Archive for the ‘hiking’ Category

Castle that Highlights Wayfarers Walking Vacations’ New Hike ‘Stars’ in ‘Downton Abbey’ Episode

December 10, 2014
Alnwick Castle in England’s Northumberland, which will take a leading role in a special Christmas episode of "Downton Abbey," highlights a new 2015 Wayfarers Walking Vacations trip.

Alnwick Castle in England’s Northumberland, which will take a leading role in a special Christmas episode of “Downton Abbey,” highlights a new 2015 Wayfarers Walking Vacations trip.

A new highlight of The Wayfarers Walking Vacations 2015 program is also set to star in a Christmas episode of “Downton Abbey” on PBS’s hugely popular Masterpiece Classic series.

Alnwick (pronounced ‘Annick’) Castle in England’s Northumberland, will take a leading role in a special Christmas episode as Brancaster Castle. No stranger to the cameras, Alnwick was also the setting for Harry Potter’s Hogwarts.

The cast and crew spent two weeks at the castle last summer, filming extensively in the spectacular State Rooms, as well as in the castle’s grounds and at the semi-ruined Hulne Abbey in the Duke of Northumberland’s parklands in Alnwick. 

Visitors to Alnwick Castle in 2015 can explore a brand new Downton Abbey exhibition, featuring photography, costumes, and props from the filming. It is rumoured that the episode, which will be screened on Christmas Day in the UK, is likely to air in the US at the end of season 5, which runs from Sunday, January 4 on Masterpiece on PBS.

The castle is a centerpiece of The Wayfarers’ new itinerary, ‘Northumbria – Land of Castles, Saints and Vikings’, based on the ancient kingdom of one of Britain’s most remote and beautiful landscapes.

It is one of three Walks new to the schedule. The others are in Italy’s Puglia region and a new take on the historic pilgrimage route of the Via Francigena in Tuscany.

A Wayfarers’ Downton Abbey vacation already includes a visit inside the ‘real’ Downton, Highclere Castle, in the south of England, other key locations and hiking amid classic English villages and countryside.

In festive spirit, the company, which has been providing all-inclusive hiking tours for more than 30 years, is offering ‘a walk in an envelope’ – Gift Certificates which can be redeemed by the recipient for a Wayfarers’ vacation in one of 20 countries across the globe.

The vouchers are available for values from $500, up to the full price of a Walk.

“Our Walk in Northumbria was designed before we knew Alnwick would be a location in Downton Abbey, because it is such a wonderful place, steeped in more than 700 years of history,” The Wayfarers’ founder Michael West said. “As on our Downton Abbey Walk, we aim to give our guests much more than just a sight-seeing stop – we really aim to get beneath the skin of a place and I guarantee that Northumbria will be unforgettable.”

“Meanwhile, our Gift Certificates are the chance for someone to give a truly wonderful gift of one of our Walks as a surprise on Christmas morning – or at any time of the year!”

Founded more than 30 years ago, The Wayfarers Walking Vacations was named by National Geographic Traveler as purveyor of one of the ‘50 Tours of a Lifetime,’ and by National Geographic Adventure as one of the ‘Best Hiking Companies,’ The Wayfarers offers an eco-sensitive walking vacation of both culture and fitness in 19 countries with 40+ itineraries.

Walks cover England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, France, Italy, Spain, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Norway, New Zealand, Patagonia, Alaska, Colorado, Southwest USA, and a barging/walk combination in Burgundy, France.

Wayfarers Walks offer exclusive entrees into homes and gardens otherwise closed to the public, graceful accommodations, outstanding cuisine, and meetings with local residents. Walks are from 6-13 days and are rated on a five-level challenge scale. Price per person is all-inclusive from Day One: including all transfers, hotel accommodation, full board plus twice daily snacks, wine with dinner, tips, entrance tickets, maps and postcards.

The Wayfarers is a member of Trusted Adventures, www.trustedadventures.com, dedicated to the highest standards of small-group travel and supporting local economies.

