Insider's Guide: Adventures

Adventures to check out in the Valley



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High Altitude Hijinx. . .

BLUE SKY BALLOONS  Beacon. 888-999-2461.

Rides from Sprout Creek Farm, LaGrange. Depart daily Apr.-Nov., sunrise & sunset. $195/person, up to 5 passengers. Reservations required.


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Weekend air shows with vintage aircraft. Biplane rides. Museum displays aircraft, vehicles from 1900-1940. Daily, May 13-Oct. 31. Air shows, June 17– Oct. 18.


RICHMOR AVIATION Dutchess Co. Airport, Wappingers Falls. 845-462-2900. Flight lessons for pilots of all skill levels. Open daily except Christmas and Thanksgiving. Smallest plane $82.50/hour, plus $40 instructor fee.


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MOUNTAIN WINGS Sports Ellenville. 845-647-3377.

Hang gliders, paragliders, & kayaks. Hang gliding, paragliding, and lessons, rides. Tandem flights available. Under 18 must be accompanied by adult. Reservations required. Kayak sales.



Hot air balloon rides. FAA licensed commercial pilots; 24 yrs. experience. Champagne. Depart from Randall Airport in Middletown. $159/person. May-Nov.

Above the clouds Middletown. 845-692-2556.

Hot air balloon rides for up to twelve people. One hour from New York City. Depart from Middletown’s Randall Airport. $249/person for one hour flight. Gift certificates available.


SKYDIVE THE?RANCH Gardiner. 845-255-4033.
First jump tandem skydive from 13,500 ft. Also open to experienced jumpers. Must be 18, under 225 lbs. Daily, Apr.-Oct. Weekends only, Nov.-March.


FLY HIGH HANG GLIDING Pine Bush. 845-744-3317. Recreational, instructional gliding on Shawangunk Ridge. Under 18 must be accompanied by parent. Instructional tandem flights, $160. Launch, fly, land on 100-foot hill in one day, $150.


HUNTER MOUNTAIN SKYRIDE Hunter. 518-263-4223, 800-HUNTER-MTN. Mile-long ride to the summit of 3,200-foot Colonel’s Chair. Picnic area, hiking trails, shops, dining. Weekends July 4-Oct. Call for pricing and additional hours.


Take Me to the River . . .


125-passenger Commander; on National Register. Excursions depart from W. Haverstraw at 10 a.m. (return 4:30 p.m.) and from West Point at 12:30 p.m. (return 2 p.m.). May-Oct., weekdays. Cruises from Peekskill last Sat. of the month. Charters depart from W. Haverstraw or Peekskill. Reservations required. Call for rates.
Pride of the HUDSON 26 Front St., Newburgh. 845-220-2120.

Offers 2 different vessels, Pride of the Hudson and the Pollepel. Two-hour sight-seeing cruise departs from Torches Landing. May-Oct.: Wed., Sat.,Sun. , Thurs. Memorial Day to Labor Day: Sat.-Sun. $17 adults, $16 seniors & children ages 4-11. Charter rates: $700-$750/hour, 3-hour minimum. The Pollepel, official boat of the Bannerman Castle Trust, takes passengers to Bannerman Island for walking tours. Departs from Torches and Beacon Landing. May 1-Oct. 31: Sat.-Sun. $40/person.


GREAT HUDSON SAILING CENTER  W. Haverstraw. 845-429-1557.

Sailboat sales. Sailing lessons. May-Oct., daily.


HUDSON RIVER CRUISES Kingston 12401. 845-340-4700, 800-843-7472.
Two-hour narrated sight-seeing cruises aboard 300-passenger Rip Van Winkle. Sunset, music, murder mystery cruises. Rondout Landing, Kingston. May-Oct. $10-$17.


NORTH RIVER Charters Kingston. 845-679-8205.

Sail the Teal, a 70-ft. motor yacht, or the Minsis, a 40-ft. express motor cruiser, anywhere on the Hudson. Private and group charters, weddings, corporate functions, customized tours. May-Oct.


RIVER VALLEY TOURS New Paltz. 845-340-1031.

Local and international river cruises. Custom made tours. Week-long Hudson River tour, New York to Albany, Oct. 14-21.

Hudson VAlley Outfitters Cold Spring. 845-265-0221. Outdoor recreation store specializing in kayaks offers tours to points of interest on the Hudson. Special event tours include Mother and Father’s day trips to Constitution Marsh, 4th of July fireworks paddle to Bannerman Castle, Bannerman Castle hard hat tours, the Sept. Hudson River Ramble, and a fall foliage paddle.  Kayak rentals $75-$120.


SAILING. Harken back to the 60s, with a free weeknight ride (yes, we said free)on the Woody Guthry, a wooden replica of an 18th century Hudson River ferry sloop. The ship was built by Pete Seeger in 1978 to promote the clean-up of the river and is now run by the beacon sloop club. If you’re lucky, your volunteer staff may croon a 60s tune or two while teaching you about the river… and if you’re very, very lucky, Mr. Seeger himself may make a guest appearance. June-October. Holds 20. Reservations suggested. Beacon. 845-297-7697.


