New England Ski & Scuba's staff touts many years of experience, training, and personal enjoyment in the realm of winter and water sports, making the shop a trustworthy source for gear and general know-how. Inside, visitors navigate through an extensive selection of new and used equipment, apparel, and accessories from the industry's leading brands. To ensure it remains on the cutting-edge of product development, the shop communicates directly with most of those manufacturers through an intricate system of yodeling. The shop also offers repairs, tune-ups, and classes.
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.
The proprietor and chief guide behind Hilltown Wilderness Adventures, Marla BB, invites patrons to hitch their dreams of adventure onto the backs of her alaskan huskies for mushing, skijoring, and outdoor excursions in the Berkshires. Her hallmark attraction is mushing through both snowy hills and on dryland tracks—a unique offering for the region that has earned her attention from media outlets such as Mushing magazine and Animal Planet.
The skijoring and sled-dog school teaches novices how to captain a team of dogs either in a sled or on skis, which can give them give them a way to skip long ski-resort lift lines. Marla also leads day excursions through DAR State Forest, Chesterfield Gorge and Westfield River, and the Deerfield River Watershed, keeping bikers, hikers, kayakers, and bird watchers safe as she is a certified wilderness first responder and an expert in swift-water safety and rescue.
The Blandford Ski Area has remained a family mountain for 75 years through its commitment to education and gentle terrain. Crisscrossed with beginner and intermediate trails, the basin serves as a fertile development ground for burgeoning skiers and boarders, and a venue for après-ski live music. Children as young as age 3 practice their snowplow in the Ski with Me program, and sportfolk with energy to burn hit the terrain park or stay after sundown for night runs lit by floodlights. When natural snow runs short, machines kick into gear to slick slopes in fresh powder or the corn oil favored by the Blandford alpine racing team.
Motorcoaches shuttle groups of skiers and riders to day, midweek, or weekend ski trips organized by New England Action Sports. In addition to scheduling transportation and lodging both local and international group excursions, the staff also provides ski-equipment rentals as well as tune-ups for clients who wish to bring their own skiing gear.