The Wayfarers Walk Away Guide explains the benefits and practicalities of walking vacations and is guaranteed to inspire new walkers. Available at http://www.thewayfarers.com/walkawayguide

The Wayfarers 2015 Brochure http://bit.ly/1t2wwkr

For more information on all the Wayfarers Walks or the Gift Certificates contact www.thewayfarers.com, 800-249-4620 or email walk-info@thewayfarers.com

Facebook The Wayfarers Walking Vacations; Twitter @wayfarers; Instagram Wayfarerswalks.

 

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O.A.R.S. Adventure Travel Company Operates Rafting, Hiking, Multi-Sport Trips into October

August 12, 2014
Whitewater rafting in Cataract Canyon in Canyonlands National Park, Utah. O.A.R.S. adventure travel company is operating rafting trips into October.

Whitewater rafting in Cataract Canyon in Canyonlands National Park, Utah. O.A.R.S. adventure travel company is operating rafting trips into October.

Veteran river outfitter and nature-based adventure travel company O.A.R.S. (www.oars.com/) is operating rafting, hiking and multi-sport vacations into October that promise cooler temperatures along with great fishing, uncrowded wilderness and brilliant night skies.

“It’s our favorite season for hiking and exploring in the national parks,” adds Steve Markle, O.A.R.S.’ spokesperson. “And then there’s the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, which not only has spectacular alpine scenery, but also world-class trout fishing – especially in September when high water has receded, the river is crystal clear, and angling conditions are prime.”

Markle suggests some of the company’s most popular fall adventures for anyone looking for domestic travel from September through October:

Through mid-September O.A.R.S.’ six-day Yellowstone & Grand Teton Explorer takes guests off the beaten track at a time when seasonal visits to the two parks are slowing down. This multi-sport program in wild Wyoming includes two nights of lodging and three nights of catered camping on Jackson Lake with days spent touring Yellowstone and kayaking and hiking in Grand Teton. Through special access granted by the National Park Service, O.A.R.S. has been given permission to camp on an island in the lake, a privilege unique to this company. This trip transports guests into a world of mountain peaks and meadows, trout streams, waterfalls, bear, moose and bison. The rate is $1,589/person based on double occupancy for six days (five-day camping trips also available from $1399/person).

The company’s four-day, lodge-based Grand Canyon Rim to River Hiker in September and October brings guests into one of the deepest parts of the Grand Canyon with an overnight stay at historic Phantom Ranch. The adventure begins in Walnut Canyon, en route to the South Rim, with a close-up view of 25 unique cliff dwellings. Hiking in Wupatki National Monument, features multi-story ruins of red sandstone blocks and mortar.  After gazing into the canyon’s depths from the Desert View Watchtower, a night at the South Rim is the perfect spot to rest before an invigorating hike into the canyon the following day. The South Kaibab Trail, a seven-mile hike into the canyon, reveals panoramic vistas that overwhelm the senses as guests take in the canyon’s grandeur.  The Bright Angel Trail offers a nine-mile hike out of the canyon, followed by a short stroll along the Rim Trail to Hermit’s Rest before returning to Flagstaff on the final day of this hiking adventure. The rate is $1,599/person based on double occupancy.

In September, six-day fishing trips on Idaho’s Middle Fork of the Salmon River combine crystal clear water, abundant wildlife, amazing scenery, hot springs and Blue Ribbon trout fishing. This Idaho adventure brings guests into the largest federally protected wilderness in the continental U.S., a rugged and varied terrain of pine-clad mountains, rolling grasslands and narrow gorges. The catch-and-release policy along with limited access to the river and little angling pressure has resulted in a river loaded with fish. Twelve- to fourteen-inchers are common, with an occasional trophy sixteen- to eighteen-inch lunker. From $2082/person.

The Colorado River through Cataract Canyon serves up ideal conditions for hiking to scenic viewpoints and pre-Puebloan sites, stand up paddleboarding in the flat water and Class III whitewater through the heart of Canyonlands National Park in Utah. By September the scorching heat of the summer has faded, and with the sun a little lower in the sky, the shade created by canyon walls produces mesmerizing oblique lighting and wonderful opportunities for photography. Guests can marvel at million-year-old rock formations as well as ancient pictographs & petroglyphs while hiking side canyon trails. Four- and six-day trips through October start at $1529/person.

