Whitewater Challengers' certified guides steer paddlers as young as 5 across the skipping surf of the Poconos’ Lehigh River Gorge, the Black River Canyon, and the Adirondacks’ Hudson, Moose, and Salmon rivers. In the rafting industry since 1975, the guides have collectively traveled more than 16 million miles of rapids. They chart courses that satisfy a range of experience levels, from beginning jaunts down gentle rapids to advanced battles through coursing foam and wicked currents.
The crew’s ultimate goal is to make rafting a fun adventure, which means that they take care of the business end, providing all safety equipment, transportation to launch points, and lessons for novices. When not on the water, the outdoors-loving crew also organizes mountain-biking and camping trips in New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
Colossal train engines once pulled hefty freight along the O&W Railway's main line. Today, where the rails lines formerly cut through glistening tree canopies, a 2-mile unpaved trail splices through six rural hamlets, just 90 miles from New York City. It's along this rails-to-trails path that Woodridge Segway Tours whisks its adventurers through beautiful mountain views, clean country air, and the sounds of fresh water trickling. With safety helmets securely atop their heads, tour takers steer the two-wheeled segway transporters with intuitive gestures: leaning forward to go ahead, leaning backward to reverse, and pulling on their ears to make the segways sing.
The guides of Scary DC: Ghosts of Washington blend the natural and supernatural realms together in hair-raising tours of the city’s haunted habitats. Backed by the knowledge of professional historian Dr. Philip Ernest Schoenberg, tour guides regale guests with paranormal tales of the city’s past and present. During 90-minute jaunts, tour-takers set out to discover the spirits of Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson while ignoring Millard Fillmore’s pleas that he’s important too. With a blend of supernatural lore and historical fact, Scary DC’s tours edify and entertain guests of all ages.
Decades ago, large cruise ships called dayliners traveled the wide waters of the Hudson River, ushering passengers to ports from Albany to New York City. Although time has passed, Dutch Apple Cruises keeps this tradition alive with Dutch Apple II: a 65-foot, US Coast Guard-inspected cruise ship created in the classic dayliner style. Built from a blend of indigenous and traditional sea-worthy woods, including fragrant Douglas fir and Adirondack white cedar, the three-level ship carries passengers along Albany's major waterway on narrated sightseeing tours and charter cruises.
More than 100 passengers at a time roam the enclosed, temperature-controlled decks, which boast amenities such as a dance floor and cash bar. Travelers can also step out onto the open-air deck with a pair of binoculars to spot a passing eagle or watch a bass open the fruit basket they sent it. During charters, live entertainers such as DJs, dancers, singers, and comedians join passengers for a night of revelry.
Dutch Apple Cruises also offers land tours that include specialty tours such as hop and haunt which traverses the haunted history of historic buildings or brewery and distillery tours that divulge what goes into churning beer annually.
In the mid-18th century, distillers at Albany's first distillery, the Quackenbush Still House, crafted rum from Caribbean molasses, Hudson River water, and wild yeast. Instead of Quackenbush's large wooden fermenting vessels, The Albany Distilling Company's distilling duo, Matt Jager and John Curtin, rely on sleek, modern equipment to create their Quackenbush Still House rum. Updated gear, yeast, and water aside, Matt and John stick to Quackenbush's original recipe to yield the rum's smooth, butterscotch-flavored finish.
Their other small-batch spirits likewise pay homage to recipes of old, from the slowly processed Coal Yard New Make whiskey to Ironweed, a Prohibition-style whiskey aged in oak. Available throughout New York state, The Albany Distilling Company's libations are also served twice weekly at the distillery's very own tasting room.
A 17-foot-long red oak bar stretches along one of the rustic wooden walls inside Brookview Station Winery. Here, guests can sample vintner Ed Miller?s award-winning wines, which he makes from red and white grapes and locally grown fruits. Located at Goold Orchards, Brookview Station is perhaps best known for its apple wines, including Whistle-Stop White, a semi-dry white wine named 2007's Best Hudson River Region Wine by the Hudson Valley Wine & Grape Association. However, according to the Times Union, the winery has recently trended toward the use of other fruits, producing notable ferments such as The Conductor?s Cassis, a black-currant cordial handcrafted in the traditional style of French artisan winemakers. Visitors can graciously waft Miller?s wares at wine tastings held seven days a week.