Category Archives: hiking

New York State Launches Adopt-a-Trailhead Volunteer Program

Hiking New York’s Adirondacks. NYS has created a new program of trailhead volunteers to assist with the stewardship of trailheads across the state and educate trail users before they enter the backcountry. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

New York State has launched a new initiative to assist with the stewardship of trailheads across the state and educate trail users before they enter the backcountry. Introduced in the Governor’s 2021 State of the State address, the Adopt-a-Trailhead program is managed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and gives the public the opportunity to support State-led efforts to care for state lands and educate fellow visitors on the value of responsible recreation.

“Over this last year, we have seen record numbers of New Yorkers and visitors utilizing our world-class trails and natural areas while seeking a break from the stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “As New York remains fully committed to making sustained investments in our natural resources and responsibly increasing opportunities for outdoor recreation on state lands, this new program offers an excellent volunteering opportunity for New Yorkers to help the State ensure our trails are ready for the growing number of hikers and visitors.”

In recent years, particularly in 2020 as New Yorkers eagerly pursued safe outdoor recreation experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic, the State has seen an increase in the number of visitors to parks, lands, and trails. Outdoor recreation has been a crucial part of helping New Yorkers stay active, spend time with immediate household and family members, and reduce stress and anxiety. Consistent with the NY Forward phased reopening plan, New Yorkers are encouraged to recreate locally in their region (PDF). Each of the state’s 10 REDC regions have a wide variety of recreational opportunities available for the public to explore and enjoy. While this uptick provides an opportunity for more New Yorkers to explore the state’s scenic natural areas, many of these new users are inexperienced in back-country recreation, leading to mistakes that are potentially harmful to themselves and the environment.  

Adopt-a-Trailhead volunteers will bolster ongoing efforts to eliminate litter problems and educate trail users about hiker preparedness, thus eliminating the amount of trash left at trailheads and encouraging proper disposal of human waste while in the woods. DEC land managers will be identifying trailheads that will benefit most from the new program. Volunteers and DEC will continue to encourage hikers to Hike Smart NY and follow the seven principles of Leave No Trace while hiking. LNT is a set of outdoor ethics developed to educate recreationists on how to best enjoy the outdoors while minimizing their impact. In addition, DEC continues to encourage visitors to the Adirondacks to seek out nearby alternative hikes that provide an experience similar to a High Peaks hike, including great scenic views, but with fewer people.

“New York’s public lands and trails are beloved by thousands of visitors in every corner of the state,” Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said. ”The new Adopt-a-Trailhead program provides New Yorkers who are committed to caring for public lands with the opportunity to help DEC sustain and maintain these natural assets for future generations, as well as for their own enjoyment.”

Introduced in Governor Cuomo’s 2021 State of the State Address, the Adopt-a-Trailhead program is an initiative to enhance opportunities to encourage outdoor recreation and empower volunteers to help maintain trailheads. Groups interested in volunteering for the program should submit an Adopt-a-Trailhead volunteer application to volunteer.stewardship@dec.ny.gov (emailed applications are preferred) or via mail to: NYSDEC, Division of Lands and Forests, Attn: Adopt-a-Trailhead Coordinator, 625 Broadway, 5th Floor, Albany, NY 12233.

After applications are approved, groups and individuals will be assigned to a trailhead in their area. Participation in the Adopt-a-Trailhead program will include:

  • A series of online training courses focused on LNT principles, visitor interaction, and visitor education; 
  • Virtual meetings with DEC program staff to answer questions and share suggestions;
  • Spending time at assigned trailheads during weekend mornings, including holiday weekends and some Friday afternoons, depending on the location; and
  • Monthly reports highlighting statistics such as number of volunteers that participated and number of hours spent at the trailhead.

“Empowering trail users to enjoy natural areas safely and responsibly is exactly what is needed to help ensure these special places aren’t subject to misuse—accidental or otherwise,” New York-New Jersey Trail Conference Executive Director Joshua Howard said. “The Adopt a Trailhead program will allow more visitors to get the one-on-one guidance and education that we have seen to be so effective through our Trail Steward program on the Catskill summits. We are proud supporters of this initiative and the opportunity it presents to share Leave No Trace principles and best practices with the growing number of new and returning visitors to public lands.”

“ADK greatly supports this new statewide Adopt-a-Trailhead volunteer program,” Executive Director of Adirondack Mountain Club Michael Barrett said. “In-person educators at trailheads are a powerful way to both help visitors enjoy the outdoors responsibly and ignite a passion for taking care of public lands well into the future.”

New Yorkers getting outdoors should use common sense in planning outdoor activities because public facilities like restrooms or other amenities may not be available. Use the DECinfo Locator to find DEC-managed resources and visit DEC’s website for more information. DEC continues to remind outdoor enthusiasts to be SMART when recreating this year:

  • Socially distance at least six feet apart;
  • Mask – Wear one when you cannot maintain social distancing, especially in parking lots and along footpaths;
  • Avoid sharing gear when possible;
  • Respect your fellow anglers and the resource by providing space and practicing ethical angling; and
  • Take out what you bring in or place trash in receptacles.