On a special September 14 “Stars with Lars” astronomy trip, veteran O.A.R.S.’ guide Lars Haarr will help interpret the night sky that offers some of the best conditions for stargazing due to the remote location and absence of city lights.

The per person, double occupancy rates for autumn 2014 programs include nights of lodge accommodations and/or comfortable catered camping, all river equipment, dry bags for gear, meals from departure day through the end of the trip and professional guide services.

For more information, availability, reservations and a copy of the 2014 O.A.R.S. Adventures catalog call 209-736-4677 or 800-346-6277, email info@oars.com, or visit www.oars.com.

 

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Greene County Offers Hudson River Tours, Moonlit Paddles and New York’s #1 Water Park

August 20, 2013
Hiking the Hudson River Art School Trail in the northern Catskills Taking in the spectacular view along the hike to Sunset Rock, one of eight Hudson River School Art Trail sites in New York's northern Catskills © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Hiking the Hudson River Art School Trail in the northern Catskills Taking in the spectacular view along the hike to Sunset Rock, one of eight Hudson River School Art Trail sites in New York’s northern Catskills © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The Great Northern Catskills of Greene County offer adventure all summer long – from sightseeing tours on the legendary Hudson River, to moonlit paddling excursions and hiking trails that wind to panoramic vistas with 360-degree views. Beat the back-to-school blues in Greene County and cool off in the Adventure Capital of the Catskills.

Cruises along Catskill Waterways

Sail along the Hudson River and explore Catskill Creek, one of the river’s most scenic tributaries, offering access to Greene County’s waterfront communities, restaurants, shops and scenic parks. The Great Northern Catskill’s Waterfront Guide offers invaluable information for boaters, including the locations of full-service marinas, restaurants, shopping districts and nearby attractions. Just download, print and set sail along one of North America’s most scenic and historic rivers.

Hudson Cruises Inc. offers sightseeing boat tours along the river on select weekends, and invites visitors to climb aboard the Little Spirit of the Hudson for day or evening excursions, complete with an on-board murder mystery show, or just in time to relax with friends and enjoy the view. This Saturday, August 10, join in one of three guided excursions to the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse and discover the fascinating history of the lighthouse keeper as told by his daughter, Emily Brunner. Tours leave from the Athens Riverfront Park every hour from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm. Reservations are suggested and tickets cost $25 for adults, $5 for children. Lighthouse excursions are also scheduled for September 14 and October 12.

Great Northern Catskills Paddling Adventures

Paddlehead Boards in Athens, NY sponsors paddling events and stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) excursions, as well as providing canoe, kayak and SUP rentals. On August 20, join the Paddle Club for an evening of excitement, refreshments and full moon fun with a SUP trip around the Hudson River. Perfect your SUP skills and paddle like a pro on the legendary river as the sun sets and the full moon rises. The group will depart from Paddlhead Board’s storefront at 6 pm. Admission is $60 and includes a paddleboard rental, food and refreshments. For more information about this and other paddling events, visit www.greatnortherncatskills.com.

Starting from the banks of the Hudson River, travel into the mountains for family-friendly fun at Greene County’s premier lakeside destination – North-South Lake State Park. Situated within a few steps of many popular Catskills hiking trails, North-South Lake offers the ideal mountain getaway. Enjoy easy access to popular Catskill hiking trails, paddle the scenic lakeshore and enjoy a Catskills camping trip at one of the 200 campsites available throughout the park.

Don’t miss New York’s #1 Water Park, the Zoom Flume Water Park in East Durham, offering family-friendly fun and relaxation, with water attractions, games and more. Experience the thrill of shooting down waterslides bearing names like the “Black Vortex,” or spend an afternoon by the Lazy River with a good book. Open through Labor Day, the Zoom Flume caters to families and groups looking to beat the back-to-school blues by making a splash.

For ticket information, canoe and kayak rentals and lodging packages, visit: www.GreatNorthernCatskills.com.

About Greene County:                

Greene County is located in the Great Northern Catskill Mountains and the verdant Hudson River Valley.  The region is home to five of the 10 highest Catskill Peaks and the Catskill State Park and is known as the nation’s first wilderness. Renowned as the home of Thomas Cole’s Hudson River School and the inspiration for Washington Irving’s literary legend, Rip Van Winkle, the Catskills are a haven for outdoor recreation and artistic inspiration.

