards Gregory Cave System. During outings, Tim teaches his students both introductory and advanced techniques. Along with a team of certified guides, Tim advocates passion for the outdoors and love for every blade of glass, even the stubby crab variety. In addition to working with the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America, the staff leads several education programs that teach youth valuable team-building lessons. They also run the WOLF Program, which cultivates new crops of professional leaders within the expedition and adventure industry.
Where the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound collide, Black Hall Outfitters supplies explorers with watercrafts to paddle 500 protected acres. From the Heron Jr. kayak, a wide and easily maneuvered craft for kids, to the Rogue River 154 SS, a sturdy canoe, its fleet promises the perfect boat for every type of athlete. This includes fishing kayaks and standup paddleboards, which easily transport riders to nearby beaches and tidal pools or spots where fish teem.
Those who follow Deerfield River westward from the Catamount State Forest to the Mohawk Trail State Forest travel through the hilly terrain of historic Charlemont. There, in 1989, the Berkshire Mountains and other geographical spoils caught the eyes of Bruce Lessels and Karen Blom—a medaling member of the US whitewater team and a public health nutritionist looking to make the outdoors more accessible. They built Zoar Outdoor on the river, establishing an 80-acre facility to be a base for ziplining, rock climbing, camping, and solar-powered lodging. Today, a staff of adventurers keeps that base running. They not only sell an arsenal of outdoor gear and continue those establishing activities, but also lead whitewater rafting and kayaking trips down their home river, slicing through the waves and rearranging a slew of fishes' living rooms along the way.