The AAT program supports DEC’s comprehensive and ongoing efforts to sustainably manage increased visitation to public lands and will provide important information to guide future land management decisions. The program also complements recommendations included in the High Peaks Advisory Group’s final report on promoting sustainable recreation in the Adirondack Park. Comprised of stakeholders with expertise in local government, recreation, natural resource protection, business, and tourism, in 2019 the HPAG was tasked with providing DEC with recommendations on how to address critical issues associated with increased public use of High Peaks resources in order to protect these areas in the short and long term, as well as for future generations. Visit the DEC website to read the report.

For more information on the AAT program, visit DEC’s website here.

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REI Focuses on Domestic Outdoor Experiences With Aim to Help 3 Million Get Outdoors Annually; Discontinues International Adventure Trips

Camping in Letchworth State Park, New York. REI Co-op is revising plans for the future of its experiences business with a goal of getting 3 million people outdoors each year through its experiences programs, which will focus exclusively on U.S. domestic adventures. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

SEATTLE – REI Co-op is revising plans for the future of its experiences business with a goal of getting 3 million people outdoors each year through its experiences programs, which will focus exclusively on U.S. domestic adventures.

The co-op is investing in an expanded network of experiences close to iconic U.S. outdoor destinations, building on its expertise of small group active travel and local programming currently offered across the nation. REI expects to launch at least 12 new experience centers in the next two years where customers can tap into REI’s guided tours, gear rental and instruction. As part of the announcement, the co-op will discontinue its international adventure travel trips effective May 2021 in order to invest in its domestic travel growth strategy and expand offerings in hiking and camping, backpacking, cycling, women’s only, under-35, family and weekend adventures.

With more than 100 itineraries across the United States, REI adventure travel offers one of the broadest activity assortments of any U.S.-based tour operator. Sales of REI domestic adventure trips have gotten off to a fast start in 2021. As of March, domestic trips were up by 28 percent compared to 2019, making it one the strongest years in adventure travel sales.

“REI is a leader at getting people outside. We’re the only national organization with a wide range of experiences that provide life-changing outdoor moments, whatever someone’s skill level may be,” said Curtis Kopf, who was recently named REI’s chief experience officer. “The co-op’s bold investment in our U.S. experiences will help us welcome more people into the outdoors by making nature more accessible and attainable for everyone.”

A leader with REI since 2018, Kopf’s new role is an evolution of his previous oversight over REI’s experiences and digital divisions. As chief experience officer, he will oversee REI’s acceleration of efforts to design and build differentiated customer experiences that are interconnected across the company in physical locations, digital platforms and hosted experiences.

In recent years, REI annually has helped over 310,000 individuals across the country progress their outdoor interests and explore iconic outdoor destinations like national parks. Beyond multiday adventures, REI also offers fun and educational local experiences in major markets across the country through beginner-to advanced-level classes and guided day tours for hiking, cycling, paddling, climbing and more. REI is a top provider of how to ride a bike classes and wilderness training through its long partnership with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). The co-op also operates a destination adventure center based in Scottsdale, Arizona with gear rentals, day tours and education for residents and tourists visiting the region.

As REI focuses exclusively on U.S. domestic adventure travel and experiences, the co-op will provide full refunds to any guest who was booked on an international adventure. The co-op’s final international trip will depart in early May. All camping and hiking gear provided by REI to its international vendor network will remain in country for the continued use by individual operators.

REI Co-op

REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. One of the nation’s largest consumer co-ops, REI is a growing community of more than 19 million members. REI has 168 locations in 39 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.comREI Outlet or the REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. Adventurers can take the trip of a lifetime with REI’s active adventure travel company that runs more than 100 itineraries across the country. In many communities where REI has a presence, professionally trained instructors share their expertise by hosting beginner-to advanced-level classes and workshops about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to—and steward—the outdoor places that inspire us all.

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Escape Adventures Introduces Multi-Sport Tour of Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks

Zion National Park. Escape Adventures is introducing a new six-day multi-sport and camping tour that combines Zion National Park with Bryce Canyon National Park (c) Sarah Falter/goingplacesfarandnear.com

(Las Vegas, NV) – Escape Adventures, one of the first outfitters to offer guided mountain bike tours of Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park 29 years ago, is introducing a six-day multi-sport and camping tour that combines these two of Mother Nature’s greatest marvels.  In addition to riding Escape Adventures’ favorite mountain bike routes, guests will enjoy hiking, rock climbing, canyoneering and rappelling among the region’s cliffs, crags, plateaus, and pinnacles.

This multi-sport tour with first-class camping is ideal for active families and starts at $1,895 per person. E-bikes are available at an additional cost.  For more info, click here or call Escape Adventures at 800-596-2953. Watch a gorgeous video here

“From mountain biking the trails of Red Canyon and Sunset Cliffs, to hiking and climbing in Sunset Point, Cascade Falls, and Zion’s Narrows, this multi-sport tour offers an array of exciting activities,” said Escape Adventures Director Jared Fisher. “A canyoneering day in Zion takes us bouldering in deep canyons and rappelling chutes up to 150 ft.”