Now through October 13, visitors can share their own legendary adventures through the Adventure Passport Contest. Log on to: passport.GreatNorthernCatskills.com/contest for details and the chance to win a grand prize seasonal getaway to Greene County. Discover the Catskills and Awaken to Adventure at www.GreatNorthernCatskills.com.

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Hike in the Footsteps of Painters and Poets This Summer in New York’s Scenic Catskills

July 13, 2013
The view from Sunset Rock, a popular location for Thomas Cole, the father of the Hudson River School, America's first major art movement © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The view from Sunset Rock, a popular location for Thomas Cole, the father of the Hudson River School, America’s first major art movement © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Hit the trail this summer in the Great Northern Catskills of Greene County where the region’s storied history and rugged beauty are best experienced in the wilderness. Discover the land that captivated generations of painters and writers, and enjoy a hiking trip that unites art with nature, and adventure with family-friendly fun.

Known as the father of the Hudson River School of Art movement, Thomas Cole was a British expatriate who made the Catskills his home, muse and artistic study. Follow Cole’s artistic journey through the Catskills and experience far-reaching summit views and cascading waterfalls that are as pristine as they were when Cole painted them nearly 200 years ago.

His namesake peak, Thomas Cole Mountain, is the fourth highest peak in the Catskills, with panoramic summit views and multiple scenic overlooks. Located in the Blackhead Range Wild Forest, Cole can be hiked in tandem with Black Dome and Blackhead, making for the perfect Catskill Mountain day hike. The trailhead is located at the end of Barnum Road, just four minutes drive from the Sugar Maple Center for Creative Arts in Maplecrest.

Arts History and Hiking in the Great Northern Catskills

This summer, experience a series of self-guided, multi-faceted hiking excursions with Mainly Greene, a collaboration of four arts organizations in the Great Northern Catskills. On July 20, join Mainly Greene’s “Art on the Move” tour of the Catskills with the Catskill Pass as your guide, and check out some of the Hudson River waterfront’s top attractions, restaurants and shops. Download the Pass here and follow the enclosed map to receive special discounts at participating attractions, including the Port of Call Restaurant, Thomas Cole National Historic Site and Riverview Marine Services.

Kid-Friendly Hikes in Greene County

Summer in the Great Northern Catskills of Greene County offers untold adventure in the great outdoors. Find ample hiking options throughout the region, including kid-friendly hikes such as:

  • RamsHorn-Livingston Sanctuary in Catskill offers a tranquil hiking experience along two miles of hiking trails. Trek by swampland with diverse birding habitats and glimpse Great Blue Herons, Bald Eagles and water creatures such as beaver, otter or muskrat. The Sanctuary offers leisurely walking experiences, picnic spots and paddling opportunities along RamsHorn Creek.
  • Cohotate Preserve in Catskill offers two miles of hiking along the Hudson River waterfront. Perfect for families with small children, the loop winds around a pond, providing scenic wilderness and river views.
  • Catskill Escarpment Loop in Haines Falls offers a moderate hiking circuit looping nearly five miles through some of Greene County’s prettiest scenery.  Highlights include Kaaterskill Clove, Sunset Rock – a favorite spot of Hudson River School artists – and Inspiration Point. Part of the 21-mile Escarpment Trail, this shorter loop offers a great day hike in the Catskills.

Awaken to Adventure in the Great Northern Catskills of Greene County, offering some New York’s most far-reaching summit views and scenic hiking trails. For more information about hiking in the Catskills and to start planning your Greene County vacation, visit www.GreatNorthernCatskills.com.

Greene County is located in the Great Northern Catskill Mountains and the verdant Hudson River Valley.  The region is home to five of the 10 highest Catskill Peaks and the Catskill State Park and is known as the nation’s first wilderness. Greene County is renowned as the home of Thomas Cole’s Hudson River School and the inspiration for Washington Irving’s literary legend, Rip Van Winkle, and was named in honor of American Revolutionary War General Nathanael Greene. This 705,500 acre wilderness offers diverse year-round outdoor recreation and celebrated cultural events.  Find more Catskills packages at www.GreatNorthernCatskills.com. 

