Three Surprisingly Sweet Adventure Options in New York

I’ve never been to New York, so I’m no expert, but I always kind of figured that, unless you count running away from muggers in Central Park, you’d probably have to leave the city to find outdoors athletic adventures. As it turns out, I was wrong.

I was just doing some lazy Sunday googling around the interweb, reading about the unfortunate premature death of Adam Yauch and his influence on his hometown, and I ended up finding three really sweet-looking adventures all in New York. Two are in the city, and one is just a few hours away.

If you are in New York, these are all convenient, reasonably priced, and fully worth checking out.

1) Take a Zipline Adventure Tour

Photo by youngrocky

I think ziplines are great. They’re accessible to everyone, even those who aren’t in super shape. They’re very environmentally friendly. They provide a nice little adrenaline boost to go with an epic view. And, they’re the cheapest flights you’re ever going to find (unless, that is, you check out my flight hacking tips).

New York Zipline Adventure Tours, about a 2.5 – 3 hour drive from the city in the Catskill Mountains, offers two zipline packages. Their Mid-Mountain Tour is a light family-friendly tour that includes six zippiness, four rope bridges, nine aerial tree platforms, and one rappel. The tour lasts about three hours and costs $89 USD per person.

Their more exciting tour is called the SkyRider, and they market it as the “longest, fastest, and highest zipline tour in the North America.”  It includes over 4.6 miles of zippiness, which they require you attend a training school to ride. This includes one cable that spans 3200 feet 600 feet above the valley floor. This tour is also three hours, and costs $119 USD per person.

2) Check Out Discover Outdoors Adventures

Photo by slagheap

If you want to get out, get fit, and get into some new adventure activities in New York, Discover Outdoors is definitely a company you should check out.  They have a variety of programs from backpacking lessons (free), to sunrise photography ($59 USD), to multi-sport adventures ($39 USD). They even have extreme indoor rock wall climbing ($29 USD). It’s not exactly Wharepapa, New Zealand, but hey, what did you expect.

The most gruesome looking calss is their mountain fitness training class ($39 USD). These classes are “non-traditional, fitness-oriented adventures,” but from the looks of the pictures they are seriously taxing. There is no specific training routine given, but its implied that the instructor chooses terrain and activities with a mind to wrenching your muscles in ways they’ve never experienced. Yes, they even lift logs. They have pictures of it on the website (though the one I have above is not of an actual class. I just picked it to scare you).

3) The Annual Adventures NYC Event

Photo by Ed Yourdon

Every summer the City of New York Parks and Rec team board teams up with sponsors like Backpacker Magazine, The North Face, and Pentax to put on Adventures NYC, a free outdoors event in Central Park. This year (2012) it will be held on June 25th and will include free bicycle rentals, climbing walls, health and fitness clinics, gear exhibits, yoga, and live entertainment. The price is right, and so are the activities.

Lead photo by Stuck in Customs

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