Not only is the mountain biking phenomenal and diverse, so is the terrain. In a sense, it is a geologic extension of The Grand Canyon, located 75-miles to the south. The landforms lend themselves to a multitude of adventures and inspiring place names, such as The Court of The Patriarchs, The Beehives, Mountain of The Sun, and The Great White Throne.

Guests will move seamlessly from one day to the next, camping, and enjoying delicious homemade meals. The majority of campgrounds feature indoor facilities and showers. In more remote backcountry camping scenarios, Escape Adventures will provide portable toilets and private solar showers.

“There is nothing better than rolling into camp to fresh made chips and salsa, homemade guacamole, and Dutch oven enchiladas,” said Fisher. “Then making your way to a sweet and inviting campfire, sharing your favorite anecdote or image from the day’s activities, and enjoying a local beer before retiring to your tent.”

Full Itinerary:

Day 1-2: Meet in St. George. Ride Red Canyon to Bryce Canyon, Hike the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon.
Day 3-4: Ride Red Canyon past Tropic Reservoir to Hatch. Descend to Zion.
Day 5-6: Canyoneering in Zion, hike the narrows. Rock climbing in Red Cliffs.

All internal land expenses and services are covered in the cost of this tour. This means from the time Escape Adventures picks you up, all transportation, food preparation, snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, group supplies and community gear (portable chairs, large awnings, coolers, utensils, etc.) are included. Backcountry permits, licenses, park fees, reservations, and accommodations are also included, along with professionally trained trip leaders, a mobile first aid and mechanic station, spare bikes, and a support vehicle. Trip price does not include airfare, lodging prior to trip start or bicycle rental and/or camping gear unless otherwise noted on itinerary or website.

Since 1992, Escape Adventures has lead adventure travel vacations through some of the most awe-inspiring natural destinations in the world. Building on over 100 destinations, Escape Adventures caters to the full spectrum of active traveler, fitness level and activity type, from road cyclist to mountain biker to electric biker, hiker, and multi-sport enthusiast and from first timer to friends and family groups of all ability levels (https://escapeadventures.com/).

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New Yorkers Encouraged to Celebrate New Year Outdoors – Responsibly – at State Parks

Hiking in the Adirondacks. New Yorkers are encouraged to celebrate the New Year safely by spending time outdoors this holiday season at state parks, historic sites, wildlife areas, trails, and public lands across the state beginning January 1, 2021. Register for one of the many walks and hikes being held across the state as part of the 10th Annual First Day Hikes program © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

New Yorkers are encouraged to celebrate the New Year safely by spending time outdoors this holiday season at state parks, historic sites, wildlife areas, trails, and public lands across the state beginning January 1, 2021. Families across the state can register for one of the many walks and hikes being held across the state as part of the 10th Annual First Day Hikes program, a partnership between the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Department of Environmental Conservation.

“In these challenging times, getting out into nature has been a major outlet for safe and healthy recreation for New Yorkers,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said.”Whether you’re taking a self-guided hike at a favorite park or discovering a new local trail this holiday season, New Yorkers have unparalleled options and destinations to embrace the outdoors this winter and bring in the New Year while remaining COVID safe and COVID smart.”

With the Empire State Trail near completion, residents along the 750-mile route – the longest multi-use state trail in the nation- can enjoy the great outdoors while supporting tourism and community revitalization across the state. Information about the trail, including an interactive map detailing the route, designated parking areas, and nearby attractions is available on the project website.

Walks and hikes are family-friendly, and typically range from one to five miles and are being offered at more than 60 state parks, historic sites, DEC state lands, wildlife areas, Forest Preserve trails and environmental education centers.

A list of New York State First Day Hikes, location details, format, pre-registration requirements and additional information can be found online at parks.ny.gov and dec.ny.gov. Interested participants are encouraged to check the details of their preferred host site and pre-register where required.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and requirements for safe outdoor recreation, there will be no large group hikes this year. The event options for hikes range from self-guided treks to staff- or volunteer-led hikes with a limited number of participants. All hikes are subject to regional COVID-19 limitations. Masks or face-coverings are mandatory, and capacity restrictions may limit participation so have some alternate locations in mind. Hikes will span Friday, Saturday or Sunday of January, allowing participants the time and space to social distance while still enjoying nature’s winter wonders.