See our features about hiking the Hudson River School Art Trail at:

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ET African Journeys Mama Hope Fund-Raising Trek up Mount Kilimanjaro Features Gourmet Feast by Chef Pierre Thiam at World’s Highest Pop-up Restaurant

May 15, 2013

African safari and tour provider ET African Journeys has partnered with Mama Hope, a non-profit organization that invests in projects that bring food, security, clean water, education and health care to African communities in need, to offer the Mama Hope Kilimanjaro Expedition, a hike to benefit Moshi, Tanzania’s St. Timothy’s School. Departing on Tuesday, July 30th, this one-of-a-kind trek up Africa’s highest mountain boasts an amenity that no other tour provider offers: a gourmet feast prepared by world-renowned African Chef Pierre Thiam at the world’s highest-altitude pop-up restaurant. Chef Thiam will open the temporary restaurant at a base camp at 12,500 feet above sea level exclusively to celebrate the fund-raising climb. After summiting Mount Kilimanjaro via the scenic Machame route, climbers will descend to the base camp restaurant to dine on Chef Thiam’s specially-prepared African regional cuisine, while enjoying views of the surrounding forests and grasslands.

Following the hike, travelers will spend two days volunteering at St. Timothy’s School, a school and children’s home built by Mama Hope and partnering organization, The Tanzania Children Concern, to educate Tanzanian orphans. Mama Hope’s community-centered development approach enabled St. Timothy’s to employ over 600 workers from the local community in the construction of the school.

“We are now focused on funding the construction of a boarding house on the St. Timothy’s compound, which will give the region’s orphans a home as well as an education,” said Mama Hope founder Nyla Rodgers. “This trip is a wonderful way to get Americans to come to Africa and get involved with a very worthy cause.”

“Adventurers who want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro don’t typically need much enticing, but this trip offers so much more than the satisfaction of the climb,” added ET African Journeys Vice President of Business Development Gilad Goren, who conceived of the trip concept with Rodgers. “It’s a chance to raise funds for a great cause, volunteer at a school and meet the children they are helping and, as an added perk, enjoy possibly the most unique dining experience of their lives, forgoing trail mix for a gourmet meal prepared by Chef Thiam.”

The Mama Hope Kilimanjaro Expedition is available for $3,500, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting St. Timothy’s School. Price includes lodging, Kilimanjaro climb and gourmet meal. For more information, call 800-662-5406 or visit www.etafricanjourneys.com/mamahope.

Mama Hope works in close partnership with local African organizations to connect them with the resources required to transform their own communities. The organization’s projects are managed for and by partner communities themselves to ensure sustainability. With a mission to fund the completion of schools, health clinics, children’s centers, clean water systems and food security projects.

ET African Journeys is a joint venture by Ethiopian Airlines and Group IST to create exciting, original, thematic, educational and cultural travel programs to Ethiopia and beyond. Working with the most experienced providers in the region, ET African Journeys is able to offer a diverse range of quality tour products at competitive prices to both the individual traveler and the group organizer. Ethiopian Airlines is the only non-stop service between the East Coast of the United States and the East Coast of Africa and is one of the largest and most modern air carriers on the African continent.

Follow in the Footsteps of Hudson River School Painters along Scenic Hiking Trails in New York’s Catskill Mountains

May 11, 2013

This summer, take an artistic hiking trip through the Catskill Mountains and discover the scenic vistas that inspired America’s first distinctive artistic style, the Hudson River School of Art.

From the front steps of the founding father’s home in Catskill, now the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, the Hudson River School of Art Trail winds along the pristine river valleys and mountain peaks that captivated Cole and his contemporaries. At each of the first eight sites along the Hudson Valley section of the Art Trail, a special metal plaque with a rubbing medallion has been installed, allowing visitors to do a pencil rubbing as a keepsake. The Art Trail includes sites in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, with the final site due for installation in Yellowstone National Park later this year.

Hudson River School painters captivated the world in the early-to-mid-1800s with their fierce desire to preserve America’s wild places and raise awareness through art of the fragile balance between nature and civilization. Cole and his contemporaries captured the wild, breathtaking beauty of America’s untouched forests, mountains and rivers, laying the foundation for what would become our National Parks.

