Our Favorite Hiking and Outdoor Destinations & Gear Reviews

While there are almost an unlimited number of locations to get out and explore, here are some of the favorite ones that we have come across.  These are just some of our favorites.  As for the gear, these are mostly our tried and true items that have served well over the years and things that are with us on almost every trip.

Baxter State Park is located in northern Maine and is home to Mount Kathadin and the Knife Edge.  The park is filled with wildlife, including moose. Hiking trails allow for several different trips throughout the park.  Baxter is also home to some of the most wild areas of the northeast. 

Do you live in eastern Massachusetts and have a hankering to explore an incredibly natural area right in your backyard?  The Charles River Natural Valley Storage Area, managed by the Army Corp of Engineers protects the flood plain of the Charles River in its upper stretches.  This allows for paddling along the Charles River, hiking along the many trails, wildlife watching and quiet serenity in the middle of a dense suburban area.  

If you are visiting the Catskills, you need to take a trip to the Hunter Mountain Fire Tower.  Accessible via a number of trails, including one from the chairlift on the Hunter Mountain Ski Area, this Fire Tower offers 360 degree views of the entire Catskill region.  

Wilderness paddling at its best in the Adirondacks.  The Whitney Wilderness area holds thousands of acres of wilderness that includes miles of backcountry paddling in Little Tupper Lake along with several other lakes, rivers and streams.  There is also a trail network through this wilderness area, but its really a paddlers paradise.  

Want an introduction to canyoneering in Zion National Park?  Take a hike about a mile and a half up the Virgin River and you'll enter the Zion Narrows.  The canyon narrows down and its towering walls go up hundreds of feet.  You can even explore side canyons where you can reach across the entire canyon and look straight up to see the sky well above you.  Watch out for flash flooding and be prepared to get wet as you literally hike and climb up the river channel.

If you're looking for big mountains and big hikes in the east, White Mountain National Forest is a natural destination for you.  Home to the Presidential Range and Mount Washington, these mountaintops boast the worst weather in the world.  With large portions of the mountains above treeline, variable weather conditions and thousands and thousands of acres of National Forest to explore throughout northern New Hampshire and portions of Maine, every hiker should find something amazing in the White Mountains.

With hundreds of miles of easily accesible trails through some of the most unique scenery on the east coast, Acadia National Park is a great place to spend a week hiking.  Trails are built into the sides of cliffs, mountains plunge into the ocean and beaches are made of cobble stones.  It's an amazing place and if you visit once, you'll want to go back and explore some more.

Catskill Mountains, NY
Have you heard of the Catskill Mountains? They are the home of the real Woodstock, the land where Rip Van Winkle slept for years, the Mountains first seen by Henry Hudson on his maiden voyage up the Hudson River, a vacation destination for many downstate New Yorkers, home to some of the first grand resorts in the country, and in some ways, a wilderness that's only about 2 hours north of New York City. The Catskills are often lost in the shuffle of New York State, but that should not be the case.  The Catskill Mountains and the Catskill State Park offer hundreds of miles of hiking trails, downhill ski areas, hundreds of thousands of public land and a natural playground available to all.

Best Outdoor Gear Reviews

If you're a hiker, this is the magazine for you.  It has stories and articles on trail experiences, planning, trips and includes plenty of information to plan your next adventure.
Campmor has some of the best prices for that gear that you want.
Hiking in the Catskills?  This map set is the best map set available for the Catskill region.
It might be an oldie, but this GPS has served me well over the years.
Talk about easy to use.  I love throwing this stove in my backpack - whether it's a day trip or an overnight trip and being able to quickly and easily make food or just heat up some water for tea or coffee along the way.
Another old standby in my hiking gear collection.  Not the most adjustable stove, but it's lightweight, easy to maintain and has worked for me for years.
When I first got into kayaking and paddling, I picked up the Old Town Otter Kayak.  This small, lightweight kayak is a great intro to flatwater paddling.
I'm amazed that this tent is still able to be put together and fight against the elements, but 17 years after I got it, the tent (with a few repairs) is still going strong.
The AMC guide to the White Mountains is the bible of all trail guides.  Not only that it is the most comprehensive guide to the hundreds of miles of trails in the White Mountain National Forest.  If you're hiking there, get this book.