Here is a list of First Day Hikes by region, along with contact information:

Western New York

Allegany State Park- Red House; 716.354.9101 x.232

DeVeaux Woods State Park, Niagara Falls; 716.282.5154

Evangola State Park, Irving; 716.549.1050

Fort Niagara State Park, Youngstown; 716.282.5154

Genesee Valley Greenway, Hinsdale; 585.493.3614

Genesee Valley Greenway, Cuba; 585.493.3614

Genesee Valley Greenway Snowmobile Ride, Avon; 585.964.3614

Hamlin Beach State Park, Hamlin; 585.964.2462

Knox Farm State Park, East Aurora; 716.549.1050

Letchworth State Park, Castile; 585.493.3680

Niagara Falls State Park, Niagara Falls; 716.282.5154

Plumbottom State Forest, Amity; 585.415.1521

Reinstein Environmental Education Center, Depew; 716.683.5959

Finger Lakes & Central New York

Bowman Lake State Park/McDonough State Forest, Oxford; 607.334.2718

Catharine Valley Trail, Watkins Glen; 607.535.4511

Chenango Valley State Park, Chenango Forks; 607.648.5251

Clark Reservation State Park, Jamesville; 315.415.8377

Delta Lake State Park, Rome; 315.337.4670

Finger Lakes Trail, Naples; 585.727.6495

Finger Lakes Trail Peaceweavers Loop, Naples; 607.227.7957

Fort Ontario State Historic Site, Oswego; 315.343.4711

Glimmerglass State Park, Cooperstown; 607.547.8662

Green Lakes State Park, Fayetteville; 315.637.6111

Herkimer Home State Historic Site, Herkimer; 315.823.0398

Montezuma Audubon Center, Savannah; 315.365.3580

Norwich Greenway North, Norwich; 607.336.4628

Rogers Environmental Education Center, Sherburne; 607.674.4733

Rome Sands Plains Unique Area, Rome; 315.866.6330 ext. 119

Taughannock Falls State Park, Trumansburg; 607.387.7041 ext. 131

North Country/Adirondacks

Goodnow Mountain, Newcomb; 518.582.4551 ext. 104

John Brown Farm State Historic Site, Lake Placid; 518.744.7112

Paul Smith’s College Visitor Interpretive Center, Paul Smith’s, 518-327-6241

Point Au Roche State Park, Plattsburgh; 518.563.6444

Robert G. Wehle State Park, Henderson; 315.938.5302

Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site, Sackets Harbor; 315.646.2321

Wellesley Island State Park, Fineview; 315.482.2479

Wildway Overlook, Essex, 518.962.2287

Greater Capital District

Five Rivers Environmental Education Area, Delmar; 518.475.0291

Grafton Lakes State Park, Grafton; 518.279.1155 x2

Mine Kill State Park, North Blenheim; 518.827.6111

Moreau Lake State Park, Gansevoort; 518.793.0511

Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs; 518.584.2000 x16

Hudson Valley/Catskills

FDR State Park, Yorktown; 914.245.4434

Little Stony Point/Hudson Highlands State Park, Cold Spring; 845.224.7207

John Jay Homestead State Historic Site, Katonah; 914.232.5651

Minnewaska State Park Preserve, Peter’s Kill, Kerhonkson; 845.255.0752

Minnewaska State Park Preserve, Sam’s Point, Cragsmoor; 845.647.7989

North-South Lake, Haines Falls; 518-935-3735

Olana State Historic Site, Hudson; 518.751.0344

Old Croton Aqueduct State Historic Park, Dobbs Ferry; 646.303.1448

Red Hill Fire Tower Trailhead, Denning; 845.256.3083

Rockefeller State Park Preserve, Pleasantville; 914.666.6503

Sterling Forest State Park, Tuxedo; 845.351.5907

Taconic State Park – Copake Falls, Copake Falls; 518.329.3993

Tivoli Bays Wildlife Management Area, Tivoli; 845.625.7198

NYC & Long Island

Bethpage State Park, Farmingdale; 516.249.0701

Clay Pit Ponds State Park Preserve, Staten Island; 718-605-3970 ext. 201

Connetquot River State Park Preserve, Oakdale; 631.581.1005

Cupsogue Beach County Park, Westhampton; 631.444.0450

Jones Beach State Park, Wantagh; 516.785.1600

Hallock Preserve, Wading River; 631-315-5475

Montauk Point State Park, Montauk; 631.668.5000

Mt. Loretto Unique Area, Staten Island; 718.313.8591

Ridge Conservation Area, Ridge; 631.444.0350

Shirley Chisholm State Park, Brooklyn; 212.866.3100

Sunken Meadow State Park, Kings Park; 631.269.4333

“First Day Hikes have grown into a popular tradition for many New Yorkers and we look forward to welcoming families and friends out on the trail at many of our parks and historic sites,” State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said. “While this year’s program may look a little different from previous events, exploring the outdoors is still the perfect way to enjoy the winter landscapes, unwind with loved ones and kick off the coming year.”

“One unexpected, yet welcome result of the COVID-19 pandemic is the increase in the number of New Yorkers heading outdoors to explore world-class recreational opportunities close to home,” State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “As we get ready to turn the page on 2020 and enter the New Year, DEC and our partners at State Parks are encouraging visitors to keep discovering New York’s abundant lands and parks and to do so safely and responsibly by observing social distancing and other guidelines to ensure an enjoyable and healthy experience for everyone.”

“This year gave New Yorkers a new opportunity to discover the wonders and adventures that await them just outside their doors,” I Love New York Executive Director Ross Levi said. “New York State is not just an amazing destination for visitors; it is a world-class getaway in our own backyard. First Day Hikes and the new year will offer New Yorkers another chance to find what they love here in our own amazing state.”