Awaken to Adventure along the Hudson River School Art Trail and see Kaaterskill Falls, the highest cascading waterfall in New York State, gaze across the Hudson River Valley from the lofty perch that was once the Catskill Mountain House, and stop at North-South Lake and Sunset Rock. There are 15 Art Trail sites in the Hudson River Valley, and many of the hiking trails offer easy-to-moderate conditions, though some require skill and should only be attempted by experienced hikers. Special markers are located at key sites so visitors know which artist stopped to paint at that site.

The Thomas Cole National Historic Site is open Wednesday to Sunday each week, from May through October. Guided tours of Cole’s house and studio are offered for a fee, though visitors are welcome to tour the grounds, visitor center and gift shop free of charge. For more information about the Art Trail and visiting the Great Northern Catskills of Greene County’s cultural and artistic heritage sites, visit www.greatnortherncatskills.com.

About Greene County:

Greene County is located in the Great Northern Catskill Mountains and the verdant Hudson River Valley.  The region is home to five of the 10 highest Catskill Peaks and the Catskill State Park and is known as the nation’s first wilderness. Greene County is renowned as the home of Thomas Cole’s Hudson River School and the inspiration for Washington Irving’s literary legend, Rip Van Winkle, and was named in honor of American Revolutionary War General Nathanael Greene. This 705,500 acre wilderness offers abundant year-round outdoor recreation and unique cultural events.  Learn more about Catskills packages and events at www.GreatNorthernCatskills.com.

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NYS’ 9th Annual Adirondack Boreal Birding Festival to be held June 7-9

May 1, 2013

The 9th Annual Adirondack Boreal Birding Festival kicks off in the heart of New York’s Adirondack Park on June 7 with three days of guided hikes, lectures and driving safaris.

At the center of the Hamilton County festival are 17 birding walks and driving safaris dispersed throughout the county over three days.  All the outings are free and are led by established birding guides. The festival will also feature a Saturday, June 8 program with international birding expert Dr. Bruce Beehler. His first book, “Birdlife of the Adirondacks,” propelled him into a career that has spanned the globe.

Beehler made headlines when he discovered two birds in New Guinea previously believed to be non-existent, and has worked on behalf of the Smithsonian Institution, Conservation International and the U.S. Department of State.

“As soon as the 2013 festival schedule went up on the website, we started to get calls to register,” states Dean Nervik, tourism specialist with the county Department of Planning, Tourism and Community Development, and organizer of the festival.

Dr. Beehler will also join several of the guided birding excursions, but even organizers don’t know which ones he’ll select. Boreal birds are birds that nest and breed in northern forests and include black-backed woodpeckers, gray jays, a variety of warblers and water fowl.

“Since boreal birds can’t be found in Texas and a lot of other parts of this country, we generally attract a lot of out-of-state attendees to the festival,” Nervik said. The festival was developed to take advantage of the region’s unique wildlife and attract out-of-area visitors to the county during a shoulder season, he added.

The first registrant for the 9th Annual Adirondack Boreal Birding Festival comes from Texas. She plans to stay in Long Lake for the June 7th through 9th event in Hamilton County.

Advance registration is required for birding excursions and groups are kept small to insure that breeding species may be observed.

For a complete schedule of Adirondack Boreal Birding Festival events, visit www.Adirondackbirds.com or call 518 548-3076.

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Contest Encourages Visitors to Follow in the Footsteps of Hudson River School Painters in the Catskill Mountains

May 1, 2013

The Thomas Cole National Historic Site and the Olana State Historic Site has launched the Hudson River School Art Trail contest featuring an artistic hiking trail that follows in the footsteps of America’s premier landscape painters, and ends with the chance to win a weekend getaway to the Catskill Mountains.

The Hudson River School Art Trail features over 20 locations spanning the Hudson River Valley Region and New England. At each of the first eight sites along the Hudson Valley section of the Art Trail, a special metal plaque with a rubbing medallion has been installed, allowing visitors to do a pencil rubbing as a keepsake.

