What is a Licensed Hiking Guide?
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has created a licensing program for guides in New York. Guides are required to pass a written test, have knowledge in the field, obtain CPR/First Aid/AED certification, complete a water safety certification course, and pass a medical physical. In addition, Upstate Hiking guides (just Brian at the moment) have Wilderness First Aid Certifications. While I have hiked in some manner for over 15 years, I’ve taken over 1,000 different people hiking on the trails of New York since becoming a guide, and strive to provide a hiking experience that is safe, rewarding, informational – and full of priceless memories.
What’s included on a guided hiking experience?
Every guided hike includes expert guidance, starting from before your experience and all the way through the hike. We’ll reach out ahead of time to make sure you’re prepared, discuss route options, and answer any questions you might have. We provide any gear required for the hike, and also have some other essentials available to lend if needed. We’ve got plenty of snacks for you, but you’ll need your own water! Bug spray is provided if needed as well.
We also provide photography throughout the trip – from candids, actions, posed and scenery shots – you can leave your phone in your pocket and still take home a ton of photos from the trip. We typically shoot in JPEG, but if you love to edit your own photos, we are happy to provide the RAW files as well!
What do I need for a hike?
For every hike, you’ll need to have a sturdy pair of shoes with a good tread (boots are highly encouraged), water, any personal medications, a light jacket or raincoat, a signed liability waiver, and a readiness to adventure! Before your hike, we’ll reach out to discuss any additional items you might need. For more information on what to wear and pack, visit What to Wear and Bring.
Is prior hiking experience necessary?
No prior experience is necessary for most of our hiking adventures! We’ve had all skill levels out before, and tailor each hike to the abilities of each hiker within the group! We’ve had group hikes with both experienced hikers and those new to the trails out on the same hike – and everyone has a great time. If you do have some prior experience and prefer a more challenging hike, just let us know!
Do you allow hikers under the age of 18?
Our group hikes are tailored to an over-18 audience, but hikers under the age of 18 can hike with a parent or legal guardian when booked as private hike.
What happens if it rains or snows?
We put on our rain jackets or ponchos, and proceed as planned! As long as there is no lightning or thunder, hikes continue rain or shine. Trail choices may change as a result, but for the most part, we hike in all weather. In the case of persistent, torrential downpour, we may offer a reschedule date, and will reach out prior to the hike if that becomes the case.
How will I receive photos from the hike?
iPhone pictures will be AirDropped at the end of the hike (iPhone users) or emailed via wetransfer.com within 2 days after the hike (Android users). Pictures taken with cameras other than iPhone will be emailed via wetransfer.com to guests within 2-3 after the hike!
Where do hikes begin?
For most hikes, we meet in Palenville, New York prior to the hike. For hikes in the Adirondacks and others locations, we will let you know the meeting location prior to the hike!
What time do hikes typically start?
Our hikes typically begin at 10 am, unless otherwise noted. On weekends or particularly busy days, we may suggest moving to an 8 am or 9 am start time. Afternoon/sunset hikes typically begin around 3pm.
Can groups larger than 6 hike?
Yes! While our mixed groups have a size limit of 6, we can take groups of up to 18 hikers with a private booking and at least a week’s notice.
How difficult are the hikes?
Our hikes range in difficulty depending on the hike, the group and the weather conditions! Most of our open mixed group hikes are between an easy and moderate level of difficulty with some optional challenges built in. With a custom or private hike, we can tune the hike to be as easy or as challenging as you’d like!
Can I hike with my dog(s)?
In most cases, yes, but it always depends on the particular hike, group and trail conditions. All dogs must be kept on leash, not be aggressive, and have current rabies vaccinations. If you are wanting to bring your pup along, just let us know beforehand so that we can do our best to bring the dogs along!
How can I guarantee a visit to a specific location?
The final trail choice for our group hikes depend on the group, weather conditions and date – but if you want to guarantee that we hike to a certain spot or location, a private booking is encouraged. If desired, we can do our best to fill additional spots for your desired location, and the total cost of the private booking will be split among the total number of hikers.
Can I propose to my significant other on a hike?
Can I propose to my significant other on a hike?
Absolutely! When booking a private or couples hike – we can help you pop the big question in a way your significant other will never forget. We’ve helped with more than 15 different proposals – in every season – so you’re in good hands. Just let us know that you plan to do so – and we’ll coordinate with you to make sure the big moment (and all the fun afterwards) goes perfectly!