Get Outside Safely, Responsibly, and Locally

New York State’s PLAY SMART * PLAY SAFE * PLAY LOCAL campaign encourages residents to engage in responsible recreation during the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis. New York State Parks and the Department of Environmental Conservation recommendations for getting outside safely incorporate guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York State Department of Health for reducing the spread of infectious diseases. PLAY SMART * PLAY SAFE * PLAY LOCAL encourages New Yorkers to recreate locally, practice physical distancing, show respect for all outdoor adventurers, and use common sense to protect themselves and others. Wear a mask, even when visiting the outdoors. For more information, visit: https://parks.ny.gov/covid19/

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which are visited by 77 million people annually. For more information on any of these recreation areas, visit www.parks.ny.gov, download the free NY State Parks Explorer mobile app or call 518.474.0456. Also, connect on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

See:

Driveable Getaways: Hiking the Hudson River School Art Trail in the Great Northern Catskills

Driveable Adventures: Hiking/Camping in the ‘Grand Canyon of the East’ –NY’s Letchworth State Park

New York’s Empire State Trail Comes Together: Biking the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail in Hudson Valley

Catching the Peak Fall Foliage in New York State’s Adirondack Mountains

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Bike, Hike & Camp Along Grand Canyon North Rim with Escape Adventures

Escape Adventures is offering a family-friendly, 5-day camping and mountain bike adventure that includes riding singletrack to Monument Point, hiking into the canyon on backcountry trails, pedaling across Kaibab Plateau, and conquering Rainbow Rim trail before descending to Indian Hollow.

(Las Vegas, NV) — While most of North America reels under hot summertime temperatures, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon offers a wonderful high-altitude escape. Providing gently rolling terrain of lung-expanding dimensions, the North Rim has been long-held as sacred ground to hikers and cyclists alike. Escape Adventures is offering a family-friendly,  5-day camping and mountain bike adventure that includes riding singletrack to Monument Point, hiking into the canyon on backcountry trails, pedaling across Kaibab Plateau, and conquering Rainbow Rim trail before descending to Indian Hollow. Prices for this adventure start at $1,195 per person and multiple departures are available July 13th through October 4th, 2020. For more info, call 800.596.2953 or visit https://escapeadventures.com/tour/grand-canyon-north-rim-mountain-bike-tour/

“For trekkers and active travelers of all levels, this tour is nothing less than the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Escape Adventures Founder Jared Fisher. “Gazing over the Canyon’s 9,200-ft North Rim, the immediate reaction of our guests runs from fear to reverie, and all agree that the old Arizona and Rainbow Rim Trails are the best ways to experience the Grand Canyon.”

Concealed in big Ponderosa pines and shimmering Aspen groves, the trail through Kaibab National Forest wends to a place that few have visited: the East Rim view. Trails brimming with wildflowers lead riders to exhilarating hikes along the rim. Crossing over to the west side of the plateau, guests camp alongside one of the most scenic mountain bike paths in the world, the Rainbow Rim Trail. It connects five large “Points” of land that overhang the canyon and the Arizona Strip. The five “Points” are Parissawampitts, Fence, Locust, North Timp and Timp.

Escape Adventures selects well-maintained public campgrounds with scenic vistas and comfortable arrangements. Guests will move seamlessly from one day of the trip to the next, enjoying wildly healthy, delicious homemade meals. Most of the campgrounds feature indoor facilities and showers. Conversely, in more remote backcountry camping scenarios, Escape Adventures provides portable toilets and private solar showers.

All internal land expenses and services are covered in the cost of the tour. All transportation, food preparation, meals (except where noted on itineraries), snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, group supplies and community gear (portable chairs, large awnings, coolers, utensils, etc.) are included. Backcountry permits, licenses, park fees, reservations, and accommodations are also included, along with at least two professionally trained trip leaders, a mobile first aid and mechanic station, spare bikes, and a support vehicle(s). Trip price does not include airfare, lodging prior to trip start or bicycle rental and/or camping gear unless otherwise noted on itinerary or website.

Daily Itinerary:

Day 1-2: Meet in St. George. Shuttle to Kaibab Lodge then ride singletrack to alpine East Rim camp for two nights. Ride to Monument Point, short hike into the Grand Canyon on backcountry hiking trail.

Day 3-4: Ride across Kaibab Plateau to beautiful backcountry camp on the Rim for two nights. Ride the Rainbow Rim singletrack.

Day 5: Descend to Indian Hollow on the west side of the Plateau to spectacular vista. Shuttle back to St. George.

Since 1992, Escape Adventures has lead adventure travel vacations through some of the most awe-inspiring natural destinations in the world. Building on over 100 destinations, Escape Adventures caters to the full spectrum of active traveler, respective to fitness level and activity type, from road cyclist to mountain biker to electric biker, hiker, and multi-sport enthusiast, and from first timer to friends and family groups of all ability levels. https://escapeadventures.com/

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Mountain Kick, Kathmandu-Based Operator, Offers Mount Everest Base Camp Trek at Discounted Rate

Mountain Kick, a Kathmandu-based trip operator, is offering a Mount Everest Base Camp Trek at discounted rates for the rest of its 2019 departures and for early bookings for 2020.