The contest encourages visitors to complete all eight rubbings in either their own notebook or in the official Art Trail Passport, which is available for purchase at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site and Olana State Historic Site.  Upon completion, participants simply present the completed series of rubbings to representatives at the Visitor Center for either the Thomas Cole or Olana Historic Sites by November 3, 2013 to receive an official certificate of completion. The first 20 people to complete all eight rubbings and present them at one of the two visitor centers will receive a free copy of the newly released second edition of the Hudson River School Guidebook. Participants who complete the eight rubbings will also be entered in a special grand prize drawing for a chance to win a weekend getaway to the Catskills.

Each metal plaque features a QR code that can be scanned by smartphones for more information and a rubbing medallion with a drawing of the view in raised relief so that participants can easily capture the scene by placing a piece of paper over the design and rubbing it with pencil, crayon or charcoal. For more information about the Art Trail locations, directions, itinerary suggestions and more, visit www.hudsonriverschool.org. See offers.hudsonriverschool.org for complete contest information.

The Hudson River School Art Trail Contest is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Hudson River Art Trail:

The Hudson River Art Trail project maps the sites where America’s premier landscape painters stopped to capture the wild, untamed landscape of the young country’s vast wilderness. The views from these sites appear in famous landscape paintings, and the mobile website at www.hudsonriverschool.org enables people to compare the painted and actual views.

There are 18 sites in the Hudson Valley, two in New Hampshire and one in Massachusetts with sites planned as far away as Wyoming.

The Art Trail begins at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site in the village of Catskill, which is fitting because Cole is credited as the father of the Hudson River School. Cole’s former home is now the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, located just two miles from Olana State Historic Site, the former home of Cole’s friend and fellow painter Frederic Church.

Olana is the second stop on the trail, and one of the partners in administering the 2013 art trail contest along with the Greene County Tourism Department and the Columbia County Tourism Department. For more information about the Hudson River Art School Trail, visit www.hudsonriverschool.org.

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New Life Hiking Spa Opens in Green Mountains of Vermont for its 35th Season

May 19, 2012

New Life Hiking Spa in Killington, Vermont in the Green Mountains has just opened for its 35th season, through the last weekend in September.

Founded by Jimmy LeSage, M.S., in 1978, New Life has become one of North America’s most recognized spa vacations.

“I came up with the idea of New Life after attending a six week yoga retreat in Val Morin, Canada in 1977”, states Mr. LeSage. He went on to say, “I had been living and working in Vermont for a few years after graduating with a degree in education from Florida State University and took the opportunity to use a ski hotel in the summers for my idea in 1978.”

The first 12 years of New Life Hiking Spa were spent in Stratton Mountain, Vermont and the program consisted of hiking, yoga, aerobics and healthy food. In 1990, he moved New Life to the newly opened Inn of the Six Mountains in Killington, Vermont where it remains today. In the early 90’s Mr. LeSage also received his Master’s Degree in Counseling and studied nutrition at Harvard University, which he uses for lectures and individual counseling sessions for guests wanting to learn how to deal with stress and obtaining or maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

SpaFinders, which is the world’s largest resource for the spa industry, has selected New Life Hiking Spa as one of the 25 Pioneer Spas which have shaped the spa industry as we know it today. New Life is consistently picked as one of the top ten spas in the world by SpaFinder’s Reader’s Choice Awards for hiking, solo travel, weight loss, affordability and fitness classes. In addition, in 2011, Jimmy LeSage, M.S. was chosen as one of the world’s top ten best spa managers.

In recent years, New Life Hiking Spa has been recognized as a top destination for weight loss and a healthy vacation. Since 2005, New Life has been selected as a top ten fitness vacation by MSNBC, and a top weight loss spa by Shape Magazine and Health Magazine. “In the past decade, there has been a major focus on healthy vacations and weight loss spas due to America’s expanding waistlines and reality TV programs that focus on losing weight. We have always been about health, hiking, whole foods and stress reduction since we opened our doors in 1978, but now there is a major focus in the media on the subject”, said Mr. LeSage.

For the 19 weeks a year New Life Hiking Spa is open, approximately 600 guests from all over the world come to visit New Life in the Green Mountains of Vermont. New Life Hiking Spa averages approximately 40 guests per week and employs an average of 35 people each season. Massage therapists, chefs, office staff, hike leaders and fitness instructors make New Life a caring and comfortable vacation where guests at any fitness level feel at ease coming alone or with a friend or partner.