Horsing Around …

TANGLEWOOD RANCH  Cornwallville. 518-622-9531.

Guided horseback rides, one-hour trail ride. Three-hour night trail ride (summer only; reservations required). Weekends in fall and spring; daily in summer.


HITS-ON-THE-HUDSON Saugerties. 845-246-8833.

200-acre facility hosts horse-jumping events, often with Olympic-caliber riders and steeds. Free parking. Food available; frequent special events on weekends.


GOSHEN HISTORIC TRACK Goshen. 845-294-5333. Oldest Standardbred horse track in U.S. Matinee racing June 2, 9, & 16. Twist & Shout concert June 29, Grand Circuit racing June 30, July 1-4. All races 1 p.m. (call to confirm). $3, under 12 free.


JUCKAS STABLES Bullville. 845-361-1429.

Family-owned riding stable since 1965. Trail riding on 117 acres of trails. Rent horses by the hour, all levels. Call for reservations.


BAILIWICK RANCH Catskill. 518-678-5665. Scenic all-day trail and riding trips.


CELTIC PINES  Pine Bush. 845-361-3076. Trail-riding lessons along Minnewaska, Mohonk and Highland lakes.


MAPLE GROVE HORSE FARM  Hurleyville. 845-434-3229. www, Guided trail rides for small groups on 50-acre, family-owned farm.


Rock on . . .

THE INNER WALL INC. New Paltz. 845-255-7625.

Indoor rock climbing. Birthday/slumber parties.




ALPINE ENDEAVORS Rosendale. 845-658-3094.

Professional instruction and guided rock climbing in the Shawangunk Mountains. Daily through mid-November. $125/person.


HIGH ANGLE ADVENTURES Ulster Park. 800-777-CLIMB. Accredited rock-climbing school since 1974. Individual and group instruction, all levels.


SUNDANCE ACADEMY OF SURVIVAL Phoenicia. 845-688-5640. Rappelling instruction. Learn on 60-foot tower. Equipment provided. Open all year, mostly weekends. By appt. only. $22 basic fee for beginners.


Fun Comes in Many Forms …

ACCORD SPEEDWAY Accord. 845-626-3478.

Wed. night racing, June 22-Sept. 7. Stock car races Fri. 7 p.m. Races include: 358-Modifieds, Sportsman, Pro Stocks, Pure Stocks, go-carts, quads, motorcycles, slingshots, Mini-Sprints and Spec Sportsman. Lawn mower racing. Apr.-Nov.


LEBANON VALLEY SPEEDWAY/DRAGWAY. Lebanon. Columbia. 518-794-9606 (speedway), 518-794-7130 (dragway). or

Stock car racing Sat. nights; automobile, motorcycle drag racing Sun., Apr.-Sept.

Splash down beach Fishkill. 845-897-0600. Arcade, bumper cars, boats, jungle soft play, motion simulator. Party/group rates. Summer hours: Fri.-Sat. 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Rest of the year: Sat.-Sun. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. 


SPLASH DOWN beach WATER PARK Fishkill. 845-896-6606/5468.

Swimming/activity pool, water slides, Crocodile Creek, Shipwreck Island, 40 ft. raft ride and wave pool. May-Sept., daily.


ZOOM FLUME WATER PARK E. Durham. 518-239-4559.

Water slides, rides. Giant activity pool. Wild Water West. June 24 —Labor Day, daily. $22.95 adults, $19.95 children under 8 free, $11.95 spectator pass. Season passes/group rates.
Forget the laser light shows. No, we don’t have anything against Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin, but if you want to relive the 60s, check out the world’s largest kaledioscope. Step inside the 60-foot space for a for a surround-sound show of projected images that defies description. The Kaleidostore also sells the one-of-a-kind variety you can take home.

Admission $5), specialty shops including home furnishings. Daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Family, senior discounts. Waterside dining at the Pheonix Restaurant Wed.-Sun.  EMERSON Country Store Mt. Tremper. 845-688-5800, 877-688-2828.


WONDERFUL WOOD. Though rarely built anymore, wooden roller coasters inspire a loyal following — perhaps because of the fear factor. Wooden tracks are designed to give, moving anywhere from a few inches to a few feet in response to a passing train. The swaying track combined with that notorious clackety-clack makes riders feel they may fly right out of the train at anytime. Sound like fun? Then don’t miss the Dragon Coaster at Rye Playland. Built in 1929 by famed coaster architect Fred Church, this ride has been thrilling generations of locals with a 128-foot drop at 45 m.p.h., into the mouth of a fire-breathing dragon. Strolling the rest of the famous art-deco park, which includes an ice rink, a boardwalk, a beach and a large kiddy land, is fun too. And unlike more modern amusement parks, you can pay per ride at Playland. RYE PLAYLAND  Rye. 914-813-7010.



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