Mountain Kick, a Kathmandu-based trip operator, is offering a Mount Everest Base Camp Trek at discounted rates for the rest of its 2019 departures and for early bookings for 2020.
 
Beginning from Lukla, you will walk through all the Sherpa villages on the way to the Everest and back. Stand on the foot of Mount Everest and gaze at the majestic giant all you can. The Everest Base Camp is where all mountaineers begin their summit of the highest peak in the world. But the journey begins quite before that. You have to walk through gorges, valleys, rivers, forests and villages to reach the base camp itself. Although you will not attempt to scale the Everest, you will set foot on it nevertheless. It is not the same but it comes quite close. Maximum altitude is from 4,600 feet at Kathmandu to 18,519 feet at Kala Patthar.
 
About Mountain Kick: Mountain Kick is a Kathmandu-based trip operator and we organize adventure sports, trekking and sightseeing trips all over Nepal. We believe that a true Himalayan adventure is a blend of endurance in general and a healthy dose of thrill in particular. We attempt at making your holiday just that. We are a team of travelling enthusiasts ourselves and after years of exploring the Himalayas we like to believe that we know our way around the mountains and can share the “kick” that enthralled us with you. Although Mountain Kick is just a startup, all of us have done this for long enough to see what the Himalayas had to offer beyond commercial holiday packages to carve a niche for ourselves. The Himalayas never fail to inspire.
Duration: 15 days

Rate: $2,250 USD, All inclusive

INCLUDED IN COST

·Receive you from and drop you to the airport or hotel in our company vehicle.

·Stay at a three-star hotel in Kathmandu on a twin-sharing basis. Breakfast is on us.

·Sightseeing around Kathmandu in a private vehicle with our guide. All entrance fees will be paid.

·Stay at guesthouses during the trek on a twin-sharing basis. Breakfasts, lunches and dinners will also be taken care of.

·Local government-licensed guides.

·Porters (one each for a pair of travellers) and local support staff to help you trek.

·Fees for Sagarmatha National Park entering permit and Trekkers’ Information Management System card

·We will lend you a down jacket and a sleeping bag for throughout the trek.

·Fully paid round-trip tickets for Kathmandu-Lukla flight and back. Rides in private vehicles included in the itinerary.

·A duffel bag, a sun hat and a t-shirt as a souvenir from us.

·A traditional Nepali feast with cultural shows as a farewell dinner.

·All tourist fees, government charges and other official expenses throughout the trip.

Website: http://mountainkick.com

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Trekking Hellas Offers 8-Day Hiking Tour to Greek Islands of Andros, Tinos

Hellas Hiking is offering an eight-day hiking tour of the Greek islands of Andros and Tinos

Trekking Hellas is offering an 8 day/7 night hiking tour to the Andros and Tinos Islands in Greece.
 
During the tour, guests explore magnificent paths and trails with breathtaking views. Discover traditional Greek villages, local craftsmen and the unique Cycladic architecture and history. Enjoy sandy beaches and beautiful sunsets.   
 
The Cyclades is a group of islands scattered over the deep blue waters of the Aegean Sea, cooled in the summer by the ‘Meltemi’ wind. One of the most ancient European civilizations was born and prospered here:  the Cycladic civilization (3000-1000 BC). Although some of the Cycladic Islands are famous to the tourist crowds and the international jet set, there are a few that are still left to be discovered, from travelers that are seeking authentic vacation experiences: Andros and Tinos are among them.
 
Andros  is the most northerly island of the Cyclades and the second largest after Naxos. Thanks to its water springs it’s irrigated with plentiful running water and thus verdant with a large numbers of olive trees, pines and fruit trees. Tinos, just one mile away, famous for its characteristic dovecotes, is full of picturesque villages and windmills. Tinos is today exactly what Delos Island was to believers in ancient times. Twice a year, on March 25th and August 15th, pilgrims inundate the island to visit the famous church of Virgin Mary (in Greek: Panagia).

The tour is available throughout the year; the cost is   785€/pp on self guided more.


Rate Includes: 8 days /7 nights accommodation in double rooms in selected accommodations with breakfast Lunch box on self guided mode during the hiking days. All ferry tickets from/to Athens and from Andros to Tinos Return transfers from ports to hotels. All necessary transfers for the hikes Self Guided Service: welcome briefing, gpx files, maps and booklet, emergency phone support.

For more information, visit https://trekking.gr/en/product_en/authentic-cyclades-tour. info@trekking.gr, Phone: +30 2103310323, https://trekking.gr/en 
 

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Walking the World Offers 11-day Guided Walking Tour of Costa Rica

Walking The World offers an 11-day Costa Rican guided walking tour offering natural beauty, wildlife, friendly people, political stability, erupting volcanoes, beautiful beaches, and mysterious rainforests. Tour dates are February 5-15 and March 5-15, 2019.