Currently, New Life is in the summer edition of Yankee Magazine’s Travel Guide to New England and NewsMax Magazine, both on newsstands now. New Life Hiking Spa was chosen in Yankee Magazine as the 2012 Editor’s Choice for “Best Place to Rejuvenate” and in NewsMax Magazine for “Best Singles Vacations”.

Guests at New Life Hiking Spa experience rejuvenation with an all-inclusive spa vacation. New Life offers mini-getaways of three to four days, healthy “Jump Start” packages of 5-10 days and an 11 night or longer Weight Loss Retreat. Prices range from $249-$219 per night and include a private room with a private bath, three nutritious meals per day, healthy snacks, guided hikes along the Appalachian Trail and Long Trail (three levels offered per day), yoga classes, fitness classes, water aerobics in a heated indoor pool, cooking demos, healthy eating lectures, and one massage is included for every three night stay.

More information can be found online at New Life Hiking Spa’s Website: http://www.newlifehikingspa.com or http://www.WeightLossSpa.com.

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New Life Hiking Spa Celebrates Upcoming 35th Summer in Vermont with a $350 Discount on the Opening Day Weight Loss Retreat

January 27, 2012

New Life Hiking Spa, a nationally recognized affordable spa for men and women located in the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont since 1978, known for its exhilarating hiking program, a world renowned weight loss retreat, delicious healthy meals and a comfortable atmosphere, is taking reservations for its 2012 season, May 17-September 30.

Founded in 1978 as a healthy hiking and spa vacation by Jimmy LeSage, M.S., New Life Hiking Spa offers the chance to experience the peace of the outdoors in a down-to-earth, country inn environment. The resort hosts approximately 600 visitors each year from around the globe.

To mark the occasion of the 35th Summer Anniversary, New Life is offering a $350 discount off the first 11 night Weight Loss Retreat of the year (May 17 – 28) for double occupancy. That is a total price of $1,949 (plus service and tax) per person for the entire 11 nights.

In addition, early booking specials are also available for $20 a night discount on any length of stay from May 17th – September 15th or $300 off the total price of an 11 night Weight Loss Retreat for the following dates: May 17-28, May 29-June 9, June 29-July 10, July 10 – 21, any 11 nights during the month of August or September 1-12.

Reservations must take place by February 10, 2012 to receive the discounted rates. Discounts cannot be combined.

“We are excited to be celebrating our 35th Summer in the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont” stated Jimmy LeSage, founder and director. “We have been one of the spa industry’s best values since we began in 1978 and we are pleased to continue to offer a fabulous destination spa vacation at an affordable price with superior service. For the 19 weeks we are open, there is simply no better place to go hiking than New Life Hiking Spa in Killington, Vermont. The weather and views are fantastic, we have an experienced staff, fabulous fitness and wellness classes and tasty spa cuisine!” he went on to say.

New Life Hiking Spa’s prices are all inclusive. The nightly rate includes a room with a private bath, three healthy meals a day, fresh fruits and vegetables as snacks, one basic massage for each 3 night stay, all fitness programming, daily guided hikes (three levels offered per day), cooking demos, lectures and evening activities. Regular nightly rates start at $209 per night and vary based on length of stay and occupancy.

In January of 2010 & 2011, New Life Hiking Spa was selected as one of the top 10 fitness vacations in the world by MSNBC. New Life Hiking Spa was selected by Shape Magazine as “one of the eight best weight loss spas”, and by Health Magazine as “one of four great weight loss spas”. For Six years in a row (2006-2011) New Life has won Best for Going Solo, Best for Hiking and Best for Affordability by SpaFinder Readers’ Choice Awards. In addition, Jimmy LeSage was also voted as one of the top ten Spa Managers in the world in 2011 by SpaFinder Reader’s Choice Awards.

More information can be found online at New Life Hiking Spa’s Website: http://www.newlifehikingspa.com or a three minute video can be seen at http://www.VermontSpa.com.

For more travel features, visit:

www.travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin