Posts Tagged ‘hiking’

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:

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

http://www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

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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.

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.

For more travel features, visit:

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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.

For more travel features, visit:

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

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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.

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Dominica’s Waitukubuli National Travel to Preview Aug. 29 – First Hiking Trail to Encompass Entire Island

August 26, 2010

Roseau, Dominica – Discover Dominica Authority and the Waitukubuli National Trail Project (WNTP) will announce the official opening for the first two segments of the Waitukubuli National Trail at their Summer Adventure and Hike Event, Sunday, August 29.
Once completed, the Waitukubuli National Trail (WNT) will be the first and only walking trail that traverses the entire Caribbean island. The trail will run from the south to the north, with a distance of 115 miles. It will be divided into 14 different segments with levels varying from easy family hikes to longer and more challenging hikes. Each trail will offer breathtaking views of Dominica’s unspoiled nature, pristine waterfalls and lush rainforests.
The event will highlight on-going work of the WNTP, feature a series of activities including hiking events for children and adults, the unveiling of the first billboard promoting the WNTP and will end with a closing ceremony by the WNTP Project Management Unit.  The closing ceremony will be concluded with entertainment from Fanatik Band and Club DVD Sounds.
“With the Waitukubuli National Trail being the first hiking trail to cover an entire Caribbean island, promoting the trail will become one of the key marketing tactics we utilize to attract hikers from around the world,” comments Colin Piper, CEO/Director of Tourism at Discover Dominica Authority. “The trail was created to showcase the natural beauty and lush rainforests of our island, with this event designed to give visitors a better understanding of the WNTP.”
Activities will begin at 10 am and all races will be held on Segments 4 and 5 of the WNT, covering the community of Sylvania and the Emerald Pool. Following the competitions, activities will be held within Sylvania.
Known as “the Nature Island” and located between the French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Eastern Caribbean, the independent nation of Dominica (pronounced “dom-in-eek-a”) is the largest and most mountainous of the Windward Islands, encompassing an area of nearly 290 square miles. Of volcanic origins with mountains reaching heights of nearly 5,000 feet, rainforests that are considered among the last true oceanic rainforests in the world, more than 365 rivers, waterfalls the second largest Boiling Lake in the world and pristine coral reefs, Dominica’s natural diversity is truly unique. Dominica is also home to the last remaining settlement of Indigenous People of the Caribbean – The Carib Indians.
A place where man and nature live in harmony, adventurers and nature lovers alike will revel in the Island’s eco-tourism options which include scuba diving, snorkeling, mountain biking, kayaking, horseback riding, nature tours, hiking/trekking, whale, dolphin and bird watching, sailing and fishing.
Dominica continues to be recognized for its attributes and responsible tourism efforts, including being the first country in the world to receive Benchmarking designation from the prestigious eco-tourism organization Green Globe 21. National Geographic’s Center for Sustainable Destination ranked the island as the top sustainable island in the Caribbean and among the top ten in the world. Dominica was recognized by Islands Magazine and was included in its 2007 Blue List for being a leader in responsible tourism and ensuring an environmentally and culturally sound island for future generations. Travel + Leisure also announced Dominica as one of the most compelling destinations to visit in their 100 Greatest Trips 2008 edition. Most recently, Dominica was recognized as the 2nd most “pure island” in the world in the April/May 2010 issue of Islands Magazine.

For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 866-522-4057. Or, visit Dominica’s official website: www.discoverdominica.com or follow Dominica on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.