It’s hard to imagine that there can be such diversity in landforms and wildlife in such a small country. Proportionately, Costa Rica protects more of its land in parks and reserves than any other country in the world. Costa Rica’s parks shelter some of the planet’s most important examples of biological diversity, including 5 percent of all plant and animal species on Earth.

In addition to the amazing hikes on the walking tour adventure, guests will enjoy white water rafting with experienced local guides on the Rio La Balsa, an amazing unexplored world of tropical wilderness in a deep canyon with waterfalls, exotic animals, and tropical birds. Experience the cloud forests from the unique perspective of a series of zip lines in the forest canopy, including a super fun Tarzan Swing and a Superman zip line high above a hidden valley. Cruise the waterways in Cano Negro National Wildlife Refuge, considered one of the world’s richest sites for bird watching.  Guests will also see monkeys, sloths, caimans, lizards, and bats.  And afterwards, a local guide will introduce you to a world of mystic tradition and living nature, demonstrated through dance by members of the indigenous people known as Malekus.

Outside the small town of Fortuna, enjoy a walk through one of the latest lava flows from Volcan Arenal.  Also included on the Costa Rica adventure are visits to the Bat Jungle, a frog exhibition, a tour of a coffee farm where you can help pick coffee beans and learn about the process of making brown sugar from sugar cane.

On a visit to the world famous Monteverde Cloud Forest, a lush green garden of mosses, ferns, flowers and epiphytes, you’ll learn about the rainforest ecosystem.  The air here is rich with the sounds of birds and the occasional scurrying of small mammals, all punctuated occasionally by the roar of a howler monkey.  Walk the sky trams, high above the forest floor, where more than 80% of all rainforest species are found.

Spend your last several days at the lodge on the Nicoya Peninsula, relaxing on the beach, river kayaking, and visiting the beautiful waterfall Tobacco. And there is always the awe inspiring experience of  watching sea turtles laying their eggs on the beach.
Space is limited to 14 people.

Since 1987, Walking The World has been designing and leading small group walking tours to more than 30 destinations worldwide.

Tour Dates: February 5-15 and March 5-15, 2019
Price: Rates include a $400/person discount: $2895 USD, Double Occupancy; $3495 USD Single Occupancy
Trip Includes: 11 days/10 nights, ground transportation, most meals, all entrance fees & tours, full-time naturalist guide & escort.

Tour Details: https://www.walkingtheworld.com/destinations/costa-rica

Walking The World: www.walkingtheworld.com
Phone: 970-498-0500
Email: info@walkingtheworld.com

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Austin Adventures Expands Grand Canyon Offerings, Special Perks to Honor National Park Service Centennial

Austin Adventures is inviting guests to “Go Grand” with them, offering perks and special surprises on all of their Grand Canyon tour departures in 2019 © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

BILLINGS, MT – After six million years the Grand Canyon and its liquid heartbeat, the Colorado River, have more than a few stories to tell. But it was the National Park Service one century ago that began registering and interpreting these stories for some six million domestic and international visitors annually.

The official Grand Canyon National Park centennial takes place on Feb. 26, 2019. And Austin Adventures, a leading active travel company that frequents the cream of America’s iconic parks of the West, is inviting  guests to “Go Grand” with them, offering perks and special surprises on all of their Grand Canyon tour departures in 2019.

To mark and help celebrate the Grand Canyon’s Centennial:

Each trip will feature an educational element  – the most exciting and interesting places to explore and it cultural and natural history – introduced by expert guides knowledgeable in the geology of the Grand Canyon. Local walk-on experts will interact with groups as situations allow. Specific attention will be paid to the amazing geography but also to the significant history of the people, including the 21 traditional associated tribes calling the Grand Canyon their home.

Austin Adventures’ logo day packs will be gifted to kids ages 12 and under who are guests on a tour. Each pack is full of Grand Canyon memorabilia, keepsakes and educational material such as a field guide, map and activity book.

Adults will have $100 donated in their name by Austin Adventures to the Grand Canyon Conservancy that is the official, nonprofit partner of the park (https://www.grandcanyon.org/)

Extra educational elements will be woven into a visit to the South Rim in conjunction with Grand Canyon Conservancy.

“There is no question as to why the Grand Canyon is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the natural world. A must-see on everyone’s bucket list, we at Austin Adventures have been sharing the “big ditch” with adventure seekers for over two decades,” adds Dan Austin, company founder and president. “You really need to do more than just view it from an overlook, you must journey inside and experience it to really understand its magnitude and magnificence!”

In 2019 there will be nine departures of Austin Adventures’ Arizona: Grand Canyon National Park Vacation (up from seven in 2018). Of these, seven trip dates are family-focused and two are for adults-only.  Six-day family departures are March 17, 24; June 30; July 7, 14, 21, 28. The rates are $2,998 for adults and $2,398 to $2,698 for children in shared accommodations. See https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/arizona-family-grand-canyon/.

Six-day adult-only departures are in the fall when kids are back in school, Sept. 22 and 29. The rate is $2,998 ($580 single supplement). See https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/grand-canyon-vacation-tour/.

