A dummy’s guide to ski resorts

guide to ski resorts

Sometimes it seems like everybody’s family but ours took an annual ski trip, which means that most of our friends grew up going to resorts and know how to navigate them come adulthood. We, on the other hand, feel like a fish out of water every time we visit a new ski slope, and last weekend’s trip to Hunter Mountain was no exception. So to pass the time while we waited in the (wrong) line to rent gear, we made a mental checklist of tips that will hopefully help your first few trips to a new ski hill go off without a hitch. Continue reading A dummy’s guide to ski resorts

Spring hike checklist: Trails near New York City

Sorta Outdoorsy Spring Hike Photo by Emile Hallez
Photo by Emile Hallez

We were discussing some of our favorite hikes near the city at Outdoorfest’s Mappy Hour last night which stirred the project manager in us to start creating a list of trails we’d like to explore over the next few weeks. Check out our picks below and let us know what’s on your spring hike to-do list.  Continue reading Spring hike checklist: Trails near New York City

Surf: Catch a winter wave in Queens

Winter Surfing in Queens
Photo courtesy Outdoorfest

We did something recently that was so awesome we can’t believe we hadn’t done it already. What we did was take the A train out almost as far as it goes to Beach 67 early one morning to surf. We were heading to our first surf lesson and as the train rolled past Broad Channel, we looked out at the water and questioned starting such a hobby in the middle of winter. Continue reading Surf: Catch a winter wave in Queens

Hike the Long Path: a day trip fit for your lazy Saturday

Hike the Long Path

You slept in on Saturday and missed that early morning Breakneck Ridge-bound Metro-North but find that you’re still jonesin’ for a hike. Hope is not lost! Head to the George Washington Bridge, where you’ll find miles of trails, including the aptly-named Long Path. Continue reading Hike the Long Path: a day trip fit for your lazy Saturday

Talk to strangers: a few of our favorite outdoor meetups

Most major cities have plenty of meetups that host various outdoor activities for all different levels of enthusiasts. A few of our local favorites are New York City Archery GroupNY Ski and Snowboard ClubHudson Valley HikersGhost Skate New YorkCrux Climbing and Outdoorfest.

One of the best parts about getting involved in an outdoor activity is that most of them are designed to be done in groups or with partners. Whether it’s climbing, camping or canoeing, signing up for trips and classes are great ways to find new friends, no matter where you are. Check your local REI for a range of courses like Snowshoeing Basics or Solo Backpacking.

To read more about finding your outdoor community, check out our newsletter from a few weeks ago which includes an essay from Sorta Outdoorsy pal and recent London transplant Allie Lee.

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Photo tip from an expert leaf peeper: wear sunglasses

In case you missed it, expert leaf peeper and photographer Danny Wild gave us some really good tips for snapping better photos of fall foliage. We especially liked the tip about wearing brown or yellow-lens sunglasses to help spot which trees are changing the most dramatically. Check out the full interview here.

Sometimes a simple edit afterwards on your computer or even your iPhone can correct the shadows and lighting and add back some contrast and saturation to your images (for smartphone users, check out free apps like Snapseed and VSCO). I often use a circular polarizing filter on my lens to enhance the blues of the sky and reduce glare on water. And when you’re out hiking around looking for photos, you just want to keep your eyes out for the brightly-colored trees that are well lit by the sun. A neat way to do this is wearing yellow or brown-lens sunglasses, which can dramatically enhance autumn colors and help you spot which trees are changing. Finding a nice composition—using the rule of thirds, finding a foreground—can turn your photo from a snapshot into a more thoughtful image.

If you’re looking for a little more instruction, check out the free Fall Foliage Photography class that the NYC Parks & Recreation Department is hosting in Staten Island on November 1st.

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We’re bullish on Bear Mountain

Bear Mountain View

Bear Mountain State Park is an amusement park (literally, there’s a merry-go-round) of outdoor activity. You can rent a boat to paddle around Hessian Lake or visit the trailside zoo. There’s swimming and ice skating and even an Oktoberfest that attracts tourists and New Yorkers alike.

Continue reading We’re bullish on Bear Mountain