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Hudson Valley Outdoor Adventure Guide



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12. Outdoor Yoga

The ancient discipline of yoga awakens the senses and centers the body, effects that are only deepened by the soothing sounds and sensations of being in nature. Outdoor yoga is a growing trend in the region. Hudson River Yoga has classes on the lawn at Vassar College on Tuesday nights and at Locust Grove on one Saturday and Sunday per month. Hudson Valley Healing Center offers breathwork and meditation exercises in its salt cave as part of its Yoga 4 Cancer series, and nOMad offers outdoors classes in picturesque locations. There are integrated adventure yoga options like the yoga and kayak tours—kayoga—run by Hudson River Expeditions with Lauri Nemetz of Wellness Bridge. Stay tuned to Mohonk Preserve's Slingerland Pavilion, which in the past has offered summer yoga classes with breathtaking vistas of the Rondout Valley and the Catskills.

13. Bird Watching

The variety of ecosystems in the Hudson Valley make it wonderful birding country. The Shawangunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge in Wallkill is a waypoint for migratory birds that depend on grasslands, and the Great Vly between Saugerties and Catskill is a freshwater marsh where you may see osprey, golden eagle, American bittern, blackbirds, and dozens of species of warblers if you go early enough in the season. On the Hudson, Kingston Point is a birding hotspot (keep your eyes peeled for a bald eagle), while the Wallkill National Wildlife Refuge Liberty Marsh is a good place to go in Orange County. There are plenty of guides, too: There are several regional Audubon chapters (the society operates the Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Sanctuary), plus Friends of the Great Swamp, the Basha Kill Area Association, and the Edgar A. Mearns Bird Club.

14. Skydiving

Willingly flinging yourself from a plane from 15,000 feet up? But think of the view! Skydiving isn't for the faint of heart, of course, but daredevils will love Skydive the Ranch, which provides a chance to see the Hudson Valley from above. The skydive school, based in Gardiner, offers tandem jumps for first-timers and experienced jumpers up to level 13. Your first jump starts at $219, though groups of five or more get a discount. There are also courses in instructor-assisted freefall, for those who want to pursue a United States Parachute Association license.

15. Foraging

April showers bring May mushrooms, and there are few better ways to commune with nature than to walk gently through the woods, foraging for fungi, fiddleheads, ramps, and sorrel. This is because foraging is, really, a way of seeing: it requires awareness, patience, and skill. The reward? Childlike wonder and the thrill of discovery. Consult a guidebooks to get started (and remember, don't eat anything you're not 100 percent confident you can identify), plus mushroom walks, cultivation workshops, and foraging expeditions led by experts throughout the Hudson Valley, from individual herbalists to organizations like Mid-Hudson Mycological Association and Catskill Fungi.

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