And in the spirit of celebration, Austin Adventures is also introducing a new-for-2019 program; Arizona/Utah: Grand Canyon to Bryce & Zion. This expertly crafted 8-day journey wraps together three national parks using Las Vegas as the gateway.  Guests journey into the mysterious depths of the Grand Canyon, hike through the stone forest hoodoos and spires of Bryce and navigate the world-renowned Narrows of Zion Park. The per person rate is $3,598 ($680 single supplement). Departures in 2019 are May 5-12, May 15-22 and May 25-June 1. See https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/grand-canyon-bryce-zion-2/

For more information, questions and trip availability, call 1.800.575.1540 or email info@austinadventures.com. For a full roster of Austin Adventures’ 2019 trips, cruises and distinctive accommodations on seven continents please visit http://www.austinadventures.com.

Based in Billings, Montana, Austin Adventures has spent over 40 years building an international reputation as a top provider of luxury, small group, multisport tours for adults and families to the world’s most captivating destinations. They have been acknowledged twice by Travel + Leisure Magazine with the prestigious World’s Best Awards along with other national media accolades and distinctions. Austin Adventures has perfected the art of creating itineraries featuring exceptional regional dining, distinctive accommodations, incredible guides and exhilarating activities, all while keeping all-inclusive rates and services the norm. In addition to scheduled group departures on all seven continents, Austin Adventures has developed a reputation as the leader in customized trip planning and execution, all backed by the industry’s best money-back satisfaction guarantee. Austin Adventures is a Virtuoso Preferred Tour Operator.

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Hike, Horseback Ride, Pub & Fiddle Crawl Thru Castles, Celtic Ruins, Manors on Vagabond Irish Adventure

Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland’s 12-day “Giant Irish Adventure” circumnavigates the island nation.

COUNTY WICKLOW, Ireland–Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland’s 12-day “Giant Irish Adventure” circumnavigates the island nation. Beginning in Dublin, guests poke around impregnable fortresses, ring forts, beehive huts, manor houses and castles. The common element to the sites is the stone – indestructible and a metaphor for the Irish spirit

Nature’s stone edifices also play a role in the Giant Irish Adventure that includes Ireland’s highest mountain range called the Macgillycuddy Reeks or black stacks of glacial-carved sandstone; the Cliffs of Moher of shale and limestone overlooking the Atlantic; and the Giant’s Causeway, a natural sculpture playground of basalt columns created by volcanic activities in the Atlantic Ocean a millennia ago.

Per person double rate of €2,769 includes the services of a highly trained professional Vagabond tour guide for 12 full days; 11 nights accommodation (4 nights B&B, 6 nights hotel, 1 night in a castle); 11 full Irish breakfasts; guided walks; entrance to most of the historical and archaeological sites and to some natural sites; demonstrations of local craftsmen at work; and all relevant fees and taxes. See: https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/tour/irish-tours-12-day-giant-irish-adventure/.

This tour caters to active travelers who want time aplenty to explore where they are by foot. Hikes of up to two hours are daily highlights. Some activities such as horseback riding, sea kayaking and surfing and biking in Killarney National Park are optional. The tour is flexible and guests can arrange to opt out of one activity and into another.

Among the historic stone structures guests may visit Dunluce Castle is a cliff-edge ruin from the 13th century, with views over the Irish Sea to Scotland; Stone Ring Fort (1700 BC) constructed by Bronze Age farmers as defenses against cattle thieves with such precision that no mortar was required; Glenveigh Castle and Gardens. a Victorian (1867) edifice in what is now Glenveagh National Park; the original owner drove poor tenants from the land so he could transform it into an aristocrats’ hunting playground; Donegal Castle was built in the 15th century on the site of a one-time Viking fortress; Abbeyglen Castle Hotel where the mountains of Connemara meet the sea was constructed in 1832 (overnight here); Beehive huts (Clochán) date to 5th century monastic settlements (think Luke Skywalker’s retreat in Star Wars); Blarney Castle dates to medieval times; kissing the Blarney Stone is said to bestow the gift of eloquence; Rock of Cashel or St. Patrick’s Rock from the 12th century boasts a Romanesque chapel harboring ancient frescoes.

On the daily walks and hikes, guests explore: Slieve Gullion Mountain, the highest point in Ireland which harbors Neolithic passage tombs; Cliffside Trail including 132 steps to Giants Causeway; Slieve League, the highest sea cliffs in Europe; Croagh Patrick, the famous holy mountain where every step taken means a sin forgiven; Cliffs of Moher, 700-foot sea cliffs; Kilkee Cliff Walk overlooking the Atlantic; Glacial valley of Lough Annascaul.

Throughout the journey, the Vagabond arranges stops at locally owned accommodations, pubs and restaurants Transport is in a 4×4 Land Rover or Mercedes ‘Vagatron’ that allows intimate access beyond where regular tour buses go.
(see https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/tour/irish-tours-12-day-giant-irish-adventure/.)

For details on Vagabond Small-Group Tours of Ireland itineraries, visit https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/, 833-230-0288, or email: info@vagabond.ie or info@driftwood.ie.

 

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